Clinic teaches skill, roll modeling

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By ELWOOD K. SHELTON
Daily Press writer
Snatch the pebble grasshopper, the student has now become the teacher.
Since the start of the Little Lady 'Dogs' Basketball Clinic this week, a number of Lady Bulldogs from the high school basketball team have done exactly that moved from the learning to the teaching role.
Players such as senior forward Jessica Norman, who towers over all of her pupils, have taken an hour out of their day to mold the future of the high school program. Girls from second- through eighth-grade the participants in the clinic.
The switch not only enables the young athletes in attendance to grasp the fundamentals of the game, but also gives the high school players a chance to understand what their coaches go through each season.
"I know the game well enough that it's fairly easy for me to teach," Norman said. "And in certain situations, like when some kids aren't paying attention, you get an idea what our coaches have to go through."
Having to gain the kids attention seems to be a moot point in the camp, because when coach Craig Mortensen takes his position in front of the more than 40 junior hoopsters in the Moffat County High School gym, all eyes are at front.
Mortensen said he runs the camp as an inexpensive way for Craig's young girls to gain a grasp on basketball, but at the same time enjoy themselves. He keeps the clinic as enjoyable as he can by keeping it at a level each girl can handle.
For the younger girls this means plenty of passing and dribbling drills, and for the older ones some game strategy.
"It's just a little clinic to get the girls used to the game," Mortensen said. "So, for the younger girls in attendance it's kept real basic, while for the older ones we'll work on things that are a little more advanced it all depends on what that age group can handle."
Teaching is made all that much easier for Mortensen and his high school players by the level of enthusiasm brought by the young players. Some of the young athletes may need some coaching, but none need to be told anything twice.
The clinic also provides a way for Mortensen's high school players to step into a mentoring roll, and act as a positive influence on the region's children.
"Hopefully the (high school) girls are someone the young girls can look up to," Mortensen said.
The clinic will conclude on Friday.

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