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January 14, 2013 | North America: Virginia

ALL IN! for Basketball

By Robin Schermerhorn

Basketball players from Paul VI High School worked individually and in groups with Special Olympics athletes in the skills clinic.

All in! was the message of the day.

Special Olympics athletes huddled with Paul VI High School athletes, raising their fists in the air and shouting "All In!" What works as the cry for the undefeated Girls Varsity basketball team became the mantra for athletes with intellectual disabilities during an afternoon of learning basketball skills.

On hand at the Fairfax County, VA, Paul VI High School basketball clinic January 12, 2013, were all the coaches and players of the Girls Varsity basketball team and the Boys Varsity and Junior Varsity basketball teams. Special Olympic athletes ran through drills in about 10 areas and coaches broke down instruction in segments for future work and development.

Coaches told clinic participants to play for the love of the game. By giving encouragement and joy to teammates when they succeed makes the team "all in" and allows all players to focus on the joy of the game.

About Robin Schermerhorn: A parent in the audience, catching the fever of sportsmanship--watching experience, energy, and knowledge flow from coaches and student coaches to the hands of Special Olympic athletes. Whoosh!

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