SoCal Star Training for Olympics Helps Kids Get Into Volleyball - NBC Southern California
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SoCal Star Training for Olympics Helps Kids Get Into Volleyball

"Our ultimate goal is to build sand courts in some areas that have the need," Fendrick said.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    SoCal Star Headed to Rio Olympics Wants to Get Kids Into Volleyball

    Lauren Fendrick is training for Rio, but she didn't start training until she was 23 -- something she wants to change for a younger generation of potential Olympians. Lolita Lopez reports for the NBC4 News at 4 on Friday, July 15, 2016. (Published Friday, July 15, 2016)

    "It's never too late to learn" is a motto beach volleyball player Lauren Fendrick lives by, but it's something she's trying to change for other young children who may grow up to be future Olympians.

    "I got a little bit of a late start to it but I had some amazing mentors," Fendrick said. "I really persevered and stuck with it."

    While other Olympians are already competing in their respective fields by age 15, Fendrick didn't start playing volleyball until she was 23 years old.

    At a park in Hermosa Beach on Friday, Fendrick and her husband helped players from the United States Youth Volleyball League, a local nonprofit organization focused on teaching the basics of volleyball.

    "It balances out the kind of self-centered focus that you kind of have to have when you are trying to maximize your potential," Fendrick said.

    Part of the goal is simply enjoying the process.

    "We don't have everybody on TV, Monday through Friday, like baseball and basketball," said nonprofit USYVL's Randy Sapoznik.

    USYVL provides kids first hand exposure to pros like Fendrick and AVP tour champion Billy Allen for a reason.

    "To be introduced to the sport this young and develop a passion for it early, is great," Fendrick said.

    Connecting with younger players is motivating for the Carlsbad native. She recently created the Lauren Fendrick Foundation.

    "Our ultimate goal is to build sand courts in some areas that have the need but don't have the lovely beaches that we have here in Manhattan Beach," Fendrick said.

    The former UCLA standout outside hitter turned AVP beach star -- and now, with partner Brook Sweat, player heading to the Rio Olympics - is always taking time to give back, one kid at a time.

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