So I’m over halfway through my second season of professional volleyball. I’m in Mulhouse, France this season, playing for the French champions of last year, and competing in Champions League. We play in front of a big crowd at home which is great. It sounds awesome, and it is. But of course there are so many challenges. I’m not here to vent about all that is hard about professional volleyball overseas. We can all go on and on about how much it sucks. I’m here to write about what I’m learning through it all.
- The bigger the stage… the more the critics. The better you play… the bigger the expectations. Deal with it and be better.
- Speak up for yourself
- Make a life for yourself separate from volleyball too
- Don’t get too cocky when you do well… don’t get depressed when you don’t
- Quit caring about the things you can’t control. You can’t control the line-up, you can’t control the roster. What you can control is how focused you are in practice, and in the game.. focused on what you need to do. That’s all that matters on the court.
- Lighten up
that this is a real lifestyle. I’m getting paid to play volleyball and travel the world. The first thing coach writes to us is.. “for your planning we have a two-week trip to Japan for training and a tournament.” No big deal, just another trip across the world.
I decided not to play right after I graduated and then a half a year after I “retired” I realized I made a mistake. So here I am 🙂
I’m playing in Schwerin, Germany this year. It’s an adorable little city in northern Germany; just a short train ride to Berlin or Hamburg. We’ve been in practice only a week now. Not all of the girls are here, and we don’t have a match for another couple of months so we’ve been having “light” practices. Apparently our coaches’ interpretation of “light” is a lot different than mine. But my coach is the German national team coach, and my strength coach is the German national team strength coach so I feel like I’m in good hands.
Ariel Turner and Lauren Barfield are the other Americans on my team, they’ve been playing over 3 years overseas and have been helping me out A LOT with my rookie start (think of them translating practices, figuring out train system, and cooking on a gas oven). I’m also stoked that one of my oldest friends, Liz McMahon will be playing for Dresden & same with my old Michigan teammate Jen Cross. It’s almost like I have just as many friends in Europe right now as I do in the States.
I made a promise that if I go and play, I’m going to learn the language (like REALLY learn it), and not fall into the “Netflix and Chill” trap that so many pro athletes do. So my first weekend, Ariel and I explored Berlin, and happened to run into their International Beer Festival. We tried German beer, Polish Beer, African Beer, Banana Beer, Cherry Beer, you name it, ate some weiner schnitzel and wurst. I’m not the biggest beer fan in the world, but I have to admit that the banana beer was the bomb. It tasted like banana runts.
That’s all for tonight!