Service To the Game

Every volleyball player sacrafices time, effort, and even friendships to play this game. We sometimes have attitudes towards our friends or we tear our body apart trying to keep the ball of the ground. If you think about it, volleyball is a big game of don’t let the ball touch the ground. I played that game when I was 3 with a balloon, now we are still playing it with just more rules and heavier balls.

Lifting three times a week, practice every day for two hours, team meetings, and team bonding are just some of the commitments everyone on this team makes to make this Northwest Volleyball team successful. Anything we can do to become more of a family, more dedicated, or more skilled we will do it! The reason we play is to have the once in a lifetime feeling of being a champion. Being successful is what we are all working for.

All of this time and effort is worth it. One day we will all look back and remember the feeling of winning and finally reaching your goal. We will instantly smile from thinking about all the hard work we put in and everything that we accomplished together. This is the real win in life.

Patience with Healing

This past season I went through in injury. Injuries happen in every sport and is a big change on the season. If the injury is very serious, like a torn ACL, then you are looking at not playing the rest of the season and a six month recovery. Thankfully my injury was not as serious. I was playing a warm up game in practice and went up to block and came down on another girls foot. I rolled my ankle pretty bad. At first I thought I was fine, walked it off, and played the rest of practice on it. The next day it was bigger then a baseball and my trainer told me this is one of the worst ones she’s seen. I whispered to myself sarcastically, “we’ll that is just great.”

My pain tolerance has always been very high. I was fortunate to not recieve any injuries in my past years of volleyball. Being my first one this year, it was very frustrating. I was required to attend physical therapy every other day to strengthen my foot. I also had to ice before and after practice every day to get the swelling down. After a week, I was feeling no pain but my ankle was still the size of a baseball and looked like the color of green and purple grapes mashed together. I was doing everything I was told and still my ankle was not healing. The trainer thought I was lying when I told her it didn’t hurt at all, but honestly it was not bothering me in any way unless I pull it exteremely hard to the right or left.

My patience was running thin. I couldn’t understand why I had to keep doing these tiny exercises that are wasting time in my day. I have plenty of other things to do throughout the day being a student athlete. Then I relized I need to cooperate and with time it will get better if I keep doing what I need to do. Thankfully my ankle was not restricting me to play, so I was able to still play in the games and practice fully.

After about 3 weeks my ankle finally healed. Looking back at the situation now, it was a very frustrating time for me. Anything holding someone back from playing causes frustration. A lot of athletes experience this feeling and I know from experience that major injuries it is not easy! My sister tore her ACL her senior year of high school and I could tell everyday she wished she was out on the court with me and running in the track meets with me! It takes time to accept your enjury. The best advice is accepting it, and motivating yourself to do something everyday to get better. Focus on the mental side of the game, while your physical side is healing.

Hollywood

Watching the USA volleyball team is one of my favorite things to do during the olympics. They represent the entire country and are playing the highest level of girls volleyball in the world. That is the best of best on the court and watching the speed and difficulty of the game is so exciting to me. Those girls are my Hollywood stars.

My favorite player is outside hitter, #19 Destinee Hooker. She has so much talent and was one of the leaders on the court. Destinee helped lead the team to a championship win in 2008 and 2011 in the FIVB World Grand Prix tournament. She was named MVP at the tournament in 2011. In the 2012 summer olympics, the USA volleyball team won the silver medal with Destinee Hooker leading as there leading killer and she was ranked second overall in the tournament.

I look up to all of the girls on the team. Many volleyball players are inspired and drivin to get as far as they did. I couldn’t imagine having the talent they have and the hard work they have puttin in to get on the USA team. They deserve a lot more credit then what they get. They are Hollywood stars in every way possible. Where is there red carpet?

Destinee Hooker Summer Olympics 2012

Destinee Hooker Summer Olympics 2012

Classics

Talk about a throwback thursday!

Talk about a throwback thursday!

This was me back in 7th grade! The classic look of high socks, puffy knee pads, and shorts instead of spandex! Volleyball really has not been around very long. These past couple of years it has grown and changed so much. I remember if you did not wear high socks when you were playing, you were not “cool.” Fashion was a big deal for me when I started playing. I wanted to fit in with everyone and I wanted to be just like my older sisters!! They told me exactly what to wear when something new was in style. Ribbon became a huge thing, and tye-dyed socks! The knee pads were so puffy and big that they were more like shin guards on my tiny knees!
Every team had to be matching too. We all begged our mom’s to buy us the coolest socks that would magically make us better than the other team. Man, were we silly!
I miss these days. The classics will never be forgotten! Soon what I wear now will be a classic. So scary! Can we just stop growing up please!
P.S. we won that game in the picture 🙂

Privacy

The Amanda Show

The Amanda Show

This is one of my favorite childhood shows, “The Amanda Show.” I posted this picture because I want to talk about the grils room (which is my favorite skit from the show)!! The girls locker room is a private place. A lot of deep talks, weird stuff, and dance offs go down in the locker room. No boys, we do not just have naked pillow fights like you all dream it would be. Locker room talk is actually very important. This year is was a lot of venting which can be a good thing to get it all out. We also had many dance offs and jam sessions to get us pumped up for the game! To say the least, it was always a lot of fun on game days. Privacy in the locker room is actually important to us. We do not like when others take things out of our drawer or try and use our lotion. If you tell everyone you do not care then it is totally fine to do whatever, but if you kindly tell others you do not want them in your locker then out of respect you need to STAY OUT. That is not being a very good teammate disrupting peoples privacy. I do not mind if people need to borrow something, as long as they return it! A couple girls in the past have put pad-locks on their lockers which is smart if you have valuable stuff in there! So privacy is important to some people. As you get into college you meet new people and they expect different things. Be respectful 🙂

Fame is the Game

The newspapers and headlines can get to a lot of girls heads. Too me, this is a good thing. Growing up in a small town you were easily famous. Everyone knew about the high school game you played the night before and was cheering you on all the way to the end. When I had family friends and high school alumni come up to me around town and say, “good game last night,” it made me feel like a million dollars. I loved making my family and town proud by representing our school in front of the state of Iowa.
This brought me so much confidence. Hearing all of those people talk and the newspaper headlines I felt the fame! I had the most confidence in my life when I was playing in high school in front of all the people I grew up with. Coming to college things were different. Being so far away from home I didn’t have the family support I use to have. I would get texts and phone calls, but not having them there was not the same. So my confidence dropped. I felt lost my first year. I spent that entire year finding new ways to build confidence and believe I was good enough to play on that court. I created my new self; a new player. The fame is back. Except this time, it is from me! I built my fame. I told myself I was not going to let anyone tell me I am not good enough. I have dedicated almost all of my life playing this game and I won’t waste this opportunity!
Fame can bring you a lot of accomplishment. That is what we are all reaching for in this game. To be famous, and to be remembered!

Challenge

I have ran into a challenge these past couple of days. The coaches have recently cut a player from the team and we have had 2 people quit. We are losing a lot of players which is making our team feel small and not the same. Change is always hard and adjusting to this decision that the coaches have made is hard for a lot of us to understand.
It is a challenge knowing what to do in my situation. Having a sister as a assistant coach takes its toles sometimes! Definitely in these situations it is hard to know what I could or should say to her. The team is going to have their questions about the coaches, but I feel my role is to make the coaches and players come together more. I want communication this upcoming year to be one of our biggest focuses. If we tell each other our problems they will get fixed, instead of letting them build up and make the team chemistry worse. I want everyone to mesh. I want all of us to be a family and be together on what we are doing here.
The challenge is actually doing it. I am going to lead by example and show how this program should be and act. The spring season is coming up and this is the perfect opportunity to show the coaches and my teammates what I mean when I say things will be different. Not that our season ended horribly, but I know we can do so much more to be successful. Bring on the challenge!!

Video

A Song with Meaning

Our photographer did a great job last year making this highlight video at the end of our season! Everytime I hear the song “Some Nights” I instantly get excited and pumped to play volleyball. I listened to this song on the way to games this year, and it never failed to give me the chills. It is crazy how a song can bring back so many memories and put instant pictures in your head. Once a Bearcat Always a Bearcat.

Underappreciated

Begin a parent of a volleyball player can be a stressful and time-consuming job. Driving us every weekend in high school to club volleyball tournments during the winter and summer is a lot of work. Not to mention week night games during season. They do so much for us and sacrafice a lot for us to play. I did not realize all they do till I got to college and they were not there anymore. Man, do I miss them!
They support me through everything and are always there to help me through situations. My mom is my favorite person to vent to. She knows everything to say since I am her third little volleyball player to come through the family. Momma always knows best. I can not tell you enough how much they are underappreciated. They deserve all my medals just as much as I do!
I appreciate everything you do for me!! Love you guys ❤

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Meeting New People

After the thanksgiving holiday it really hit what I am truely thankful for. I have met so many people through volleyball and Northwest and without coming here, I would not be the same person I am today.
The Volleyball world is so small. I have played on so many teams throughout my career and have loved the people I met through those experiences. I continue to see previous teammates throughtout college and I feel so happy to be able to see a piece of my past come back into my life. Even though I might be playing against my previous teammate, I still wish them the best and still love catching up with them.
Making new friends makes this college experience even more special. Having a team to hang out with when you know no one your first year is a blessing! A teammate is a relationship like none other. Knowing someone has your back, on and off the court, is very comforting. I trust every single one of my teammates and will have their backs on anything. I have made lifelong friends from not only volleyball, but every sport I have played. On the court, field, or track is where a lot of great friendsips have started. I am so blessed to be this lucky!

Volleyball 2013

My second family and lifelong friends ❤