Relaxation

The season is over, now it is the time for a little relaxation. As a student athlete it is important for all of us to stay focused with our studies. Having a break allows us to spend some time away from each other, which after seeing each other everyday for 3 months can be a good thing. We are all spending our time studying for those finals! So in the end, we are not doing a lot of relaxation.
Stressing over finals is the worst. We are staying up late, drinking energy drinks, and having coffee for every meal. Hey, that’s college right? We are craming everything in our brains that we were suppose to learn throughout the semester in about 3 days.
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Once we get through finals, christmas break begins! That is when the true relaxation begins. We will be around our family and friends and it is definitely the best time of year. Nothing beats being in a warm house with a hot chocolate in your hand surrounded by your family.
Happy Holidays:)

Aggravation

No team is perfect. We have fights, drama, and disagreements. The relationship between the coaches and players is a very important one. A lot of players or parents have disagreements with the coaches decisions sometimes. The players get frustrated and its hard for them to play well if they don’t agree with what is going on. Frustation can kill a teams chemistry.
This season we had a lot of aggravation towards others which caused us to not perform as a team. It seemed that some lost respect for the coaches decisions and forgot to think about what was healthy for the team. When this happened the players should have went to the coach to try and fix it instead of bringing negative energy to others and the locker room. These problems can be fixed and should be fixed when they start. Building relationships within in the team is very important. A volleyball team is like chain, each link has to be together in order to continue to move forward. If one link is out of place or not connected it will effect the entire team.
We are continuing to work on this problem. We are having meetings and talks to help understand the relationship we need to have with the coaches and each other. I know we will find a way to grow better as a volleyball team. Wish us luck 🙂

End of the Season

The season is winding down. As it comes to the end of season, this is the time we should be at our best and most focused. At this time of year, we have worked so hard and need to continue to keep working hard to reaching our goal. Anything can happen now and this is what we have been waiting for all season.
It is 2 hours before game time. The gym is clear, empty, with a single net set up and ball carts on the side. I have my headphones in and I am focused on what we need to do. Its post-season playoffs. We have studied this team for about a week. Practiced every system we have to beat them. Now its do or die. This is the game we all have to be perfect. This team is taller, talented, and has the best record in the conference. We come in as under-dogs. We have been the under-dogs all year which is a role we feel comfortable in now. This is feeling is one of my favorite feelings as a player. I find challenges like these fun because we can go out and surprise so many people.
We played and tried our best. University of Central Missouri beat us for the third time this year. Everything must come to an end.
The end to every season is sad. We had two great seniors that will be missed next year! I will never play with the exact same team again. However, I know we will bring in more great girls and the younger girls will continue to get better and step up each post-season workout or spring practice.
I would just like to thank all the coaches and girls for what they have done for the team and me this season
Go bearcats!

Secrets

The only secret I have about volleyball is that I use to hate it. When I was about 12 my two older sisters always drilled me about playing and wouldn’t take no for an answer. Being forced in to it, made me not like the sport and not try. I use to think basketball was my favorite sport! Around 8th grade is when I really started growing in volleyball and not playing basketball as much. I kept improving and improving at volleyabll and found the drive to get better so much fun! I started playing club and meeting new people and had a blast. Dont get me wrong, I still liked basketball but when I am playing volleyball I feel a lot greater then when I was playing basketball.
I love playing volleyball, but many players like me do not love it all the time. Volleyball can be a love/hate relationship. This is all okay. You do not have to love it all the time. The thing that is important out of all of this, is keep playing. The love for the game will come back if you keep working hard.
I do not have a lot of secrets on this sport, if you have anything you would like to know please comment:)

Break

After season a lot of players feel relief. It is weird to have free time after 4 months of playing 6 times a week. During the spring and summer though we do not play everyday, we are not completely off season. We continue to workout and try to get stronger to improve our game. Spring and summer is when we work on individual skills and improve our strengths. We focus on a lot of technical skills instead of team skills like during the season. We workout with Joe 3 times a week and have open gyms and skill practices 2-3 times a week. During the spring we also play in 4 tournaments in April. We go to compete and put our technical practice to work.
Not being in season does not mean we are not getting better. Break is the time to get better when other teams might not be working as hard as you. This time shows who is going to work hard all time instead of only when they want to.
After season is a great time to re-evaluate goals and plan goals for the next season or spring season. It is a good time to look back and see what you need to work on as an individual and as a team. It puts focus on the drive to get better during the off season and puts a drive to get into the gym on our own.
Having a break is nice, but not playing games and just doing drills all the time can get repeatative. I like competing in games and tournaments so spring season is exciting for me.

Prize Possession

The feeling of being lost, scared, and empty happens to most teenagers when they lost their cell phones. This generation is so caught up in technology and easy access downloading that without it we feel scared. Sadly, I am one of those people. I am not scared to admit I am almost in tears when I misplace my phone. Checking twitter, instagram, facebook, and texting is something that is REALLY hard for me to live without. My cell phone is a prized possession of mine, and probably always will be.
I have had a phone since I was freshman in high school. My phone has always been there and without it, I PANIC. The cost of a cell phone is one cause of the mini heart attack I have when I cannot find it. The cost of a cell phone is not cheap and having a loner is a major downgrade. Going from 4G internet to no hand-held internet is so frustrating and inconvenient. My phone basically has my life on it. There are so many pictures and memories I don’t want to forget on it.
Living far from home is another reason I prize my phone so much. Talking to my best friends from home and family is very important to me. I communicate with them almost every day and without that communication I would miss them even more. I am always scared something is going to happen to me and I wont have my phone to tell my parents or call someone to help me. Not having that assurance or communication makes me nervous and scared.
The other night I lost my phone between the coach pillows. I searched my apartment, my car, my friend’s house, and was even tempted to go to HyVee to see if it was there because I was there earlier that day. The only thing on my mind for those 30 minutes was my phone. I honestly had anxiety looking all over for it. This may be sad to adults. I know my mom and dad just shake there head when they see me on my phone all the time, but it has become part of my life and I enjoy catching up with friends even though I am not with them. Going away to college has made my phone even more important because of the connections at home.
I am sure I am not the only one with their cell phone as a prized possession. This piece of technology is very important to many college and high school students.

How do u feel without your phone? How long have you had a cell phone?

Winning the Lottery

This story takes a good twist when it first mentions she didn’t start modeling by getting recruited, but by winning the “genetic lottery.” Her job description is to show up looking tall with a 23 inch waist. What bothered her about being a model is the fact it is based only on her looks. She wants to make an impact on people. How can being a model make a difference in life?

The genetics of a person has everything to do with a model. Modeling chooses you and your body. I do not think modeling would be easy though. There is a great amount of pressure to be perfect and make the clothing look good. The industry is very competitive and harsh. If they think your skin is not the right skin tone or your legs are too short then you will be not asked to do the photo-shoot.

Cameron Russell, the model, is having a hard time with this interview. What is she suppose to say? It is hard to put “showing up looking beautiful because I have good genes” in a postive manner. She is using her talent in the right way though. If you are gifted it would be useless not to do anything about it. Her story is very sucessful. Graduating from Columbia Unviersity would not be easy and she has accomplished a great goal. Plus, Cameron was only going to school on the side. She is a hard worker and is doing whatever she can to help out and make a difference.

Perspective

I am almost touching the floor, the ball is set to the outside and I quickly transition to line up directly with my hitters arm. I read the play, the ball is hit hard and down to my left. I push every muscle in my body to get my arms below the ball and make the dig. The ball is up high in the middle of the court and is set to kill. Bearcats win the point.
That feeling is one of the best feelings I experience in volleyball. Because of me, my teammates got the kill and scored the point. Backrow players (defensive specialist) do not get the glory or the amazing stats like hitters do. We make our own fame and bring energy when there is a big play. Giving a perspective is the act of giving the right impression of height, weight, depth, and position in relation to each other when viewed in a specific point. My point of view in volleyball is low to ground and deep in the back court. I see everything in front of me which makes it my job to communicate with the hitters. Visualizing plays and seeing myself in the backrow gets my blood flowing and eager to play. I sometimes look at the game as “don’t let the ball touch the ground.” A simple childhood game we all used to play with a balloon can be turned into an intense competitive game of volleyball. It’s all about how you look at the game and opportunity. If you play better with the game simple, like me, then keep it simple. Focus on one point at a time and the wins WILL come. Finding out what kind of player you are will help you view the game in your way and not let the opponent make you feel uncomfortable. You control the game and the view of it.

Biography

My biography subject is my sister, Alana Wittenburg. She is also my assistant coach here at Northwest. I chose to write about her because she is the hardest worker I know. Every day she helps me get better and she helps the team succeed. She has a lot of experience in volleyball. Alana got a full ride to Drake University, in Des Moines, Iowa. Her senior year she was 2nd in the nation in D1 for digs.
This link is an article on Alana and her success at drake, Alana Wittenburg

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She is one of my biggest role models. We never really got to grow up together because she was away for college when I did all my growing up. So being together now has been really great.

Referees are blind

“Your BLIND, your DEAF, so go and be a REF.” This is a common chant for the crowd.
During our previous game, not a lot of calls went our way. The line judges made a bad call and it affected our attitudes. We let the call frustrate us and we were unable to score. We may have thought it was injustice, but that is something we can not control. Letting that get to us, caused us to lose to ourselves over one call. Many referees have the pressure of the players and spectators to worry about. They are never perfect. As a player, bad calls are very frustrating. Especially if they seem like they continue to happen.

Is this all injustice? Some reports in the past have stated that refs were payed to blow the game. These reports are injustice. Having a bad call in a game is to be expected and out of our control, that is not injustice. Leave the arguing to the coaches about the call. Do not lose your head, and stay focused to control the controlables.