The Journey to Sand



              Recently I was given the opportunity to try out for the England Sand Volleyball team. I have always been intrigued by the strength, ball control, and different set of knowledge skills required to play, but I have never really tested how my indoor skills would translate onto the sand. I have made a few attempts in Miami but I have never taken it seriously as a possible route for my future in sports. This summer I decided to try out because I knew, being an outside hitter, that I had a lot of qualities that I could use on the sand, and I wanted to see if a more rigorous beach training program could open up other opportunities for me
            The first week was rough. Running on sand is no easy task. Sand requires you to use your energy more efficiently; it is a lot harder to make sporadic dives towards the ball. Even when attempting to jump for a spike I find myself surprised at how low I get over the net and I am unable to hit at some of the sharper angles I usually do indoors. As difficult as it may be, the experience is helping me to grow as an all around athlete, utilizing different muscles and skills in a variety of ways.
            What I find most exciting about sand volleyball is the fact that there are two people working together to achieve one goal. Unlike indoors, there is no coach directing your every move, pulling you out if you are having a bad game, or yelling at you if you make a mistake on the sideline. Instead, the only people you can rely on during a game are yourself and your partner. With this in mind, there is a different mental aspect to the game that I have never had to really deal with before. There is more responsibility on the players to make changes when things aren’t going well, and there is no one to fall back on or hide behind. Instead you must confront each problem, and overcome adversity head on. This new mental aspect of the game will hopefully allow me to make different gains on my game, and take more leadership on and off the court.
            This week I found out some amazing news, I made the England Beach Volleyball team. Now, as I continue to train and work harder week by week, I'm looking forward to seeing if and how this will take me in exciting new directions and hopefully future successes

"I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass." - Maya Angelou