Quotes from a Club National Champion
Curious as to how to succeed at a high level, end of the year tournament like Nationals, AAU’s or the Summer Soiree? We are too! I asked some of club volleyball’s most successful athletes about their experiences with winning a National Championship. What did it take? How did they get there? What was the key? Here you have it…from the pro’s themselves:
“When playing at Nationals, it is important to focus on the task at hand, which is competing with your teammates and having fun. It is easy to get lost in the hype of ‘Nationals’ and easy to get lost in recruitment. Try to stay focused on the game, one point at a time.”
“Winning a National Championship takes heart, passion, motivation, determination, anything that encompasses that burning fire inside that you feel when you want something terribly bad. But in volleyball, winning a championship truly comes down to teamwork. How hard are you and your team going to work in order to achieve that collective goal? What sacrifices will you make? How hard will you push to maximize potential?”
“For me, winning a Club National Championship was about working towards the same goal every day and having the confidence to know we could achieve that goal. Early in that club season, our coach pushed us to reach beyond “being good” and only settle for “being the best.” It was decided our team goal would be to win JO’s. So, every day that goal was in the back of my head. And every practice, game and tournament, I worked my butt off alongside my teammates until we were confident and really believed that the goal could become a reality.”
“For my entire club career, which started at the young age of eight years old, my goal was to win a National Championship with my team. I can still remember the day this finally happened as if it were yesterday. In 2009 my team won the Junior Olympics, 17 Open Division in Miami. After three/four long days of matches against tough opponents, we finally got the ultimate reward of having those gold medals placed around our necks.
In my opinion, the way to win a National Championship is ALL in the training and preparation leading up to it. This means practicing hard every time you are in the gym, playing every match as if it were the National Championship game, visualizing your team winning, etc. Preparation is everything. The more you prepare to win, the more likely you are to make this a reality for yourself. Once that time comes, you will never forget that feeling of accomplishment and pure happiness… the feeling of winning (trust me, that feeling never gets old).”
“Winning a National Championship was all about team chemistry. We were never the biggest or the best team in the gym, but we played big. We knew our strengths and weaknesses and used those to our advantage!”
“There are so many key components that play into winning a championship. One that I firmly believe in is team chemistry because you learn to lean on each other in the most crucial situations. The concept of playing for each other is so important because volleyball is a team sport, not individual.”
“I think our team had so much success because we were all focused on the same goal and we all played a different role in achieving that goal…whether it was being the player to hit the game winning kill or the player on the sideline who was always ready to sub in. We each had to make sacrifices most kids don’t want to in order to put our team first and it was all worth it in the end!”
I think it is safe to say that these studs have no regrets in the way that they prepared for and competed at Nationals. Best of luck to all in these next few weeks!