Hello friends! For this next post I thought I’d share what a typical week, a typical day is like for me. I have come to find that many people think that getting the opportunity to play professionally overseas is like a 9 month vacation period. Some people tend to think that because we get to live and travel abroad we must get to see so many things and adventure everyday! If you are one of the people that think that, let me help set the record straight. I have a full time job; some of the days are more than a full time job.
I fully understand where the misconceptions come from! Believe me; I know that I have an amazing job in amazing places! I am getting to play a sport that I love for my job. I get to live abroad for my job. I do get opportunities to visit some amazing things on my off days because of where my job takes me. I really do get to live the life as a professional athlete. Now, we definitely enjoy our work and I hope that you all do to at your jobs. I think we should all have jobs that we love to do or that inspire us to improve. Sometimes, I know it’s about paying the bills, but wouldn’t you rather pay the bills while doing something you like to do?
So I chose a job that inspires me to fulfill my dream and that helps me achieve that dream everyday. But on top of having those amazing attributes, as professional athletes, we put more time a day into our jobs than most people do. For us, the work is not only done at the gym (our office). We take our work home with us everyday, and everything we do affects how good we are at our jobs. A typical day is two practices a day. The morning practices will vary between ball practice and the gym. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays we will have weight training, core, joint mobility, flexibility, and vertical workouts. Every afternoon we will have full team practices for 2-2 ½ hours. Doesn’t sound so bad right? 4-5 hours a day in training, but that is just the team training.
To be a professional athlete, your time spent with team training is the bare, very bare minimum you should be doing. So when I tell you we take our work home with us everyday, it’s because we then come home to do more workouts. We do cardio trainings on our own time, we do preventative exercises, we do rehab exercises for aching problems, we do more core and shoulder work than required by coaches. We have to constantly monitor what we eat because our diet needs to be healthy. Its not just about “looking fit” but we have to fuel our bodies properly, because our bodies are the tools we use to do our job. Poorly kept tools break faster. While grabbing pizza and a pop for dinner sounds amazing every night for dinner, it is not helping us get better. But we do get to still enjoy our favorite foods every now and then. Sometimes you just need a good bowl of chocolate ice cream at night curled up with a good movie.
One of the biggest tools professional volleyball players use as well: VIDEO. I cannot stress enough how important watching game video is. I always watch video of the opponent before matches. I watch it on my own, and then our team watches the film together for coach to tell us the game plan for winning. I also always watch video of myself after every match I play. Its really the only way to get a chance to see what you are doing wrong and not just feel it. You can go back and reevaluate why you made certain decisions and how to change it next time that happens in a match. On top of those hours spent watching opponents and re-watching matches, are the hours spent watching national teams play, and watching other top league matches. Where else to learn tricks and tips but to watch it from the best! I try to watch 1-3 matches a week where I break down the game based on what I am trying to improve on. I then take what I learn from this film and try to apply it in our practices.
So overall, there are a lot of hours spent working that most people never get the chance to see. These are the hours where we can either maximize our own talent, or we can waste the time we are given. Being a professional athlete is no easy task, but it is definitely rewarding when you put everything into it. I love this job! And no, I wouldn’t trade it for anything right now. This is just a little preview into what our lives look like! And for mine as well, it includes a lot of coffee shops! Who doesn’t want to sip on a vanilla latte while watching volleyball for a few hours?!
Middle From The Middle