Hey Weplayers! Arthur here with a little personal story for the day. For the past two days I have been giving all my energy to volleyball tryouts. I guess I should provide you all with a little background first.
I started playing volleyball back in the summer before 9th grade. I was scared into playing it; by this I mean that at athlete sign up day during orientation, a big scary man with deep dark eyes approached me asking to play volleyball. It's the best decision I could have made. I played for Long Beach Polytechnic High School in California. You may have heard of them in a Sports Illustrated Article that made front page about four years ago. I started at the youngest team in my freshman year, advanced to an undefeated Junior Varsity team my sophomore year, and worked my way onto varsity Junior year. After my junior year I joined a club team, namely one of California's finest Volleyball clubs HighLine. We placed moderately at the Volleyball under 18 Olympic open in 2007 (the year I played) but they won the Gold medal last year. Only then did I realize how important a club team is, the level of play is completely different than at school. You grow quicker as an athlete, player and even a person; not only do you make great friends but one of the most important things about club is the chance of being scouted into a great school. I took my chances after senior year and went to a college with no volleyball program to pursue my dream career, electrical engineering. After 3 years at Cal Poly Pomona, I decided to switch to International Business which brought me back home for a transition year, changing schools and major. I have been playing volleyball for certain intramural teams on and off throughout the years but not at the level of club or definitely not college which brings me back to this blog post.
The level of college sports is so far above and beyond what High School is. Don't worry about that, though, at universities, you are given a year to grow into the team. I am trying out for the Men's volleyball team at my local college. They were the California State Champs last year. The first day of my tryouts we went through some rigorous routines and competitive play in the gym. Hearts were going at full cardio speed for 30 minutes at a time before we got our water breaks. To add to this, today we ran over to the Football stadium to run the bleachers. We did something called snakes (you run up a staircase, cross over, go down, cross over run up another, repeat until you reach the end of the bleachers) four times followed by relay races up the bleachers four times. Two people couldn't hold down their breakfast and I remember my vision blurring on the last sprint. I am sore all over.
The experience is totally worth it, friends, organized sport and great competition evolves from all this hard work. If you don't give it your all you won't be able to compete as high a level as possible. There's always the notion going home after practice or after a game, that you really tried your best and no matter what outcome, it could not have gone any better. If you try your hardest, people will notice, your athletic game will change and you will find yourself falling in love with the sport all over again.
Shannon will be joining me tomorrow for support because it's the last day of try outs. We have a full three hours in the gym for competitive play. I finished my protein drink and it's time to prepare body and mind for tomorrow.
Keep on Weplayin'