Imagine all your dreams coming true the day you blow out the candles to your birthday cake. Sounds crazy, but it is possible. This week was a mysterious week, the weekend has been jammed with excitement including my thirtieth birthday, my late fathers birthday, my week long tryouts that concluded with a championship with that team. Then to take the cake, I was offered a job to play ball for the 2011-2012 season with FC Schüttorf.09 from Niedersachsen.
After an introduction from the staff the guys were all given numbered shirts. 100% cotton these suckers acted as sponges in this humidity filled gym. The summer sun pounded through the windows of the gymnasium making the intensive workouts all the more harder to deal with. It was a freak show of top athletes all playing their A games, we have guys doing all sorts of pregame rituals and taking their vitamins, eating a bite or two of some fruit, drinking an energy drink or gel, all something to fuel them while they stretched and listened to the staff talk about the selection process.
I don’t really remember much after that except a warm up. My mind was so fucused, so ready, I just remember wanting to perform. Everything outside went black i had a tunnel vision for the ball and the game.
Then the whistle blew, I took my first jump serve, I’ll never forget the moment it all started. That is when I count it as the beginning. My first jump serve of the day, to start and we were off. Passing and serving, I don’t remember much other than i had a huge smile on my face, and thinking ok it is now time, all your hard work sacrifice and dedication is here within you and you have no excuses but to try your best. That is all you can give. You can do this because you believe in yourself and you can achieve anything as long as you keep your faith strong and believe that it is meant to be. No stress just play and the flood gates opened with volleyball.
Sooner or later, those who win are those who think they can.
– Richard Bach
I’ve been asked a few times if I am ready for European volleyball tryouts and if I’m euro fit? I’m not really sure about the term “Euro Fit” part but I may be able to just give my own personal stats and how I feel right now in August of 2011.
So to answer that question I think you could have many answers depending on who you are talking to. For me I think it has a lot to do with both mind and matter. Mostly something a player named Billy Allen told me back in 2001 from my first years of college at California State University, Northridge, He would say when times were tough “Mind over matter, matters most”
So the Mind and the matter: I am 6’6.5″ / just over 2 meters tall and currently weighing 205 lbs. I feel that I am in the best shape of my life, I feel lean, clean and a programmed machine ready to take on tryouts. In the past year I’ve taken on a new diet plan that has prepared me for a healthier life. At the age of 29, going on the BIG 30 in early September 2011, I have striven to be the healthiest that I have ever been in my life. This including from when I was 18 years old all the way through college athletics and beyond. This year has been a sacred year for me to focus, I hope that the next couple years I’ll be able to peak out my conditioning and really turn up the heat. Current status:
- Age 29.
- Height 6’6.5
- Weight 205lbs
- Standing Jump 33”
- Step Jump 36”
- Standing Reach 8’2”
I have my dates set for a try out to play professional volleyball in Europe. Hopefully I’ll get selected by one of the European leagues as an opposite hitter for a 2011-2012 season. If not then I’ll travel the world a little bit. But hopefully the goal is to be picked up by any team in any country. We will see how the process goes.
Although I had been planning to tryout to play volleyball overseas for some time now, I felt the day came to tell my family. I had them over for dinner. As we sat around chatting about life and discussing what was next for all of us, it was my turn…”Well guys,” I said, “I’ve made some plans. I’m hiring an agent and I’m going on tour in Italy to try to get a job playing volleyball with a team in Europe.”
The room was silent. An ice cube melted and moved position in my moms glass. I could hear the fan circling the air…It was a moment of silence. But they all had smiles on their faces?… I have a pretty darn supportive family but I was waiting for something sooner than they let onto.Then I said, “I’ve made the commitment. I’m going the start of August. I’m not just talking about it this time. I’m really going to make it happen.”
My brother said something, then the others spoke out shocked but excited. WOW! Smiles filled the room with joy. Then of course all the questions rolled out, and we spent the next hours talking about the opportunities and risks in the future.