What’d We Learn: Bergamo


Getting subbed out sucks, but it happens. It’s a part of the game and it’s a part of team sports. Our 3-1 W against Bergamo was a collective TEAM win that proved that. Just about every one of our team members got a chance to get on the floor and contribute to beating a really strong Bergamo squad. I was subbed out during the beginning of the second set and didn’t get back on the floor until the fourth. It wasn’t my best game and it certainly won’t be the last time I feel like I could’ve played better, but win or lose, start or not, there’s always something to take away from a game. So here’s what we learned.


One, mentally prepping for an away match is JUST as important as mentally prepping for a home match, but the process may look a lot different. The way that I prepare for a home game probably won’t be the same as prepping for an away game because soooo many factors are different. I need to be able to find a comfortable routine on the road though because a match is a match and I need to have my mind right! Finding my match day mental routine for away games is a new goal I’m setting for myself. Just a few key things I can stick to on game day that will get my brain locked in on the game. I’m starting with: review the scouting report, listen to my game day go-to song, and elevate my feet on a wall for 5 min just before we leave. Hopefully building this routine will help me feel more mentally awake, aware, and ready to go on game day!

Secondly, I learned that I really need to work on pressing my hands over the net on high balls. I have a bad habit of reaching up to the ball rather than reaching over. So one of the skills I want to work on in practice this week is pressing my hands THROUGH the plane of the net and holding them there for as long as I can. Honestly, it’s a skill I’ve been trying to perfect since college, some things don’t click as well others. But, I’m not giving up on it! I will conquer this skill someday!!!


So there’s are my two big takeaways from the Bergamo game. If you have any questions about “What We Learned” please feel free to ask or if you’d like to know more about blocking technique and skills feel free to leave a comment! Thanks so much for reading! Saturday we play Cuneo, so tune in next time to see what we’re going to learn next! Byyyyeeeeee!!


Playing with Do’s vs. Playing with Don’ts

The finals in the Women’s Volleyball World Championships were just a few weeks ago. Italy and Serbia were playing each other so a few of my friends and I got together to watch. It was a good game. Both teams fought incredibly hard and played really well. What was most beautiful for me to watch though wasn’t the game itself, but how it was being played. The athletes on both teams were playing so free. They were swinging with confidence and strength. Not with a fear of being blocked or hitting the ball out of bounds or making a mistake. They were playing uninhibited. Free.

Watching that, I thought back to the last time that I had played like that, the last time I had truly played free. I had to sift a few years back and came to the conclusion that the last time I played an entire season like that was my 16’s year of Club at Colorado Juniors. That was the last time I had played without stress or worry. I was just playing the game to play the game.

Now, I’m not saying that I didn’t play ok volleyball from 16’s on. But what it comes down to is, at a certain point it’s impossible for play like that to happen. Eventually when you play at higher level, there’s a need for active engagement that by nature comes with some worry/stress. When you know you have to be ready in this rotation for “X” or when you see that this team is blocking “Y”, you have to worry about things in order to be successful. That being said it’s the way you worry about them that’s key.

You can do so in one of two ways.

One, you can look at the things you need to worry about and say, “I can’t hit into the block” or “I don’t want to serve out” or “What if I hurt myself again?” But, that causes you to dwell on the issue. When you think like that you actively bring negativity to mind and that’s all you can think about. When you think in negatives, your psyche, your physical body, the way you play becomes negatives. Your brain is now filled with can’ts, nopes, fears, worries, stressors, don’ts, pain, and mistakes. It’s no longer, “Let’s do this!” It’s, “Dear god don’t let me mess up.”

BUTTTTTTT (and this is a big butt) When you can shift your mind to thinking with power, that’s where greatness lies. Now, I’m not just talking about thinking with the opposite of negatives, i.e. thinking with positives. No, no I mean thinking with POWER. Where you are so confident there’s no room for those negatives. Where you know you’ve done everything you can to prepare so there’s no chance you’ll do it wrong. Where the idea of can’t or don’t doesn’t even make sense. Here you play with the beauty of true confidence. Here there is freedom.

When you use phrases like: “I’m going to hit the CONFETTI* out of this ball.” Or “I’m gonna blow her DERRIERE* up on this serve” or “Hit right at me!” you play freer (freer? more free? The freest?) and then before you know it there’s no need to be thinking in the first place. Because once you get out of the need to think at all, beyond that it’s just play. That’s what we’re all striving for. That’s what we really want. That sweet spot in the game where it’s just play. So, make it easier on yourself and start your games with power. Play with more than just positives. Play with more than just confidence. Play with the thought that you are Samuel L. Jackson from the incredible 1990’s classic film Pulp Fiction. Then, finally, just play.

^^^This applies to all aspects of life as well.
Don’t limit yourself with negatives.
Find ways to bring power into your thoughts on the daily and see how it can positively impact your everyday life.


* Please note that some words have been altered for the viewership of the younger reader and also my grandma.

One More Day

Last week during my first ever home game in Bresica I felt a sharp shooting pain in my knee. It was similar to the knee pain I had had last year around this time right before I partially ruptured my meniscus. My leg was giving out, there was a pain in the back of my knee, and I could barely put any pressure on it.

After the game I took a few days off and on Monday I saw the doctor. That morning was one of the most stressful tear-filled mornings I’ve ever had. I was sure that I had torn my meniscus again. Not a lot, but just enough that I would need to get surgery… again.
I was ready to pack up my apartment and move back to the states for surgery number 3. Just thinking about having to do all of that drags me down.

I was dejected, so sure that this was over before it had even begun. In that moment, there was no light at the end of the tunnel. Even thinking back on it now tears at my insides. Because here’s the thing, surgery number 3 is tough to come back from. At that point is it even worth it? Why keep going? I write this still afraid that when I try to play again, because I haven’t yet, I’ll realize that maybe this is it. I’m just not meant to play professional volleyball. This isn’t the path I’m meant to be on.

Nevertheless, after thinking about all this today I came to a realization. There’s a very good chance that every day I am here might just be my last. I have terrible terrible God awful knees and if something goes wrong with them again, which is likely, it might be time for me to hang this all up. Now that doesn’t mean if I get injured I won’t fight to come back, because maybe in that moment I’ll realize it’s worth it. But there will always be a part of me that considers if that’s really true. I am biomechanically designed to not be an athlete. My bones and ligaments and tendons literally wear away when I walk, let alone play, because of how terrible my knees are. I am not built for this kind of lifestyle.

That being said, I am so blessed.

The realization that I came too wasn’t a negative one. In fact, this realization was a beautiful epiphany. I’m not lamenting about how terribly I’m built, I’m celebrating every chance and opportunity I’ve had and will have to play this game. Every day that I get to play the game I love is a blessing and I need to treat it as such. Every opportunity, every play, every moment that I get to be on the court could be my last. The odds are pretty stacked against me. So, I don’t, I won’t, I can’t take any day for granted because every day that I get to play this game is like an added bonus. Any chance I get to impact someone’s life because of this game is even more amazing! I play because I love the game, but I’m blessed to be able to play.

I’m not sure what the future holds for me. But I know that, right now, I’m right where I’m supposed to be. So, even though the future is unpredictable, and it can change in the blink of an eye I’m just blessed for the opportunities I have had and looking forward to what’s in store.


***To any future coaches or people that may want to hire me to play for them… I do exercises to strengthen my knees, wear inserts, work really hard, and don’t plan on giving up my career so easily. Please don’t take this as a negative review on my character or body…. ***
Lmao at me sabotaging my career….. good stuff!

“Challenge Accepted”

In my last blog post I mentioned how I wanted to write more. I said something along the lines of wanting to post a new blog every two weeks. Low and behold I failed to follow up on that. I posted that one blog and then, once again, was gone with the wind.

I’ve decided if I’m really going to write every day as much as I want to, I need to challenge myself. Stephen King recommends if you want to be a writer that you should read and write for 4-6 hours a day. Unfortunately I don’t have 4-6 hours a day to read and write, but I do have enough time for a minimum of 500 words. So, everyday I will write a 500 word piece. Then, once a week I will post one of my 500 word “challenges”. The topics will vary and be on whatever prominent thought I have at the time. Not only will this be a fun exploration on my ability to follow up on something, but it will also be a fun trek into the nooks and crannies of my mind (woof, good luck readers).


I’m actually 9 days in already (I know, I know, hold your applause). I just came up with the idea to post the challenges once a week. Before when I wrote the first draft of this blog, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to do the challenge. So, I waited to post. But now, here I am 9 days in! I’ve had some pretty good posts too!! There’s one called Transitions which is about big life changes. Then there’s another one about being a Black female philosopher which dives into the world of intersectional philosophic study. There’s also one called “Top 10 Worst Places to NOT Wear a Bra”so you can tell the topics vary a lot. But ya know, and this one of Russel’s and my favorite quotes, variety is the spice of life.

I’ve posted this weeks selection for the challenge on my blog already. If you haven’t checked it out, give it a look! If there are any other topic ideas you have for me or things you want to hear about from my life, let me know! I’d be happy to use that as inspiration for a post as well.



*not my photo (url: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/83/fb/08/83fb08035bffc32b78e9e160bf1f90b1A)