If you play sports, you need this app.

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Today’s post ill be reviewing an IOS app that I currently have and use. Its called Technique.

This app is very interesting because there are a couple of important parts to it. First off, its a video recorder that utilizes slow motion to help improve technique in various sports, hence the name. Secondly, its a social networking app! It allows you to post your videos to a community page in which people can comment what you did good, bad, or ugly. It is a really cool app for ANYONE who plays sports. Seriously, the camera allows you to adjust the speed at which the slow motion is taken and you can speed it up or slow it down at your own rate to see what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong.

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Post from user Taigon Worthen (Coach) Modified by me, to show uses of the app.

You can also slow down other peoples videos and draw on them to show more technique DO’s and DONT’s. It is a very interesting app and I highly recommend for ANY sports user out there.

Keep Doing You,

W.P.

 

IT’S A MAJOR AWARD!!!

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FIRST OFF, if you didn’t get the title reference, cmon, what are you doing?! Christmas Story, ya know, the movie with the Leg Lamp?!? NOW MOVING ON lol.

Hello! Recently I have been working on starting up a summer league and it is going well. It starts on May 30 and I have been wanting to give out a prize to the team that has the most amount of wins at the end of the season but I don’t know what to do!!

I thought maybe a pizza party would be cool but thats cliche, although pizza is always delicious. Then I thought maybe a trophy! But one trophy for a whole team of people wouldn’t work out well. THEN I thought maybe I could get my hands on some cheeky medals and do first, second, and third places. So, if you read this could you just please take one minute to comment what the best prize for winning a competition that you have EVER gotten. It can be any competition and I am open to any and ALL suggestions!

Help a brotha out…please 🙂

W.P.

SNOW VOLLEYBALL?!

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So, recently I was looking for something cool that was volleyball related that could gain the interest of a lot of people, whether you liked volleyball or not. And I found something that I never expected, snow volleyball!

Now, what is snow volleyball? Well, obviously, it’s volleyball in the snow! (This takes some dedication and passion for the game 🙂 ) So, I did some more research on snow volleyball to find out more, I just had a few questions. How big is this? Does it have the same rules? And how long has it been going on? So I set off on a journey to find these answers, and I didn’t have to go very far!

To my surprise, snow volleyball has been around for 10 years now! I never would’ve guessed, like for real though, who likes to go out in the snow, and hit a volleyball around while freezing?! Apparently there are a lot of people who do! So much so that the European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) has added the sport to its official calendar! Turns out the sport is getting pretty big now! So big that even some professional volleyball players for indoors and beach volleyball have played at the highest level of play in some pretty huge tournaments!

On February 14, 2018 in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics the CEV and the FIVB (Two of the biggest volleyball federations out there) showcased snow volleyball and it was covered by more than 40 television stations! Not to mention, the sport even has its own official website and many major competitions! I also found that snow volleyball has similar if not exactly the same rules as beach volleyball!

Snow volleyball seems like a lot of fun and the makers of the game seem to have really hit it home with this one. Tournaments are just growing bigger and they have a great setup for players and fans, I would love to go be at one of these tournaments to watch, even if I did freeze my butt off.

Now I just want to know where I can play a game of snow volleyball at! And does anybody want to freeze with me? 🙂

Stay Cool,

W.P.

p.s. did you see what I did there? lol

p.s.s. check out their official site! http://www.snowvolleyball.at/en

 

 

Best Libero in ALL of Japan!!

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Kon’nichiwa! In today’s blog I talk about who is the best Libero in all of Japan for women’s volleyball! It is Saturday after all so its LIBERO LOVE SATURDAY! So let’s dive right in.

Arisa Sato of the women’s Japanese national volleyball league is today’s Libero Love Saturday!

Arisa Sato is a Libero for both the Japanese National Women’s team and also the Club team of Hitachi Rivale. I have watched some gameplay of Arisa’s and personally I feel as if she is the best Libero in all of Japan. Now, here is why. Arisa has great gameplay reaction time, great court vision, and an amazing ability to easily and quickly transition a defensive receive into an offensive point for her team. She has one of the most amazing reaction times that I have seen for a Libero of Olympic Level. That, paired with her ability to see the whole court, who will be hitting the ball, and where the ball is going, and you have a superstar. She sees the hitter before most others which allows her to instantly move into where the ball will be hit and receive it cleanly!

In one particular gameplay that I watched of Arisa’s the ball is served to her team and the setter hits it first, Arisa jumps into it and does a set from behind the 3 meter line. BUT instead of actually setting the ball to a hitter who would spike it home, she just quickly and calmly just tosses it over herself right into the middle of the whole team, who watch it fall to the ground as the opposing Libero dives for it. It was honestly the highest level Libero action I have seen, it seemed almost magical. It seemed as if she almost turned the momentum of the game into their favor right then and there, as if she was stating “Im better, bring it on”.

Her tenacity, along with all of her skills listed earlier, definitely makes her this week’s Libero Love Saturday. So, if you get a chance, go give Arisa Sato some love with a quick twitter follow, of course, everything is in Japanese but luckily Twitter has a translate button. Which is pretty lit.

Jikai Made,

W.P.

p.s.  Arisa is only 5 foot 4 and a half inches tall! Carve your own path!

p.s.s. here is a sweet compilation of all of some of her best moments. The set is in here at 1:43!

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Mainstream Media Volleyball?!?

So today’s blog post is gonna be a short one. I just have a few quick thoughts to get out there and some questions that NEED to be asked. Without further ado, here we goooooo.

FIRST off, why in the world is there no good movies that center around volleyball?! We have movies about baseball, football, track, cross country, EVEN PINGPONG. WHERE ARE THE VOLLEYBALL MOVIES. Sure, there are a few, but those few movies have terrible ratings and time degraded what was left of them into nothing. One thing I do have to say is that the new movie that is coming out (Is out?) looks really good. Its based on a true story about a volleyball team that has to learn to play and live without their team captain who dies in a horrible accident. It looks like a triumphant win in the volleyball movie department and i’m actually dying to see it.

NEXT off, why is volleyball not cast on tv? Okay, some say its because it’s too “girly” of a sport or not fun to watch but personally, have you ever watched a pro baseball game, that is what I call boring. Now, i’m not here to rag on other sports and say volleyball is better but volleyball can be exciting to watch if you know whats going on. So, if people educated themselves even just a little bit about volleyball I bet some people would come to find out that they really like it. Also, volleyball is fun and entertaining to watch. For those of you who think volleyball is a women’s sport, there are professional players who make millions playing volleyball, male and female.

So, that concludes today’s post. It was just a small rant but hey, everyone loves a good rant.

Till next time,

W.P.

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Volleyball League and… a block?

So, I FINALLY was able to play for my volleyball league on Tuesday and lemme tell you, I love playing volleyball in a competitive setting. So today, Im gonna be doing a run down of how the match went and my individual gameplay.

First off, we were versus team 9, Team Cassie. I had spectated this team before and kinda knew how well they play and how they play but when we went up against them yesterday I literally could only remember one person. A kinda short guy who was rather buff and could jump, he stood out as their strongest player and their best spiker, so I tagged him. Of course, leave it to me to try and single out their best player XD. Well, the first set we lost, and I think the score was something like 25-16. Yeah, it was a hard loss BUT, in this league there is like no warm up time so I personally always expect to lose the first match because our team is one to warm up and then do much better. In the first set my individual gameplay was alright, DEFINITELY not what it should’ve been BUT I did block their best player and scored a point off of it, which was really good, not for the point but because I used a blocking technique to do it.

So, this blocking technique is often used in beach volleyball to try and trick the opponent to hit to a certain spot, and then you jump to the spot. So imagine the enemy spiker is coming straight towards you, getting ready to jump up and spike the ball. You (the blocker) line up right in front of his hitting hand (lets just say his right hand) and would normally jump straight up, which works, sometimes. What I did was take a single step to my right (We were on the right-most side of the court right next to the net btw) and get prepared to jump and block if he were to hit right down my out line and barely squeeze the ball in. BUT, I knew he probably wouldn’t hit down the line but I tried to make him  think that that is were I wanted to block. So, I stepped one step to the right, he jumped and THEN, I jumped from my spot up and to the left as far as I could to block the shot. He spiked the ball, the ball firmly hit my full left hand and shot down to their side of the court, giving us a point. Honestly, it was such a good feeling. If my volleyball league wasn’t such a chill, everyone stay calm, type of league I probably would’ve screamed from excitement. AND THEN, to top it off, him and I made eye contact after the point ended and he gave me a high five under the net. It was one of those high fives where you both mutually respect each other now. It was a good feeling. That block was the highlight of my night.

OKAY NOW, moving on, the second set we swapped sides and we kinda realized that the side we were playing on kinda sucked. That was because in the gym we were playing in, there is a softball/baseball net that is attached to the ceiling on one side of the gym, which probably made the height limit for us at like 13 feet, which, in volleyball, is not high…at all. We played the next set good though and we managed to pull out a win 25-17(I think). I spiked a few balls, which was cool. I still was not aware of my form and technique when I went to spike so thats sad because I have nothing to reflect on. Maybe I will start to record my games just so I can rewatch them, I would find that useful and quite enjoyable to be honest. The second set was our best one as a team to be honest, some of our original crew couldn’t make it, so we had a couple of new players on our team that have played in leagues before but never on our team. The second set really went well for us and I felt as if the whole team had a contribution to the win, it felt like it was the match where one of our newbies (Lets call him Thomas for now) really started to get into the match more and took a bigger role in the win and Thomas was tall and he was essential to the win. Atta boy Thomas. 🙂

I forgot to mention that we switched up our rotation for the second set and that helped attribute to our win, mostly because we spread the two girls out on the court better.
Our league has this rule to where a girl must touch the ball if it is hit more than once before going over the net, which honestly, seems kinda sexist and puts some teams at a disadvantage. Mainly because first off, lets be honest, guys have a higher top potential in some sports, volleyball included BUT in the United States, there are definitely more women’s teams in High Schools around the country, and not many men leagues. SO, in turn, women around here definitely have the upper hand and men just have… height, most of the time. So, I personally feel as if there is no reason to have this rule. Also, lets just say a team of 5 girls and 1 man play versus a team of 2 girls and 4 men. Obviously the team with the more girls will have more choices when it comes to combos, because they will never have to worry about the 1 girl touches the ball rule. So, that is my opinion on that rule.

ANYWAYS, back to the games. Long story short we fell in the third set. I attribute this mainly to our poor receiving, which I don’t fully think is just a lack of athleticism or anything like that, more just more room to cover with less people. I also failed to mention that both teams only played the match with only  five people. We played with a three people in front and two in back setup which offers more opportunities for attacks but it makes it harder to receive because two people have to receive pretty much every ball that is served. I also made some relatively big mistakes in the third set, such as jumping into the net one time, which gave them an automatic point. Hey, what can I say, sometimes I just get a bit too excited to try and block!

SO, final scores were,

Set 1: 16-25 LOSS

Set 2: 25-17 WIN

Set 3: 14-25 LOSS

(Give or take a few points but its pretty darn close)

Next week we have a double header (IM SO STOKED) so I will have an even longer post about how they went.

Till next time,

W.P.

Setter… Monday?

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OKAY yes, I didn’t post yesterday, I got distracted by many MANY missed episodes of Grey’s Anatomy (Who knew it could be so good?)….and it was supposed to be Setter Sunday but… maybe i’ll just change it to Setter Monday officially lol.

So today’s Setter Monday goes to…. Jenna Gray.

Jenna Gray is a sophomore setter for Stanford (She must be a genius). No, seriously, Jenna goes to STANFORD. Jenna is a powerhouse, a force to be reckoned with, and a champion.

According to flovolleyball.tv, Jenna is 3rd on the list of 2017’s top 14 setters in NCAA volleyball. They label her as “The unsung hero of the 2016 nation championship Stanford team. Heres what they have to say about 6 foot 1 Jenna Gray,

The unsung hero of the 2016 national championship Stanford team, Jenna Gray became the first freshman to set a team to the national title since Nebraska’s Rachel Holloway in 2006. The 2015 Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year has dished out 511 assists so far in her sophomore season — 11.61 assists per set — good for 11th-best in the country and No. 1 in the Pac-12 Conference. She’s deadly from the service line, too, tallying a conference-high 0.50 aces per set. Oh, and did we mention she threw javelin for the Stanford track team in the fall and earned second-team All-American honors? (FloVolleyball Staff, para 14)

Jenna Gray is only a sophomore so we can expect to see two more wonderful years of play from Jenna and we can only expect her to grow higher in the ranks of best setters in the NCAA because the first two spots were taken up but Senior Kelly Hunter from Nebraska who will be graduated and Junior Samantha Seliger-Swenson from Minnesota. She has some tough competition but I am sure she will go far in the few years to come and who knows, maybe we can see her go pro? Or maybe in the 2020 Olympics? I am already so excited for the next Olympics!4173254827_cf9791c8a6_z

Till Next Time,

W.P.

 

Defeat

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So, volleyball today was cancelled because of weather. I guess thats what happens when you live in Michigan lol. BUT, not to worry because I have another double header in two weeks time. For the time being I refuse to let this be a bland blog post so I wanna talk about defeat.

Defeat by all means is what most people hope to never have. But unfortunately it is one of those things that everyone HAS to have. Us, as a species have to be defeated to grow stronger and to become smarter. With that being said, volleyball is no different.

There will always be someone better than you, smarter than you, stronger than you and there will always be the next opponent. When it comes to defeat no one wants to say “yeah, we lost”. And when it comes to volleyball which can be a very competitive sport, it stings just a little more knowing that there are people better than you. Normally it only stings for the dedicated few who refuse to give up, who want to stand on the top, who love the game so much they never want to lose. Those are the people who have already fallen in love with the game of volleyball. Those are the people who love the view from the top. Others, know that loss is inevitable and don’t give it a second thought when they lose a game, nobody is perfect right? The dedicated and passionate few, know this also, but refuse to let that mindset dim their passion for the game, in fact, it makes them try harder.

Defeat is tricky because sometimes players/teams have become so numb to losing that another loss is just another loss to them. This is dangerous because it can crush a player’s desire to win so much. They become unconfident and shaky because although they may want to win deep down, it can feel as if though they are expected to lose, like it’s in their team’s DNA. If you can imagine, that is a big mood destroyer. Then until the right team comes along to help lift up the other players and show them their desire to win again, they get stuck in a rut.

Teammates are the solution to defeat. If you wanna win, you have to get better and volleyball is a team sport. It is a sport where you can’t hold the ball and the same player can’t hit the ball more than once in a row. So becoming stronger as a team, is how you can win in volleyball; Along with that, teammates who have the same deep down desire to taste victory and want to grow and improve, inspire other teammates and help them get out of that rut. Everybody deserves these teammates.

That concludes my post for today. Hope everyone enjoyed. Sorry Im posting this late!

Byebye,

W.P.

Setter Monday

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Hi everyone, first off, I would like you to know that after this week it will be Setter Sundays and not Mondays but I was a little late to getting to this post because of Easter Sunday, which is the best possible reason to be late on a blog post :).

Today, I had the privilege of asking one of my personal favorite professional volleyball players a few questions! Luckily, he was incredibly cool and agreed to answer them. (Just a small note but I asked him through instagram because I believe it is one of the only sites where you can message just about anyone! So thank you for responding ON Easter Micah! Sorry if I disrupted your day!)

To start, if you don’t now what a setter is, a setter is defined by Merriam-Webster.com as

1: one that sets
I mean, it’s not wrong. 😀 Luckily, Urban Dictionary has a slightly better defintion,
a volleyball player that can distribute the ball with effectiveness. While at the same time making the other teams block look stupid. This is done by being still in the air while playing the ball.
There we go, that definition is a little better. Urban Dictionary makes me laugh every time 😀 Basically a setter is the control tower of the game. They touch the ball most in a game and they set up plays with the hitters. They have many different options when it comes to making a play and gaining a point and one of their big objectives is to try and get the ball to a hitter without any blockers in the path. This is a tough position and you should do your best to remain cool, calm, and collected which Micah is very good at in my opinion.
Today’s Setter Monday appreciation post goes out to Micah Christenson. Christenson sports the #11 which is my favorite jersey number and the number I had when I played basketball for a couple of years 🙂 . So…OH man, where to start?! Christenson was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. Another Hawaiian Native just like Erik Shoji. He began playing volleyball in 2005 on the club team Asics Quicksilver. Christenson was a star volleyball and basketball player for his school in Honolulu, where he went on to graduate in 2011. He went on to play volleyball at the University of Southern California and it was from here that he became a starter on the U/S/ Junior National team. From there Christenson was called up to the Senior National Team for the NORCECA Championship in 2013. U.S.A. got a gold medal in that tournament. After that I believe he gained three more gold medals and two bronze medals on the National Mens Senior Team. He also has gained several other medals while on his Italian team. He is the youngest starting setter to ever compete for the U.S. on a national team for both junior level and senior level. (I wish I would’ve had my life this figured out when I was 20 lol) He is currently playing on the Italian team Cucine Lube Civitanova
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micah_Christenson

As you can see Micah Christenson is an amazing volleyball player and luckily I got to ask him some questions about being a setter! I was beyond excited when he replied back to my message and agreed to answer!

Q: So first off, as a setter, how do you feel you can set and/or change the pace of the game?

Micah: Pace of the game in my opinion is dictated more so between points rather than during play. Getting to serve quickly, or taking your time to slow the pace down. You can dictate a little with controlling the middle of the court with quick/bic, or playing outside in starting with the pins.

Q: Secondly, as someone who has played on several professional teams throughout the world how do you work to sync with all the hitters that you play with? And have you ever run into any barriers that make it hard to adjust?

Micah: In terms of working with hitters it’s just getting a ton of meaningful reps with them as well as communicating as much as possible with them about what they want as well as what you’re comfortable with doing. Finding that happy medium where both of you are comfortable with the set. The hardest barrier was just not being able to communicate well with the language barrier when I first got to Italy. Now it’s much better and everything is fine, but at first it was very hard to communicate precisely what I wanted and what they wanted.

 

Fourth_match_between_Iran_and_The_United_States_national_volleyball_teams_in_2015_FIVB_Volleyball_World_League_(3)
Chirstenson (#11) Setting to Maxwell Holt (#17)                                By Tasnim News Agency, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49272874

 

Again, I would like to thank Micah Christenson for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions and I would like to wish his best of luck in all upcoming games!

 

With that, I am going to conclude this Setter Monday with a montage!

 

Tomorrow I have a double header going on in my own volleyball league so tomorrow’s blog post will be reflecting on that and how it went.

See you tomorrow,

W.P.

Libero Love Saturday

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This is a new segment that I will be starting along with a few others that will be weekly posts and HOPEFULLY I can keep up with the posts because so far, I am really enjoying writing and sharing my knowledge about volleyball that I have accumulated over the past two years. NOW, I definitely still have a lot to learn and hopefully I will learn a lot more about volleyball from future mentors and friends. ALRIGHT, now onto Libero Love Saturday!

So, for those of you who don’t know what a libero is. A libero is defined by…Urban Dictionary (LOL) as

The libero is the best defensive specialist but it is still necessary to attack and set. The libero is always on the court getting serve receives and digs. She/he must be willing to do anything to keep a ballup and must want it passionately to succeed. Libero means free, the libero has unlimited substitutions and wears a different colored jersey. The libero is the toughest position in volleyball.

Erik Shoji,

USA men’s national team member and member of an Italian club. Erik Shoji is considered to be one of the best men libero’s in the world. (Now, first off, I promise that all of my posts about future won’t be about men because lets be real here, women’s volleyball is more prominent in the States, and there are a ton of amazing women volleyball players 🙂 )

Shoji helped lead the USA mens national team to a gold medal at the 2014 World League and 2015 World Cup and even grabbed a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Shoji has a brother who also plays for the USA mens national team, Kawika Shoji is a setter for the team. Both brothers are Hawaiian natives.

Now, everyone knows that players who are tall are just naturally better at volleyball. That is just a fact. But, shorter people who love the sport of volleyball have a way to fight too. For instance, Erik Shoji is only 6 feet tall. Thats three inches shorter than me! Now let’s be real, 6 feet is not “short” by all means but in the sport of volleyball, players exist that are 6’7&up. Now I don’t really want to be a libero in the future (because quite frankly my receiving has always been sub-par :p) so I have to step up my game if I want to keep up with taller and more athletic people. Although, players like Erik Shoji give players of all heights hope that they can play the game they love, at any level of gameplay that they wish, its just about how much effort you put in. Have you ever heard the quote, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” by Tim Notke? That quote directly applies to volleyball in a way that most people don’t think about. In Japan, they use a phrase for shorter people (whether in actual height or in stature) who make a big difference, they call these people, Little Giant. Erik is Little Giant. Shoji is an inspiration to me and should be an inspiration to anybody who loves the game of volleyball but have felt at a disadvantage. There are ways to fight while not being 6 foot 9 inches lol.

The reason I picked Erik Shoji for my very first Libero Love Saturday was not because of his achievements in the wonderful sport of volleyball (Although he has racked up some amazing accomplishments) but because of how inspirational he is, and I wanted people to know how much of a champ Erik Shoji really is. Of course there are other short players in the world but I personally really enjoy Erik’s gameplay and so I felt a duty to write about him. With that being said, that is the end of my first Libero Love Saturday and I hope you all enjoyed and if you ever get the chance…

SHOW ERIK SHOJI SOME LOVE ON THIS WONDERFUL LIBERO LOVE SATURDAY.

Au Revoir,

W.P

p.s. he has a volleyball compilation, check that out :)…

Volleyball - Olympics: Day 16
Picture credits go to Yahoo Sports