Landed in beautiful Minnesota! Quite a bumpy ride our last 20 minutes in from Chicago, but I made it! Jacqueline Napper, a libero from Kentucky, was also on my flight, so it was nice to rendezvous with a fellow teammate at the airport.
Our 2 hour night session was an intro to the USA program in the gym, followed by a team meeting to cover policy and the schedule for the training. Practice consisted of round robin tournaments spread across 3 courts, each person playing with everyone and against everyone twice (there’s a numerical system created to accomplish this).
The team meeting involved several coaches, Mike Hebert included, talking about the “National Team Mentality.” Mike actually worked with my team back at OSU during last preseason, pushing us to focus on playing the game as a whole instead of focusing on individual positions and specializations. He emphasized that the mentally toughest athletes that commit to a purpose bigger than themselves, keeping their eye on a bigger prize, work their butts off to get into that national team gym. It’s a process that takes years of development, thousands of reps, hours in the gym, late nights analyzing film, and expanding one’s opportunities into the unknown to develop into an adverse athlete at the highest level.
About 8 hours of sleep, and I’ll be back to the grind!
-view in the window seat, just before landing