Toronto is 1 year away from the biggest sporting event it will have hosted!!!
The PanAm games will bring 10,000 athletes to the GTA next summer in what can be described at the Olympics of North & South America.
I participated in 2 PanAm Games in Caracas in 1983 and Indianapolis in 1987. Many of the top volleyball teams in the world come from the PanAM countries.... Brazil, Cuba, Dominican, Mexico, Argentina and of course our men's and women's team from Canada... both in beach and indoor volleyball.
I strongly urge any young athletes to get involved as a volunteer for these Games... the experience will be one of a lifetime!!... If you can't get into volleyball, try for the many other volunteer positions available... even a dancer in the opening ceremonies!!.. You will never forget it.
It has been 30 years since I participated in the Panam Games and the memories and friendships are still lasting.
I will be at the Countdown at Nathan Phillips Square Friday July 11. You can find me at the sitting volleyball demo at 5:30 and the meet & greet afterwards... please stop and say hello....
If you can't get down tomorrow, on Sunday, Markham will be hosting a street festival from 2-8pm.
CLICK here for the link...
hope to see you with your Canadian colours on!!
The Art of Coaching Clinic in Toronto was a great event with over 220 coaches from grade school to college attending. Russ Rose (Penn State), John Dunning (Stanford) and Terry Liskevych (USA coach while I was playing) brought their vast knowledge of experience to a receptive crowd.
Along with Kristine Drakich (UofT), Dave Preston (Mac), Brenda Willis (Queens), I was brought in to be a guest presenter. Naturally I talked about setting - basics for one session and advanced for the afternoon session. I had a lot of fun doing it and am very grateful for the experience.
If you had a chance to attend, I would love to hear your feedback of the clinic and if you didn't attend you can see the session at the Art of Coaching website. The website is a great resource for all your volleyball needs - from practice planning, to skills, to the mental part of the game from experts from all levels, even including our Canadian team coaches.
I just want to update you on some clinics that I will be involved with this upcoming spring & summer. I will be updating as they become confirmed.
I am currently booking sessions for April. So if your team needs some pointers and some mental prep for the upcoming provincials & nationals, please contact me and we can make arrangements.. Please note at this time I do not have gym access, so I would need to be hosted at your facility.
May 31-Jun 2 York University - The Art of Coaching Volleyball
This is for coaches to learn from some of the best in coaching women.
Aug 4 -8 Humber College, Toronto - Volleyball Position Camp
I will be heading up the setting position. Please click on link above for more details.
Olympia Sports Camp -One day guest coach
I'm not sure if I have written about my opening ceremonies memory yet, but as I was enthralled with watching the Sochi Olympics ceremonies...all the wonderful, out of body experiences come flooding back to me...
As I go visit young athletes and share my story with them, I tell them it all started with a dream. It goes like this:
"when I was 13 and watching the 1976 Montreal Olympics opening ceremonies, I was so moved to the core that I said to myself -
"by the time I am 25 I will walk in the Olympic opening ceremonies and I will travel the world"
Since the the 1968 games, I have watched every Olympics games...my dad always watched and I just was hooked - at 6yrs old!!. who knew how my story would unfold?
I thought that THE COOLEST thing in the world was to march in for your country wearing the brilliant red Maple Leaf on your uniform. Of course, I had no idea then how one actually gets to be in the walk-in, let alone the Olympics. I had not even started playing volleyball at that time.
As the years progressed, I improved in volleyball, made the national team, then we qualified for the 1984 Los Angeles Games. My goodness, in 8 years I was going to fulfil my dream of the Opening Ceremonies Walk-In!
Being at the Olympics is a surreal experience, on one hand it is a volleyball tournament on the other hand it is a once in a lifetime experience.
As athletes, we try to get a good sleep the night before, may have a practice the morning of, then prepare in the afternoon for the big walk. We put on our official opening ceremony uniforms (must admit the Canadian gear has much improved since my day), new shoes (not a good idea) and hop on the bus from the athletes village to the stadium. Hundreds of buses are shuttling the athletes in glorious colour to await the "walk-in".
I am sure that each individual, especially if it being the first Olympics, are excited and realizing that the dreams of their youth were about to come to fruition. The energy in the air is electric!!!
First comes the waiting....and waiting.....and waiting... athletes are usually brought in near the end of the ceremonies and watch on giant screens in the smaller stadium next door for their time to shine for up to 4 hours!!!. In Atlanta it was so hot - our long sleeved outfits did not take into account the heat of the day - we were melting....
As the holding stadium starts clearing slowly of the athletes by alphabetical order (in the US games Canada was always near the front), we hear over the loudspeaker ""Canada""- which means get up, exit this stadium, wait outside, line up 8 across - women in front, men behind.... and wait
now we have to run a good 1/2 mile to get to the entrance of the official stadium.
STOP & ReGROUP...
Go! Go! Go!...they have called us over the loudspeaker to enter...
well, no more lines of 8 across.....we have become a long train... so Canadian...
now the thrill of a lifetime unfolds....
walk thru the tunnel....dark, dark...
BRILLIANT SUNLIGHT, LOUD CHEER, SENSORY OVERLOAD...
How can the brain take in all this new information in a matter of seconds:
the roar of 100,000+ plus people screaming for you
the site of 100,000+ sets of eyes happy to see you
the act of walking when your body is floating 2' off the ground
the goosebumps on top of goosebumps on top of hair standing on end
the lump in your throat and the tears in your eyes as you realize
"THIS IS IT" Dream come to Life!
To this day, as I watch the Sochi Olympics... the goosebumps come back, the lump returns and my heart swells with pride as another group of young athletes experience the thrill of their lifetime... and it takes me back to my thrill... forever engraved in my soul!!!!
GO CANADA GO!!!!!
VERY PROUD OF ALL THESE ATHLETES!
Will you be there in 2016, 2018??
Someone needs to fill these spots...
Why Not YOU????
As we head into another New Year with our list of wishes, hopes and dreams for the magical change over of the clock, I find that sometimes my list has been the same year after year after year.
Do you feel the same?
My mother always quoted a Slovenian saying which roughly translates to:
"Time is Ticking...Saying Nothing"
As I sit for the next few days contemplating 2013 and my goals for 2014..I wonder what I will come up with. Having had a lot of "big dreams" in my life already met, what can I come up with for the next year??
I am currently spending the winter in Costa Rica with it's beautiful beaches, so that is a big dream that came to fruition this year.
I am already planning summer camps that I will attending.... maybe partner up with someone and have my own???
Healthwise... I will continue to be "fab at 50"... gotta get back on track a little better physically wise now that I am eating much more healthier...
for those of you that have reading through my 10 Day Celebrity Transformation posts and if any part resonated with you or if it is a major challenge for you... why not do it anyway? Make this the year you take back your health...
For my young athletes out there, this is the perfect time for you to establish good eating habits.
How much better will you perform if you have the proper nutrients in you?
You will train better, be more energetic and probably stay healthier as well. In this day of competitive sport, you need any competitive (legal) edge you can get.
Do you think your competitors are leading same lifestyle as you? If they are then it is natural skill vs natural skill.. If they aren't, now you have the edge.
Sport is a game of inches... the difference between match point with serve ace or serve out can be one banana!!
Do you think the professional and Olympic athletes are eating cupcakes, chips and a coke??
nope... greens, quinoa and juicing is on their plates!!
How you fuel your body the day before, the morning of, and during your tournaments all matter in how you will perform on the court.
Mind. Body. Spirit.
all 3 need to be functioning at peak form for you to fulfil those dreams you have on your Vision boards (if you don't have one yet make that your New Year's Day project)!!!
Pan Am Games in Toronto 2015
Olympic Games in Rio 2016
FIVB Beach Youth Championships 2014
these are all there for you... someone has it on their dream board, do you? someone has to play in them...why not you??
if not Now, then When....
tick, tick, tick, tick........
Wishing you many Blessings and the happiest of New Years!! May Health, Happiness, and Joy fill 2014...
PS.. I have a few PURIUM $50 gift cards to give away that expire Dec 31/13... so it is not to late to get one and start the New Year in transformation. Send me a message and I will send you a number. Make it a family resolution to get healthy.
Mom & Dad out there, you are the example for your kids in what they eat and drink... shop & cook healthy.. if you don't have time to take care of the health of you and your kids....who will?? if not Now, then when???
Take the Million Mom Movement PLEDGE
Merry Christmas to all the hardworking teams, players and coaches!!!.. I found a great article to share with you today. It is from one of the greatest indoor/beach players to play the game. I was fortunate enough to see Karch Kiraly from the USA team win 2 of his 3 Olympic Gold Medals.. Indoor in Los Angeles in 84..where he was a machine on serve receive.. and on the beach in Atlanta in 96.
The following article from his blog is great advice for all age groups. Karch was known as one of the hardest working PRACTICE players in volleyball. His work ethic in practice made everyone around him better.
I didn't know that in 84 at my first Olympics but I sure learned that during my 96 stint as I started off being the second setter. I made sure that I worked hard on the second squad to raise the level of the second 6 to make the starting 6 raise their game!!!
And as you can see by the picture...he was a goal maker!!
How hard do you work in practice?
Are you making your teammates better by making yourself better?
How much time do you spend perfecting your skill instead of making the same effort every time??
What have you declared to the world??
Please read and reread Karch's tips... these points will make you a better player and teammate!!
good luck as your season vamps up...
KARCH KIRALY'S Top 10 Things Learned From Playing in the Olympics
Originally published in VolleyballUSA, Summer 2012 issue.
"Back when I was still playing professionally on the beach, I compiled a list for DiG magazine of things I’d learned in more than three decades in the game. The idea was to share information that had inspired me in training sessions and been useful to me in the competitive arena. I happened to re-read the list recently, and it struck me that many of the tips might be beneficial for volleyball players at all levels, from soon-to-be Olympians to teenagers preparing for summer beach tournaments or indoor seasons in the coming school year.
Here are 10 of my favorites. I hope they help you as much as they helped me.
1. Take great pride in being prepared. Looking back, I can honestly say I did everything in my power to be at my best for the Olympics – and for most every match I played. On the indoor team, we trained or competed around 50 weeks a year, and we traveled up to 200 days a year, searching out the best competition. In a single day of training – between practice and jump training – we jumped almost twice the height of the Empire State Building. And in the years leading up to the beach gold medal that I won with Kent Steffes at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, we both had our own year-round training, strength, conditioning and flexibility programs, played over 25 tournaments per year, and sometimes trained through rain when there wasn’t another soul on the beach.
2. You and your teammates don’t all have to be best friends. There were times when members of our 1984 Olympic Games gold-medal team could be livid with each other, but we were always united in our effort to medal. Don’t dwell on petty differences or disagreements. Focus on the common goal.
3. Make your opponents beat you. Keep the ball in play. Too many errors will kill you, whether it’s at the Olympics or in a junior club match. A key for me in all three of our gold medals was “just good” – making good play after good play, forcing teams to play great to beat us. If they do, hats off to them. But there’s nothing worse than the feeling of knowing you could have won if it weren’t for the errors and free points you gave away.
4. Let sleeping dogs alone. Don’t provoke your opponents with smack talk. The Cuban Men’s team was a very strong and very dangerous team. However, they were notorious for yelling and screaming under the net, which only made us want to beat them that much more.
5. There’s nothing prettier than a beautiful passing platform guiding the ball to a perfect pass. One of the keys to our Olympic indoor success in the 1980s was our ability to consistently deliver perfect passes to the setter. In 1984, Aldis Berzins and I were the two primary passers, and in 1988 Bob Ctvrtlik and I handled the passing. Because we won the serve-receive battle, we would win the side-out battle, and that pressure caused most of our opponents to fold.
6. Serve in on match point. Eric Sato was one of our utility players in Seoul, and he won several matches for us by serving a good – but not overpowering – jump-spin serve, including the Olympic Games gold-medal point versus the Soviet Union.
7. “If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.” This is a quote from Marv Dunphy, the longtime coach of the Pepperdine men’s team and our Olympic indoor coach for the 1988 gold medal. When you think about it, this makes perfect sense. If you’re satisfied staying at the same level, you’re getting worse because players who are working hard to improve their games are getting better. So relative to those around you, you’re losing ground if you’re not getting better. No matter how good you are, don’t be satisfied. The better you get, the harder it is to improve, but greatness comes when you challenge yourself.
8. “Practice like it’s competition and compete like it’s another day on the practice court.” I’m not sure who said this, but I tried to live it throughout my volleyball career. If you take the court knowing you have competed full throttle at every practice, it gives you the confidence to perform when it counts most. That might be the Olympics. Or it might be your biggest high school match of the season.
9. Help your teammates play better – make ’em look like stars – and it doesn’t matter how well you play, you’ll all succeed. Remember, it’s not about me, it’s about us. Winning matches takes a team effort, and if you do everything in your power to lift the games of those around you, the payoff will be better than if you focus only on your individual accomplishments.
10.“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” Thomas Paine, 1776. In each of the three Olympics I played in, there were nail-biting moments that tested our resolve to the limit. But those are the memories I cherish most. Plus, if it were easy, everyone would have an Olympic Games gold medal, and the accomplishment would mean nothing. Facing difficult obstacles makes you stronger, and it doesn’t have to be in the Olympics. It may be playing your rival in a club match or working hard to crack the starting lineup. Whatever it is, you should tackle it head on. That way you’ll have no regrets, no matter the outcome."
Which points are you going to work on?
Please leave a comment... when you right out your intentions there is more commitment to it and better chance of it coming to fruition!!
as you start a fresh new season of indoor volleyball!!!
Camps are over, clinics are done, teams have been chosen...NOW is the time to put all the things that you learned over the summer to practice, practice, practice!!
I want to say that I had a great time this summer getting back into teaching, motivating and inspiring the next generation of volleyball players. I have given them a mission...
PLEASE SOMEONE TAKE THE MANTLE FROM ME FOR BEING THE ONLY INDOOR VOLLEYBALL FEMALE FROM ONTARIO TO PLAY IN THE OLYMPICS!!! I NEED SOME COMPANY!!!
WRITE it down. SAY it outload. RE-AFFIRM daily.
Make your DREAMS BIG!!!
The 15-19year olds out there now are the next group to be playing in the PAN AM GAMES in TORONTO in a few short years and qualify for RIO in 2016...
Taking a look at rosters around the world, there are many phenoms in their teens that make the national & Olympic teams.
WHY NOT YOU???????
Go For It!!!!
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!!
Find some quotes as some of my students have done on my website or on the web. Print them up, better yet, YOU WRITE them out... make them colourful, add pictures... VISUALIZE DAILY!!!
There are many times to practice OUTSIDE of the gym.. The gym is where you put your physical body through the motions of what you have rehearsed in your mind many times over & over & over.
Follow blogs on other top athletes in any sport... the mental game is all the same!!
Have fun, play hard and have the TIME OF YOUR LIFE!!
Men are playing this weekend again at the Hersey Centre. Friday and Saturday night at 7PM.. Kids under 12 free!!
Canada vs Korea.
I will be at Friday night's game,
Hope to see you there,
Exciting Men's International Volleyball is coming to Toronto this weekend..
Did you get your ticket yet?
Ticketmaster is selling them as they are playing at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga.
I know that when I played it was always great to play in front of a home crowd. They are playing Portugal this weekend, so let's make sure TEAM CANADA FANS outcheer the visiting team and their fans.
If you have not seen Olympic Level Volleyball Live yet...do yourself a favour and come down for the games. The guys will impress you and it will INSPIRE any young players out there.
Coaches this is a great opportunity for your kids to see what volleyball lies ahead in their futures.. Like young hockey players can watch NHL on tv, this is your chance to show them what the top level looks like....
Hope to see you there on Friday night!!
Visit www.volleyball.ca for more details & information.
Hi, just wanted to update you all on how the "10 Day Transformation" continues into June!!!
It has been 2 weeks since completing the 10 Day Cleanse and I am so happy to let you know that the weight is still off..my summer clothes are not-so tight and I even went shopping for a new bathing suit and not having to look at the "jiggly jello" around the waist!!!
All of my group that has completed it have all adapted a healthier eating habits!! We are eating REAL FOOD, no preservatives, no pre-packaged goods, no SUGAR!! which is the biggest surprise considering that was most of our downfall before.
With our great results, I have another group of 5 from Western Canada to the USA starting their "kickstart" to a healthier summer. Some are doing it because of health, wanting to improve sleep or lack of, a couple of others with 50 around the corner know they need to do something.
This program does change your metabolism.. kicks it back to the way you should be eating.
There is a lot of great information on the YouTube search for:
Purium Health Products
David Sandoval - the founder of Purium
Jamie Olivers - Food Revolution
Follow me on Facebook as I repost a lot of interesting recipes..
I am now eating more greens, I take the L.O.V.E Supermeal as a meal replacement when I am on the go. I take the Apothe-Cherry Concentrate to have deeper sleeps.
You have got nothing to lose but weight itself...
There are great products for the active athlete...all natural, no worry about drug-testing, no caffeine, no GMO's ...all
Do your own Research and if your gut says "just do it"...email me for a $50 gift card towards your first purchase.
If you want to make some extra money, just do what I am doing and share your story. We have made over $500 in our first month (so products were essentially paid for by sharing my story with my friends and with YOU my followers!!
Keeping it Healthy
As many thoughts of volleyball & my many days of playing come up for me these days, I thought I would share some insights with young & old players, coaches alike!!