Tips on how to become a professional player.
I’ve been approached multiple times in the past year with the same questions. How did you do it? How did you get to where you are now? I’ve compiled a few tips from own experience and some other pros on tour to help you with your journey of becoming a professional volleyball player. ENJOY!
MY #1 TIP
ENJOY YOUR JOURNEY AND DON’T COMPARE - Looking back at my journey I'm starting to realize how my puzzle was being put together. The timing, “the why’s” and “the how comes” were all being answered. In the beginning, my puzzle was a scattered mess, pieces everywhere! The border was made, but the centerpieces were slowly being put together. At the time I only saw the finished puzzle. In my head that was the end result. A perfectly put together puzzle with no pieces missing... But how do I get there? When is the end of my journey? What do I do after my puzzle is built? Slowly understanding that my puzzle will never be finished. I started to be OK the fact that my puzzle was being put together at a different pace. It wasn't like all the other puzzles out there. It is unique. Strategically placing my pieces, I let God takeover my puzzle. (read more about enjoying the process. Nov 23)
HOW DO YOU SUPPORT YOURSELF? WHAT DO YOU DO FOR WORK? That is the number one question I always get from the up and coming.
I was never a 9-5 girl. I enjoy making my own schedule and having flexibility. I didn't want to be like everyone else. I saw how unhappy 9-5 workers would be and I refused to live like that. If you're not money driven, you can make things work. Money was never a focus for me. I made enough to survive but I never took a job that I absolutely hated, because I always choose happiness over money. Examples of a few flexible jobs: babysitting, nannying, house sit, dog sit, personal assisting, organizing and paperwork, and of course coaching.
Before I moved to California, I owned my own coaching business so coaching was always my #1 priority. Every chance I had to coach I would make it happen. Every time I traveled I would make it a point to either play volleyball, or coach so I had an opportunity to get my trip paid for while still competing.
TIP #3 - KATIE SPEILER
“The biggest thing that helped me is to see from experience. That putting my head down and working hard really does pay off in the end. I’ve just worked hard because I want to be my best and in the end, if there is recognition for any accomplishments that’s just a bonus, but not part of my goals”
AWESOME words from Katie. If I were you, I would reread that 3 times because that could not be said any better. Thank you Katie!
JUST PLAY - Play as much as you can. Practice against different people and play in tournaments. Sign up for tournaments. Get your name out there. Play against all types of players and see different situations that can happen on the court. Get exposure and experience. Network with other players. GET YOUR BUTT KICKED and be ok with it!
FIND SPONSORSHIPS - finding a sponsor will make your road a lot easier. I understand that it's difficult to ask for things, (I still have a hard time doing it) but most people want to see other people succeed!! People want to be part of your success. The worst someone could say is ‘NO’ right? Talk about your journey and your goals. People are listening!
TIP #6 - BILLY ALLEN
COMMIT - “Invest in yourself and train as if you’re already a professional. A lot of people dip their toes in to see if it’s right for them. You’re not going to get results that way, it’s too competitive to only be half-committed. When I started out, I only went to a couple local events a summer to save money, and people passed me by. It took committing to travel to every event and training with a partner just as serious as I was before I made the jump to the main draw.”
Great tip from Billy. Think about this, if you got a brand new job, would you just dip your toes in and decide to come into work a few times a week? If you’re going to do something, do it 100% and go all in. Thank you Billy!
TIP #7 - KELLEY LARSEN
SELF MOTIVATE- “I would say be very self-motivated and be very disciplined if you want to get to the pro level. No one is telling you when to practice, where to lift, how to recover, or what your diet should be etc…being self-disciplined in all areas is super important.” Kelley is completely correct. You don’t have a boss telling you how to live your volleyball career. You are your own boss. How bad do you want this? Thank you Kelley!
BUILD YOUR TEAM - You can’t do this journey on your own, you need support from other people. Build the team that’s going to help you along your journey. Who’s going to help you with sources that you can’t provide? Ex: coach, partner, recovery, phycology, workouts, product sponsors. Etc.
TIP #9- Nicolette Martin
”Roll with the punches, there’s going to be super high highs and very low lows. You just have to take everything and LEARN from everything. Just keep trucking along! Also network network, network, talk to the platers talk to the avp staff, talk to the fans, you never know who you’re going to meet through all the amazing people in this sport!” I cannot agree more with Nicolette’s words. I have me some really fabulous people along my journey thus far. Thanks Nic!
TIS THE SEASON FOR GIVING!!
If you found this helpful. Share the latest post from Sandboxvolleyball in your Instagram story. (make sure to tag Kerri and Sandbox_volleyball) Make sure to tag a friend that could benefit from this blog. You will be put into a drawing for an Xmas giveaway from Me! (US members only) (will be picked on December 26th GOOD LUCK!