Huntington Beach AVP 2014

Decided to give the Huntington Beach AVP Qualifier a go here in final event for the 2014 season. My second consecutive year trying to qualify this tournament. This year we came up short. Played our first round against a local California team that was more than beatable, but we ended up beating up ourselves. Being up 20-18 in the first was very promising. But losing 25-27 was not the way we wanted to finish. We had plenty of opportunities to win that game obviously, but never really took advantage of it. After that mental struggle we ended up getting slaughtered the next game 14-21.

Other than the fact that it didn’t go so well. I have come to a conclusion and that conclusion is that I am always learning, winning, losing, getting destroyed, having mental struggles, being up by 5 then losing, being down 5 then winning. This game is so random and I need to be able to control what goes on my side much better than I have been.

On the bright side, I am very happy to have had the opportunity to play in 4 AVP events so far. Huntington Beach 2k13, 2k14, Salt Lake City, and the Manhattan Beach AVP. At the beginning of this year, I never expected to get that chance to play in all of those tournaments. The AVP is truly a classy tour, they have an incredible staff that takes care of their players.

Now I have 1 more event this season which will be on October 4th and that will be in San Diego, California. I am very excited to be finishing off this season with a great partner, Jake Rosener aka: “TheBodyByJake” on Instagram. This season has been an exhausting one mentally and physically. I think my body needs a break from being so competitive and serious for a little while. Following the next blog post with results on the San Diego Invitational tournament I will be giving a salute to Summer 2k14 including my off season goals to be much more prepared for next season.

I know for being a 19 year old, I am incredibly lucky to have had the chance to travel and play as much as I have. I hope this will all help me out in my future matches.

Thanks to those who read this, you’re the true MVP.

Signing out,

 

Christian Honer

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42nd Annual Motherload in Aspen Colorado 2014

My second experience in Aspen was a bit different this time. I was planning on playing with Ryan Townsend, but he was injured and last minute found my friend Garrett Roberts. We came into this tournament with the 28th seed. Last year I played in this tournament and had a great time and obviously wanted to come back.

First match was against a New Mexico player and Colorado dude. This was not the best showing for us. We were kind of warming up. We ended up winning the match in 3. 21-16. 19-21 and 24-22 in the third. It was back and fourth on siding out and was a battle I am very glad we won.

Next match was against the Champions of the 2014 Motherload tournament: Skylar Del Sol and Cody Kessel. Two good friends of mine. We were with them in the first thing and ended up being up 13-12 in the first then slowly stopped siding out. I’m glad I can say we were ahead of the champions and it wasn’t even 1-0. So after our first loss we played two matches in the losers bracket to 25 and this was against 2 Texas teams. We won 25-18 in the first match. Then finished 25-14 in the next one.

Our last match of the tournament was against good friends of mine as well; Bobby Jones and Jeff Samuels. We had a very slow start to this match. I got frustrated with a few sets and my head went mental. Didn’t play my normal style, didn’t look the same out on the court. I have so much to learn about this game and it begins with the mental side. I’ve always thought I had a strong mental game until this match.

Now going ahead, I have a local tournament in Arizona then I’m off to the AVP Huntington Beach then playing in the fabulous Pacific Beach Fest tournament in San Diego on October 4th.

See you on the sand,

Christian Honer

PS: Thanks to San Antonio Wedding Photographers for the great photos from this tournament!

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AVP Manhattan Open Qualifier 2014

Most of you know, this is the grand daddy of all tournaments or as some say the “wimbledon” of beach volleyball. The winners get their name on the Manhattan Pier. It’s kind of a big deal. This was my first year playing in the event. We ended taking the #13 seed. We got such a good seed because of the AVP Next events in Arizona.

Our first match was on stadium court which was pretty neat. It was against a good friend of my Jake (who I played with in the HP Championships) and his partner was another U21 kid. We ended up losing the first game 19-21 Drew and I were very disappointed in ourselves. We were not playing our game whatsoever. We then talked about what we need to do in between games and started the second game a little better. Still struggling a bit but we ended up winning 21-14. After two games we finally got it together and played OUR game and won the third game 15-5.

We finally felt on track, our next game was against a pretty tall team. I was pretty confident going into it. We ended up losing in two 21-14, 21-14. They were just too tall. They had a foot on us.

I had a great time watching the rest of the weekend and I’m very glad we didn’t lose our first, that would’ve been frustrating.

After this weekend I felt like I should move back to Arizona, I haven’t been making much money and I haven’t been getting in the gym like I said I was going to 1million times.

In order to get to the next level in this game, I need to be eating right and working out regularly. So I have made the decision on moving back home to Arizona with my family and focus on working on getting sponsors, business ideas, working out and making a plan on how I will stay out in California next summer.

Thanks for reading and thanks for all the support,

 

Christian Honer

 

Breckenridge, CO 2014

Had the opportunity to play in another Colorado tournament. The 2nd out of 3 this year. The Colorado tournaments are close to my favorite ones. The weather is always so nice, the people are great, and it’s always in a beautiful venue.

 

I played with Drew Winterstein. We ended up getting the 8 seed. We played our first round on Saturday bright and early and won in two, then waited around for our second round and won in two. Then we made it to the point where we had to play the #1 seeded team that won this tournament last year. It was a Chicago team. They were a solid all around team. We ended up losing in 3. After beating them the first game they got really pumped up and started talking a lot of trash which also included a lot of heckling from their Chicago friends as well. So after playing Saturday, we finished 2-1 which put us in 9th place.

 

Sunday morning bright and early we arrived to the courts and won our first two matches to get us to the 5th place keeping in mind if we won this match we would make it to the crossover. They were a very solid team and we ended up beating them in 2. Which put us in our first crossover for an out of town tournament if I remember correctly. We then had to play the #1 seeded team from Chicago again. We ended up playing very poorly and lost in 2. But there was a lot less heckling which was nice.

 

It was a bittersweet finish of 3rd place. I was very stoked to have finished 3rd but also frustrated cause I know we could’ve done better. But looking back, the different was they had a 6ft 10in blocker who was gnarly at the net. That’s something the two of us don’t have. We’re both just about 6ft or even under 6ft. Having someone at the net blocking makes a big difference.

 

So I am trying to determine whether or not I wanna move back to Arizona and focus on getting in better shape then coming back next Summer or just staying out for good. Tough decision for me.

 

Next up we are playing in the Manhattan AVP event this coming weekend then I’m back out to the beautiful mountains in Colorado for the Motherload. Lots ahead, lots to work on. Couldn’t be more excited.

 

Thanks for reading. See you on the sand.

 

Christian Honer

AVP Next Tournament Aug 2nd

Well folks, I’m so frustrated right now I thought I’d post a blog post about today’s tournament. Today was the last tournament of the AVP Next Series. Drove out to Arizona last night to play today. Found out with our finishes we’d have to win the tournament in order to win the trip, big $$, etc. So that sort of put some pressure on us you could say. But that definitely wasn’t the deal breaker.

So we began today playing Tyson and Marcus in which we won in two. Everything felt smooth. Next game we play was against a really good team Nate/Steve. Before that game we beat them twice and they’ve beat us once in the series. So we ended up going to 3 winning which was sweet. Next we played Gregg/Brian and ended up winning in 3 I was feeling really good about everything we were siding out well everything was smooth yet again.

After the first few points in the final game I started feeling the cramping coming. Never fun. So throughout this whole first game I was cramping in my legs. 2nd game began started cramping further up my legs and started to get me in the abs/back area. Playing through it was rough. We ended up somehow pulling out the second game 21-19. We made it to the third game. I was thinking to myself “15 points”. I thought we had it we went up 9-6 and in transition I went up to block then totally fell on the ground completely cramped out. We called an injury timeout and started 1 man serve receive so all I had to was set. We went through and ended up going up 14-11 then I made a few mistakes and we finished at 16-14.

This was a super frustrating finish for me. I planned on winning this and I felt like I hydrated extremely well and ate very well the day before. But I must have missed out on today, I didn’t eat any real food today other than a protein shake and a banana.

My take away:

Figure out what I need to do to stop cramping. Not sure exactly what that looks like but I need to figure it out. More fluids? Better food?

Things to work on:

Continue to work on my vision.

Continue getting in the gym.

Be more aggressive.

Work on pulling the right way.

Live and learn I guess. There’s a lot ahead. This Thursday is the AVP Salt Lake City Qualifier, Saturday & Sunday will be a Men’s open in Breckenridge, Colorado. Then the following weekend is the Manhattan Beach AVP Qualifier.

Lots to look forward to, trying not to dwell on it too much.

See you on the sand,

Christian Honer

USAV Beach U21 HP Championships 2014

Howdy! Welcome back to my blog. Again it has been awhile since I’ve posted here. But that’s okay right? Right… It’s my blog and I do what I want.

First things first I want to share how great of an opportunity it was to play on the U21 National Team. It was quite an experience getting the coaching and consistent training week in and week out. I am very thankful for this summer with USA Beach Volleyball. I sure hope I get the chance to do it all over next year and hopefully work hard enough to travel!

So this year the USAV Beach HP Championships for my division (U21’s) were in Long Beach, California during the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam event which was a good ‘ole time. My partner for this tournament was Jake T. from Huntington Beach, California. I was stoked to get the opportunity to play in this tournament. There were only a few cons like the sand was extremely shallow and hot because of it.

We started pool play on Wednesday and won all 3 matches including the team that won the tournament and a Canadian national team. I was super stoked going into the second day and might’ve had a bit of overconfidence which is never good. So our first match of the day we win pretty handily then we were onto the semi finals and played a team that was on our training team and definitely didn’t have our best game. But we also had a ref who literally had to be on their side the entire game. Nothing could go our way. Balls that we hit in she called out, balls they hit out she called in, etc. It was extremely frustrating. I couldn’t understand what was going through her mind. Oh well, I definitely learned I can’t let those stupid referees get in my head.

So after losing the semi-final match and getting very frustrated we played for 3rd place and ended up pooping the bed and losing that one by 2. This was a very frustrating tournament for me and I learned how I struggle playing with people my age, because most of them don’t approach the game or see the game the way I do. For some reason I’ve matured mentally/emotionally vs physically (sadly, sorry ladies).

For now,

Christian Honer

 

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Cincinnati NVL 2014

Hey guys! It’s been awhile since I wrote a blog post.

This past weekend I made a trip out to Mason, Ohio for The NVL Midwest Championship which was at the Beach Waterpark. I was very impressed with the venue, it was pretty awesome to be in the center of a giant waterpark.

Onto the volleyball, we ended up being the #6 seed in the qualifier I believe. Our first match we won in 2 pretty easily. The sand was jumpers sand so I actually could hit a little bit haha. Our second match we struggled to side out and lost in two. I ended up being very frustrated but looking back on it I learned again that I have to prepare much more & work much harder to get to the point where I want to be.

It all comes down to what time I put into the game before a tournament to determine how I do in a tournament and this time I didn’t put in enough time.

On the bright side, AL-B and the rest of the NVL crew was nice enough to let me be the MC for most of the weekend. I had such a good time getting on the microphone and commentating some good pro beach volleyball (obviously after the nerves went away).

Moving forward I am playing in the AVP Next in Scottsdale, Arizona this Saturday and possibly the Zuma open down in Malibu on Sunday. Hoping for a win on Saturday and hoping for a decent finish on Sunday after the drive and the long tournament on Saturday.

Leave some suggestions in the comments on what you’d like me to blog about. Hope you all are doing well 🙂

See you on the sand,

Christian Honer AKA: ChristianVball

 

AVP Next June 28th

Made it back safe down to Arizona for the AVP Next. This is such a sweet opportunity for guys like myself to get to that next level. I won’t go into details find out more about it on the website: AVP.com/AVPNext.

We ended up getting the 2 seed. The #1 seed being Brian Post and Gregg Stoneham. There were only 9 teams in the tournament on the guys side. The competition was good.

Going into it I felt mentally prepared, but not as physically prepared as I wish I would’ve been, I needed more sleep, more workout sessions, etc.

Our first game we won in 2 pretty easily then the next game we went to three. We won the first then were up 17-10 in the second and lost to force a 3rd game. Finally picked it up in the 3rd game and won. The next game we had was against the #3 seed and we also went to 3 in that (I guess we like making it close). The finals were us and the #1 seed. We also went to 3 in that game and won!

So we made it a much longer day than it needed to be. It was need to see the main photographer for the AVP there. Looking forward to seeing more pictures and adding them to this post.

Positives –

  • I felt very good regarding my knees/shoulders. Didn’t have a problem with that
  • Started to wait for the set and keep the ball in front of me
  • More aggressive on my swings/serves
  • Played better defense than normal
  • Blocking was much better – learning to front the hitter and widen my hands

Need to work on –

  • Vision, I still have a lot to learn with that.
  • Aggressive approach – then shoot
  • Reacting more than guessing still
  • Focus on every little thing I do
  • More consistent setting

 

Pic credit: agamephotography.com

 

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King Of The Mountain in Vail Colorado 2014

Hello all, hope all is well!

I decided to take the trip out to Vail, Colorado for the King of The Mountain tournament to play with my friend Bryan Klein. I flew into Denver Friday @ noon and got to the tournament site later that afternoon. I was blown away by how gorgeous the tournament layout was. There was also some snow on the mountains.

After arriving, I found out we got lucky and received the 4th seed. I was super stoked on that especially never playing in this tournament before. Saturday we had our first match and won pretty handily in 2. We then played our second match on Saturday and won again in 2. Later that night, it started getting pretty chilly. We played a team I always enjoy watching. Which was a local team from Colorado. They play the quick offense and it’s quite fun to watch. We lost to 3 to them. Sadly we let the hecklers get in our head and fell apart. I got my hands on some sweet Plastic Clothing. The board shorts I got were sweet!

Sunday we had to ref first game of the day. Sadly that was rough on our sleep. We reffed at like 8:00 a.m. then waited around for our first match of the day. We ended up waiting until about 1 o’clock if I remember correctly. We played our first game and won (let me remind you, it was one game to 25 in the losers bracket). Our second game was against the only California team there which was pretty good. We ended up losing 25-21 which gave us a 7th place finish. I was pretty disappointed with the finish. But it was a fun weekend and I won’t be complaining anytime soon. It was tough going to such a high altitude which totally kept me from jump serving and made me breath heavy after each and every play.

We drove back that night then decided the winner of the tournament would train us that next morning. Training on Monday was exhausting I’ve never had such a good training day. It really made me realize how much harder I need to be working in my training if I want to be the best Beach Volleyball Player I can become. There’s always room for improvement, that’s the lovely thing about this game. Even though it is frustrating not making it to the top.

Things I took away from this weekend.

  • I played left for the first time since last summer,  played better than expected
  • I still need to work on my defense/blocking
  • My mental game still has work to be done
  • I’ll be back in Colorado soon enough
  • There’s nothing more I want than to start training harder
  • I will be a student of this game for the rest of my life

I’ll be adding pictures to this post hopefully soon.

See you on the sand,

Christian Honer

Update June 6th

Hello friends,

First things first, if you didn’t know I have officially received my AAA rating in CBVA which is very exciting. Secondly, I have made the USA Beach Volleyball U21 High Performance team. So I will be training throughout the rest of the summer with the team and get some training from my coach Jose Loiola.

Since my last update I have officially moved into a house in South Torrence so I’m not couch surfing so much anymore (although that was interesting). My plan is to be there for the rest of the summer then find something closer while finding a job. Not much of a plan but it works.

I played in an Arizona EVP Tournament with Drew, we finished 3rd. Wasn’t the best day, but we’re looking to bounce back and battle at the AVP Next in Scottsdale, Arizona which is tomorrow.

The next few weeks are busy. I have the AVP Next tomorrow as I mentioned above. Next weekend I’m playing in Vail, Colorado (June 14th, 15th) with Bryan Klein from New Mexico. Then the following week after that which is June 21st and June 22nd I will be playing with Alex Dale in the Pottstown Rumble in Pennsylvania. After that my plan is to be in California playing in Opens and training as much as possible.

I am also on the lookout for sponsors, so if anyone has an idea of anyone willing. Please let me know. I will use the money for vballs, lines, gym membership, healthy food, tournament fees and much more. It’s not cheap being a Beach Volleyball Player. That’s for sure!

I wanted to take a moment and thank you all for the encouragement and support. It means a lot.

See you on the sand…

Christian Honer

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