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

 

avp-next-hitting.jpg

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

Long Beach Open

Hello friends,

I have officially completed 2 goals listed on my goals in 2014 super stoked on that!

This is quite the story, which is definitely worth telling. So I was expected to arrive in LA from Harrisburg Pennsylvania at 10pm Saturday evening before the tournament that started on Sunday at 9:00 am. Unfortunately, my flight got delayed so I had to stay in Chicago for the night and sleep for about 2 hours then head back to the airport to fly back and arrive in LA at 8:30 am on Sunday.

I was determined to get to the tournament, I was so stressed the whole flight hoping we wouldn’t get disqualified or forfeit or anything. I ended up showing up around 9:05 am after the 4 hour flight thanks to a buddy Jaren for picking me up at LAX.

I was playing with a buddy Jake from Santa Cruz. I was super stoked to get the chance to ball with him. First game of the day we lost in 3. Rough start to the day for sure, yet we were determined to make it through.

We end up winning several matches in the losers then make it to the 5th place match where the wind started going crazy. We ended up winning in 3 15-12. At the finish of that game I began cramping and was looking for anything to stop the cramping. Sadly thanks to my cramping legs we didn’t make it past the crossover and finished in 3rd. Which I won’t complain about. Although it’s easy to do so.

On Friday I found out I am rated a AAA player in CBVA as well. That was one of my goals this summer along with placing a 5th or better in an open. Luckily, I had a great partner and completed both of those goals in one tournament.

Onto the sand…..

Thanks for reading,

Christian Honer

Sandia Classic 2014

Hello friends!

San Dia is one of my favorite tournaments of the year (http://smvolleyballclassic.com/) . My friend Garrett and I finished in 9th place last year. I teamed up with Drew this year with a goal of finishing 5th or better.

Saturday, we began playing a team from New Mexico. My head wasn’t there. We made it through and won 21-13 and I’m guessing the second game was 21-16. Got served most of this game and just wasn’t there yet or wasn’t awake. Frustrating when you don’t mentally prepare for a match. But these are the situations I get to learn from.

I finally got my focus on point for the next game. It was a team from Colorado I watched play last year and thought very highly of them and still do. They’re two incredible volleyball players. We got past that game in 2 as well. The scores aren’t coming to me right now. There were a few really long rallies in this game. Here’s a video from the final point.

We made it to Andre’ Belov (basically the best jump server in the game) and Dana Camacho. I admire both of their playing styles. This game was the worst serving game of Drew and I’s life. We missed like 6 serves. We ended up losing 21-19 & 24-22. I made a lot of mistakes this game and was very frustrated with myself. But looking back at it, that’s an incredible team and I’m very pleased with the way we competed against them. They finished 2nd in the tournament.

That wraps up Saturday. We watched 3 matches after that. Then it was onward to Sunday. We started playing against Bryan K. (who I’m playing with in vail). I played very poorly I had no energy or focus again and it definitely showed. This was my absolute worst game without a doubt. Just shows how important your focus is. We won 25-23 I believe.

Next match was against these two ripped dudes from Colorado who ran a quick offense (Drew and I also did this game because the wind began). This is another team I really admire and watched play last year. We won 25-20 I believe.

We immediately had to go up to the top courts for a match against Jorge Martinez (my partner from the Hermosa NVL) and Jake Rosener another California AAA player. This was to get into the Crossover. It was a good game that we lost by 2 or 3.

All in all it was a fun weekend. I am extremely pleased with a 5th place comparing to last years 9th. Next year I will have a goal of making the crossover. Improvement is what I’m aiming for. I want to consistently be improving.

What I took away/learned from this tournament:

  • I passed pretty well
  • I set a tad better
  • I felt very well put together with no pain on my shoulders or knees
  • I re-learned that I can play at a high level

What I need to work on after this tournament:

  • REACT REACT REACT – No more guessing
  • Stay true to my line on my block
  • Look at the court every approach
  • Think of the other team as a team keeping you from your goals
  • Hitting higher and making every approach look the exact same

I’m sure I will add more to these lists, but for now that’s all I got. I will try to list these thing after every tournament to help me better myself.

Here are a few pictures and a small video clip from the tournament:

Thanks again Luis Garrido for the shot.

Thanks again Luis Garrido for the shot.

Thanks Luis for the photo!

Thanks Luis for the photo!

Hit against the Colorado team for game point.

Thanks for reading.

See you on the sand,

Christian Honer

Rocky Point 2014

IS that a mustache I see?

IS that a mustache I see?

Rocky Point (yes Mexico)!

If you didn’t go to Rocky Point, you my friend missed out. Rocky Point happens twice a year, it’s a fours tournament. This year 80 teams went total. Only 6 AAA/Open teams though. Showed up Friday and played pick-up for a few hours then figured out where I was gonna stay (a couch, obviously).

The tournament day on Saturday came around. I had such a fun team. Played with Drew, Gregg, and Kristen. Our day was going so well, went 3-0 in pool play, got the first seed, won our first 2 games then played Tom, Richie, Ryan & Michelle in the semi’s and won 21-9 which I don’t think anyone expected. We then waited around for the finals. But before the finals sir Tom Witt or as they call him “the Oracle” made an announcement from his committee to give Drew & I our AAA cards (you will see in the picture below). It meant a lot coming from such a successful volleyball player. So after he distracted us and got us all excited we lost the finals 25-18 or something with NO DOUBLE FINAL. Come on man! Oh well, it was such a good time having a huge crowd watching you play the game you love.

As you can tell, I'm pretty stoked :)

As you can tell, I’m pretty stoked 🙂

2014 Pro-Am

Thanks to AGamePhoto for this photo!

Thanks to AGamePhoto for this photo!

Hello all,

I had the incredible experience of playing in the ProAm this year with Mr. Ryan Doherty. It was a great experience for me to see what it’s like playing with the big boys at a high level. I had some great interaction with the man himself.  I’ve never had such a great experience in a tournament. It was so cool to see such a talented group of players out there on that day. I was lucky to be able to even keep up.

We ended up going 4-0 in pool play which I was extremely pleased about. It was really kind of him to also post something on his Facebook about the day. It was so good to just be out in California that weekend and play in a CBVA the next day in which we finished 3rd!

 ProAm 2014 Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach AVP 2013

The Huntington Beach AVP Championship was my first try at an AVP Qualifier. It was a tough way out of the qualifiers. There were 40+ teams in the bracket when only 4 have the chance to move on to the main draw. First and foremost I wanted to express how well we were treated as players. It was all around a great experience for me. Myself,  my partner Steve and our friend Teal ended up leaving Wednesday night around 7:30p.m. (after I was finished coaching) and the qualifiers began at 9:00 the next morning. So we arrived in Huntington Beach, Calif. around 1:00a.m. if I remember correctly. Headed straight to bed, woke up and went straight to Huntington Beach ended up with the #36 seed. Our first match was against some older folks who still had some game. They were the #30 seed. We ended up winning 21-12, 21-9. After that match, I ended up watching a bunch of friends play which was a lot of fun. We then found out we were playing the #3 seed Brian Bomgren and Tim Bomgren (hey, guess what…. they’re brothers). They both were extremely down to earth guys who I’ve watched play and have looked up to for quite some time. I felt very nervous, unfocused, and not very relaxed which isn’t the greatest feeling going into a match against a team as high caliber as these dudes. Both games I struggled siding out big time. The first game ended up 12-21. The second game I felt a little bit more focused, relaxed, not as nervous. We had the side switch at 4-3 and went on a 5 point run to give us 9-3 which was quite exciting, yet they called a time out and figured it out rather quickly. I continued to struggle to side out during the second game which forced a loss of 13-21.

AVP Huntington Beach

Thanks to Rich Lanzone at Established Images for this shot!

I was very disappointed with the way I played. But then quickly realized how good that team is and how it’s been 2+ months since I’ve experienced the California sand/wind which really takes some time getting used to (for me personally). I saw this qualifier as a definite learning I have to learn to focus, stay relaxed and get rid of those nerves. I also have to get in the gym to get in shape. I realized how out of shape I was during that second game. I tried to force too many shots, trying to be way to fancy I just have to be smart and aggressive. One good thing I can take away is that my passing was better than it has been in awhile which I was stoked about.

Here’s the highlight video playing the Bomgren’s:

NVL Hermosa 2013

Thanks to Mark Rigney for the photo.

Thanks to Mark Rigney for the photo.

This was the final tournament of the summer for me and definitely was the greatest of the summer (read about my summer here). I teamed up with my good friend Jorge Martinez from New Mexico (now lives in California, lucky dawg). I’ve played against him a bunch of times, he’s a great player.

Friday we ended up getting a bye through the first round of the qualifier and only had to win one game to make it to the main draw. Thanks Jorge! Anyways, Jorge and I have a strange way of playing. We enjoy setting every ball just like a “one ball” as in indoors. It worked really well for us the first day. The one and only game we had on Friday went to 3 and finished 21-17, 11-21, 15-12. You could guess I was on cloud nine. Especially knowing this was my last tournament for the summer being there all along.

Found out that night we were playing the #2 seed David Mackenzie/Matt Prosser. Two incredibly talented volleyball players. I was extremely nervous and blew it. We lost 7-21, 14-21. But thanks to the double elimination bracket! Our next game against two dudes from Colorado we won 21-17, 21-17. Next we played Travis Schoonover and Marty Lorenz who are phenomenal volleyball players. Scores were 14-21, 21-18, 9-15. I was ecstatic for a 17th place finish in my first qualifier.

Thanks for reading,

Christian Honer

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