How I Started Playing Volleyball

Hermosa BeachWhen I was a Junior in High School I found Beach/Sand Volleyball. Not the typical way people find their favorite sport. I started playing what I can “jungle ball” with however many people you could fit on the court, didn’t matter. I then continued to try and find pick-up every day I could I would ride my bike down to the courts basically hoping someone would ask me to play. After I had done that for awhile, I made friends and played at my local park a few days a week trying to schedule games. Someone asked me if I had played indoor volleyball (which I obviously haven’t) then gave me information on a local club which I tried out for & made the team, but never received any playing time or much coaching in practice. I felt like I was wasting my money while I wasn’t getting anything out of it, I quit. I made some connections and found out about other parks around 20 minutes away and worked my way up. Never playing doubles, in December of 2010 I entered in an Open tournament which is the highest level tournament you can play in. My friend and I thought it was “open gym” so after pool play they dropped us to A/B, we then finished last in A/B. This experience playing against some great players and losing 21-3, 21-5, etc. and all the while enjoying playing really was astounding to me. I learned so much from that tournament I can’t even begin to tell you. I was probably extremely annoying to everyone there asking questions and what not.

I made some connections after that tournament (don’t know why they would let me play with them ha-ha but they did). Then started playing pick-up and working my way up in tournaments. My first tournament win was on 6/8/2013 which is when I made my venture out to California with my friend Dayton. You can see more about my time out in California in my post here. Don’t wanna bore you with the details. Lets just say it was an incredible Summer.

Summer of 2013

This is how good of a summer I had :)

This is how good of a summer I had 🙂

Here I will explain my amazing summer in Hermosa Beach, Calif. First and foremost I just want to let you know, I was 200ft from the beach 🙂 I won’t lie, this was the best summer of my life and I was very blessed to have the opportunity to do all of this.

This whole thing was able to happen because of an app I’m addicted to called Instagram. Which is where I share all my photos/short videos, etc. Somehow on Instagram I met a good friend Dayton (check out his Instagram). We connected and talked about how playing in a tournament would be neat.

So I set out to California for vacation initially but left a day early to play in a tournament. So we played in a tournament together the first time meeting each other which was a cool experience. We played pretty well considering the situation.  So after like 2 weeks Dayton asked if I wanted to stay at his place for a few weeks or something (he had the apartment 200ft from the beach). I said “OF COURSE”. I talked to my parents, they were cool with two weeks, so I set out and played in my second CBVA with a friend out in Mission Beach before staying with Dayton. We finished first! YAY! That’s besides the point.

My initial thought was to stay for 2 weeks, that didn’t last too long, day in and day out I was enjoying myself getting the opportunity to live mostly on my own and getting to play Beach Volleyball each and every day. I was living the dream. I played in tournaments every weekend, practiced with the HP teams, took photographs on the beach, ate junk food, made friends and all that good stuff.

What my days consisted of: Waking up whenever we felt like it, ate whatever we had around then head to the Beach to find games or we might’ve even had something setup beforehand! :O

After being there for a few months I started looking for a job because I was running out of money (it happens, trust me). Sadly I never found a job, but I got a call for a coaching job back in Arizona at the perfect time, so I set back home which was really tough coming back from such an amazing summer. I learned so much during that summer I cannot begin to tell you.

Let’s hope SUMMER 2014 is just as good if not BETTER!

Links:

http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Volleyball/Features/2013/July/17/From-Social-Media-to-the-Sand?p=1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eep9IB8iLPU/

Signing off,

Christian Honer

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