2014 Season Recap

Hi all,

To some of you this might seem like a similar post to “Bye Summer 2014” it kind of is but with a twist on it.

Beginning this year, I didn’t really have too many plans. I just wanted to play, get experience, meet people, get points and have fun. I’m glad I didn’t have too many expectations.

I did just that, this season was an incredible year for me I had a blast getting to travel all over the U.S to play the sport I love the most while meeting people and gaining points and experience.

The reason I moved to California in the first place is because I made the A1 High Performance National Team for the first time. It was a great experience getting coached by the one and only Jose Loyola. Having a consistent practice schedule, discussions on how tournaments were was very important to me. I hope I can continue to play in this great USA Beach Volleyball program for years to come.

During the Summer, I came back to Arizona to play in the AVP Next series which was four events. The AVP Next is a great program to give players opportunities to get points for the actual AVP Tour. We finished 2nd place in the series. Big reason to finishing second was because of my lack of preparation in a combination of not enough hydrating, eating and sleep which I’m working on. I’m planning on playing the AVP Next series again next year.

I got to play in 3 AVP Tour tournaments: Manhattan Beach (grandaddy tournament), Salt Lake City and Huntington Beach. The AVP runs some professional tournaments. They’re staff is incredibly professional and know exactly what they’re doing. You know you’re going to get the same amazing experience from the AVP each and every tournament.

I had the chance to play in 3 NVL Tournaments: Dallas, Ohio and Hermosa Beach. I had so much fun at every single one of the NVL’s. I really enjoy how the NVL runs their tournaments like everyone’s a family. They treat you like you’re apart of a family and all the pros are accessible. They’re really trying to grow the game.

I fell in love with the mountain tournaments in Colorado: Vail, Breckenridge and Aspen. I got the chance to play in all of those and each one was a great time in their own way.

Got my AAA in CBVA which was extremely exciting, I finished 3rd in two CBVA Opens. I was proud of those finishes, but now my goal is to make some Open finals. I felt like I’m right there which is very exciting.

All in all it has been an incredible first year traveling and playing almost every weekend. I learned so much this year I can’t even begin to explain to you. Playing in all these tournaments I realized how important the mental side of the game is as well as the physical part. I need to work on my mental game as well as LIFT. I feel like those 2 things will take me to that next level I want to be playing at as well as proper hydration and nutrition.

So now I know exactly what I need to do and the next step is to actually do it which is my choice.

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

 

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

Goals for 2014

Hi friends,

Goals are much more successful when they are written down or in my case blogged. I will continue to add and check off if I have attained these goals. My ultimate goal of 2014 is to get in better shape and to stabilize my joints (shoulders, knees) and keep myself from getting hurt in the future. Another goal I have is to get my AAA in CBVA. I’ve been so close with two thirds and one 5th. I have the confidence that I will get it done this year. My next goal is to make the HP top 4 in U21 so I can get the opportunity to train with some great coaches, learn the game and travel to another country to play beach volleyball. This will be an incredible experience that I really hope to get. Qualifying for a main draw in the AVP is another one of my goals. Check out this post to see my first experience in Huntington. As well as finishing a 9th or better in an NVL. Click here to see the post from my 17th in the Hermosa NVL. Check the list below.

Goals for 2014:

Stability in joints, better shape

  • AAA in CBVA – completed May 11th, 2014
  • Make Top 4 U21 HP USA Volleyball National Team
  • Move to California
  • Qualify for an AVP Event
  • Place 5th or better in a CBVA Open – completed May 11th, 2014 in Long Beach
  • Place 9th or better in an NVL Event
  • Some private beach lessons
  • Win every tournament in Arizona
  • Learn more mental parts about the game
  • Start eating better.
  • 40 inch vertical in the sand
  • Film in every tournament and most practices

I will continue to add more to these list as I think of them.

Stay in touch,

Christian Honer

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: