For the past few days I was fortunate to travel to Tampa, FL for the American Volleyball Coaches Association Annual Convention. In addition, I watched the NCAA Final Four Championships and one of the best volleyball matches ever played between # 1 Penn State and #2 Texas. I hope you also had the opportunity to watch this amazing match and could imagine yourself on the court.
During the AVCA Convention, I attended educational seminars presented by some of the world’s elite volleyball coaches including Olympic Coaches. It was an incredible opportunity to exchange great ideas and bring back pieces of wisdom for the team. One of these educational sessions was presented by Karch Kiraly (the greatest volleyball player in the world) and Mike Rangel (owner of PlyoCity and Karch’s trainer) about Karch’s off-court training regimen. To be great, there are no days-off for Karch or everyday is a day-off for Karch, depending on how you look at it. Karch has a love for the game and for competition. He considers his off-court training days as “days-off”. These “days-off” he takes joy in, he has pride, as he knows these are the fun days. He recognizes that in these training days is when he beats his opponent. He thrives on that idea.
Mike Rangel told us a story about the day after Karch won the Manhattan Beach Open. Mike received a phone call from Karch asking why Mike was not at the gym at 7:00 AM that next morning. Mike replied, “Karch, you just won the Manhattan Beach Open, you have three Olympic Gold Medals, you have three NCAA Championships, why are YOU at the gym this morning?” Karch said, “I’m here to workout. I’m here to get better. This is who I am.” Mike soon learned that Karch works-out on his birthday, Christmas, New Year’s, holidays, etc. Working-out and nutrition is part of his everyday routine. It is what allowed Karch to be the greatest volleyball player ever and retire from playing professionally at 48 years old!
Karch got better in practice with the guidance of coaches. Karch became the best through this ultimate off court training discipline which became his everyday routine.
Thus far, I am impressed by each player’s off-court training discipline. I have heard how each player is changing their routine for the team. I hope this is a life transformation for each of you.
BUT…there is another lesson in this Team Discipline to be learned and that is balance. The yin and the yang. Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony. Karch’s balance is his family. Your balance is your family. Take advantage of being with your family over the holiday, but take time to be alone. Take advantage of your time off, but keep the team in the back of your mind. Take advantage of your youth, but don’t take advantage of your health. Make smart choices and smart decisions.
I already have great affection for this team.