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Interview with Megan Cyr

Interview time! This month’s interviewee is Megan Cyr. Megan is the current setter of the Canadian Women’s National Team, and is playing with me on the A1 Italian team, VBC Pomì Casalmaggiore! After a strong youth career and representing Canada on the Junior National team, she graduated from North Carolina State University in 2013. She has played professionally in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and now Italy. I hope you enjoy learning a bit more about Megan, and can take away some valuable insights from what she has to share!
 

xo, Sarah
 

1. How did you get started playing volleyball?

I was first interested in playing volleyball after watching my brother play for his seventh grade team. I was in grade five at the time and we just happened to have a gym teacher that was going to put together a co-ed team. A lot of kids signed up so the coach ended up drawing names out of a hat. I was lucky enough to get my name picked.
 

2. Did you play other sports growing up, or were you always a volleyball athlete?

I played every sport possible. Honestly, my first love in the world of sports, and still my favourite sport, is figure skating. It was going so well until I hit my growth spurt, and the little gracefulness that I had went out the door. I picked up basketball in junior high and really enjoyed it. In 2005, I made Team Manitoba for both sports (volleyball and basketball). I made the decision to pursue volleyball more competitively because I enjoyed both practice and games. I couldn’t stand the amount of running involved in basketball practice.
 

3. When did you know that you wanted to pursue volleyball past high school? What steps did you take to make that happen?

I knew pursuing volleyball after high school was an option after seeing a couple of my teammates get recruited to NCAA schools. I think playing with girls such as Jill Sawatzky (Oregon State Alum) and Tabitha Love (UCLA Alum) inspired me to want to play in the US. I remember working closely with my coach, Rick Scott, to put together a recruiting video with practice and game footage. That was sent to many different schools of interest. I also attended a recruiting combine in Calgary which led to a couple visits to universities in the US. I think playing club was probably the most important thing, and having a coach who took us down to Wisconsin and Minneapolis for tournaments to get exposure. I am very thankful that I had people in my circle who knew what to do in order to make my dreams come true. I put in the work.
 


 

4. Did you ever experience any setbacks on the way to achieving your dreams? If so, how did you overcome them?

Too many setbacks to name. My first heartbreak in the world of volley was when I tried out for the youth national team and got cut. However, I came back the following year and made it. I was released from my college team at the University of Colorado after my second year. Again, I thought about giving up but instead took another risk and transferred to North Carolina State University. My career with the Women’s National Team had it’s ups and downs. One year I got cut, the next year I chose to go back to summer school, one year I made the “B” team, the next I decided to stop all together. My first year of my professional career in Austria didn’t go as planned and I was five hours away from getting on a plane home. Instead, I took a train to Germany for another try-out. Honestly, my path has been anything but predictable and smooth. However, I always maintained a willingness to try again and pursue an opportunity if it was presented to me.
 

5. What is your fondest sports-related memory?

I definitely cannot choose just one sports-related memory that is better than the rest. I have three teams or moments in my career where we were successful and accomplished our goals. The common thread between all of those teams was the bond that we shared on and off the court. Nothing but love!
 

6. What is one of the most important lessons you have learned during your athletic career?

I think a recurring lesson that appeared very early in my career and I’m still battling with is that it doesn’t matter how many people believe or don’t believe in you. All that matters is that you believe in yourself and the beauty of your dreams. I’m still working on that. I’ve had coaches who thought the world of me and others who probably didn’t want me on their team. I’ve had teammates who were my best friends and others who could care less about me. I’ve had supporters, fans and critics. If you can trust yourself and truly believe in what you are capable of, I think you can do anything.
 

 

7. If you could go back and do everything over again, what, if anything, would you do differently?

What would I do differently? That’s tough because there have been moments when I thought I made a huge mistake or a decision that was going to haunt me forever. However, sometimes weeks, months or even a year would pass and I would reflect about how that decision got me to the place where I was at, and where I am today. Even stepping away from the National team in 2014 somehow brought me back to the team with more fire and passion than ever. I took an entire season off of pro and became a rower. Yet, here I am playing in the Italian league a year later. I can’t say I would do anything differently.
 

8. If you could give one piece of advice to young athletes, what would it be?

One piece of advice I would give to young athletes is to not let fear stand in the way. Fear of failing is normal, but don’t let it stop you from trying. Fear of the unknown is scary, but don’t let it hold you back from pursuing something. Fear of success happens as well, but trust and believe you are worthy of it. Every time in my career when I was faced with a decision of whether to do something or not, I always did the thing or took the opportunity that scared me the most. I can’t say it’s steered me wrong thus far.
 

9. What 2 things do you do daily/weekly, etc. that make you a successful athlete?

Two things I do weekly to make me successful are journaling and mediation. At this point in my career a lot of the gains I can make are on the mental side of the game. I find self-reflection and quieting the mind to be very helpful.
 

10. What is your favourite place you have played?

My favourite place I played was definitely Switzerland. I spent two seasons in Neuchatel and enjoyed them thoroughly. Everything from the memories on the volleyball court to the moments spent with families and friends eating cheese fondue. I made life-long bonds and will always feel nothing but love for that place.
 

11. What are 5 things you can’t live without?

Five things I cannot live without are:

  • my journal
  • my essential oil diffuser
  • Bose wireless headphones
  • a good pillow
  • chocolate

 

12. What do you do to unwind?

I love people. After four seasons overseas I finally realized that I’m an extrovert and get my energy and happiness from being around people I love. There’s nothing I like more after two practices a day than a great FaceTime session, a home-cooked meal with a teammate, or a social gathering. It might not sound like unwinding to some, but it helps me to relax and feel complete.
 

You can follow Meg on Instagram @ysocyrious. She also has a blog. Check out www.thepathimon.weebly.com!

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