A Day in My Life: Beach Preseason


"If you are looking to be a professional athlete on the top tier of any sport, my best advice is to put everything you have into it. If you're not, somebody else is. It's got to be all or nothing." ~Dominick Cruz   Since I started this blog, I have talked a lot about being a professional athlete, and things…

Parents in Youth Sport: Be a Supporter, Not a Critic


“Your kid’s success or lack of success in sports does not indicate what kind of parent you are… But having an athlete that is coachable, respectful, a great teammate, mentally tough, resilient, and who tries their best is a direct reflection of your parenting.” ~Unknown   I have been around youth sports for most of my life. I started playing…

Interview with Melissa Humaña-Paredes


It’s time for our April interview! Today you will learn a bit about Melissa Humaña-Paredes! Mel is a beach volleyball player for Team Canada (and is my partner!!). She has represented Canada internationally for several years, and was the 2014 FIVB World Tour Rookie of the Year. She and her former partner, Taylor Pischke, won Bronze at the U21 World…

Mental Toughness in Beach vs Indoor Volleyball Athletes


"Mental toughness is to physical as four is to one." ~Bobby Knight   Alright…. before everyone starts taking offense to this post, I want to explain why I decided to write about this. Having played both indoor and beach volleyball, I have had a lot of people approach me to talk (either at me or with me) about the two…

Places I Have Played During my Professional Volleyball Career


“A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and soul of its people.” ~Mahatma Gandhi   I consider myself so lucky to be able to play a sport that I love for a career. It has taken me all over the world, and has allowed me to explore and become immersed in cultures that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. I have…

Dealing with Body Image in Girls’ Sports


“Every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a [gym owner], the hips of a 10 year old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll [boobs]. This is why everyone is…

A Winner’s Mindset: The Difference Between Good and Great


“The difference between a good fighter and a great fighter is mindset.” ~Frank Mir   I find the mental side of sport to be such a fascinating thing. It is so interesting to see how players and teams respond to different situations and pressures, and how body language or communication evolves throughout a match or tournament. Sports psychology even extends…

Qualities I Admire in My Favourite Coaches


"Players respond to coaches who really have their best interests at heart." ~Mike Singletary   Being involved in sport for so long, I have played for A LOT of different coaches. They all had different levels of experience, both as players and coaches, different approaches to the game, and different coaching styles. I have played for some of the most…

What Does it Mean to Be a “Professional?”


“Professionalism shouldn't be defined by a persons paycheck, role or title. It should be defined by a persons work ethic." ~Janna Cachola   There is a certain level of prestige associated with being labeled a professional. It generally implies a higher level of skill, or money, or experience, but what I want to talk about today is the act of…

Managing Expectations (From Yourself and Others)


"Pressure can burst a pipe, or pressure can make a diamond." ~Robert Horry   One of the major challenges that athletes face is dealing with pressure. It is pretty much par for the course in a performance-based industry, and some people are definitely better at managing it than others. Some people thrive in pressure situations, while others just want to…