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ANNUAL Positivity in the Sand

Dare to Dream Barbie Doesn’t Play Sports

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Jean’s Beaded Jewelry Local Sarasota Artist

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73 Bump, Set…Six Pack

A beach pro shares the best volleyball exercises.

49 Nets in the Sand

Looking for a game in Florida?

SANDBOX SUMMER 2009 FEATURES THE TOURS 4 The Ins and Outs Major beach tours discuss their styles, in and out of the lines.

8 Volleyball Vacations

Play and Party with Pros and Olympians in Turks & Caicos.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL: AN EMERGING SPORT 77 Sand Volleyball Becomes a Collegiate Sport The NCAA Division I Legislative Council adds sand volleyball to the list of emerging sports for women.

78 Coach’s Corner

From the basics to the advanced.



27 The Florida Funnel

89 Gold Medal in Business

There is a place where everyone feels like they belong.

28 More than Meets the Eye

Can a tropical paradise thrive in the global economy?

49 Young and Healthy Tips for the Young and Healthy Investor Youth is an advantage when investing. Find out why.

A sailor becomes CEO.

90 Life is Hard, Grab a Helmet The inspiring story of a world class athlete who’s hearing impared.

94 From the Mound to the AD’s Desk

How a top prospect turned tragedy into triumph.



65 Barbie Doesn’t Play Sports

101 2009 Summer Trends

Breaking down the elite female athlete.

69 An Exercise in Development What’s the point of gym class?

What’s in your tote bag?

104 Work Out, Hang Out, Chill Out A handful of music recommendations that accompany any activity.



Welcome to the inaug ural issue of SpikeKe y Beach Annual!

While literary greats were inspired to entertain and enlighten the public, Spike same mission with respe Key adopts the ct to the beach communi ty. We at SpikeKey humbly this magazine may never acknowledge that be mentioned among the classics. Nevertheless, we educate, and entertain the strive to inform, beach community and enc ourage the continued gro volleyball. wth of beach   We believe so strongly in this first issue that we are confident it will establish leading authority for the be SpikeKey as the ach community in the sta te of Florida and beyond. find a schedule of all notew Not only will you orthy volleyball events in Florida, but you will disco facilities, ways to get involv ver the state’s best ed in the game, instruction on how to improve your with engaging perspective skills, and articles s on everything from invest ing to music.   Like you, we at SpikeKey are inspired and connecte d by experiencing epic spo like the 2008 Olympic Ga rting events mes, the first game in Yan kee Stadium after 9/11, winning the 2008 US Op and Tiger Woods en on one good leg. We publish this magazine in will inspire pride and a sen the hope that it too se of identity through ath letics and our community on and off the sand.  On a daily basis, the me dia unfailingly reminds us the tragedy and danger reminder most of us can in our world, a constant do without. We hope tha t SpikeKey Beach Annua readers that there is hap l will remind its piness, excitement, health, and affection to be enjoye d each day. This premier issue of Spike Key Beach Annual is the culmination of countless innumerable e-mails, tex hours of work and t messages, and telephon e calls. We at SpikeKey it alone. We thank family, co uld not have done friends, authors, photogra phers, and sponsors for support, and assistance their encouragement, in creating SpikeKey Beach Annual. So, grab your beach bag, flip flops, and sunblock as we embark on a journey most beautiful beaches and through the world’s explore all they have to offe r. We hope you enjoy the follow. pages that   Wishing you health and vic tory, Megan Wallin Publisher

Sean Griffin Executive Editor

Lou Eckrich Executive Designer

P.S. In addition to the prin ted SpikeKey Beach Annua l, we’ve expanded our rea a dynamic multimedia We ch and launched bsite at that includes both local and content. Please register national online for the monthly E-S pike to stay informed and what’s next on the beach up to date with .

Hit the Sand with

SpikeKey Megan Wallin Publisher



Sean Griffin

Executive Editor

Lou Eckrich

Executive Designer

UNIQUE MARKETING STRATEGY SpikeKey’s Beach Annual offers advertisers a complete, affordable marketing program that covers print, digital, Web advertising, and most importantly face-to-face interaction that is the key to any dynamic marketplace experience. SpikeKey Beach Annual will be distributed nationwide as Team SpikeKey travels competing in professional beach volleyball tournaments throughout the 2009 season and beyond.



Frequency: Annually Founded: 2008 Cover price: FREE State of residency: 69% reside in Florida Gender: 66% female 34% male Official Website:


Go to and sign up for our E-Spike, your chance to win the ultimate SpikeKey Beach Bag filled with summer must haves: St. Tropez sunless lotion, Rudy Sunglasses, Natures Gate mineral sunblock, DenTek oral care products and SpikeKey apparel. Winner will be announced in the August E-Spike.

This inaugural issue of SpikeKey Beach Annual is dedicated to the late Thomas Wayne Wallin, Sr. Tom was a thirdgeneration commercial fisherman from Sarasota, Florida. As a member and chairman of the National Marine Fisheries Commission, he helped establish rules and guidelines for the Gulf of Mexico’s fisheries. Tom Wallin is remembered for his dedication and commitment to protecting and restoring the growth of natural resources and working to establish effective fisheries management programs. He worked diligently to bridge the gap and find common ground between the commercial and recreational fishing industries, as well as conservation groups. Tom devoted his life to his family and to assisting those in need. He was well known in Sarasota County and throughout Florida for his service and generosity, supporting local schools, churches, civic groups, youth foundations, and state universities. Tom was an invaluable asset to the Sarasota community, and he played a vital role in continually improving Sarasota and striving to make it a better place to live. Tom was a born leader and utilized his natural talents to encourage, teach, and love. He was fearless when faced with uncharted waters, and he truly embodied the meaning of an honest man. His life is a testament to the fact that life is filled with opportunity and greatness just waiting to be captured.



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Official Qualifier Tour of the US Open of Beach Volleyball

Every Picture Tells A Story

Fort Lauderdale - April 25-26 | New Orleans - May 16-17 | Virginia Beach - June 13-14 Santa Cruz - June 27-28 | Santa Monica - July 11-12 | Grand Haven - July 18-19 Chicago - July 25-26 | Point Pleasant - August 22-23 | US Open - September 25-27



Volleyball Vacations & GOBeachfest

Play & Party with Pros & Olympians at Club Med in the Turks & Caicos Islands...

Volleyball Vacations and Hannemann Events recently hosted the 16th annual event to the beautiful Club Med resort in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Over 150 volleyball enthusiasts from around the world traveled to the perfect white sand beaches to play and party with the pros! The All Star coaching staff included 2008 U.S. Olympic Gold Medalists Phil Dalhausser & Kerri Walsh , Al-B Hannemann, Casey Jennings, Angela Lewis, Matt Olson, Paige Davis, Dane Jennings, Christina Hinds, Canyon Ceman, and 2008 U.S. Olympian Sean “Rosey” Rosenthal. Vacationers enjoyed daily tournaments and clinics for all levels, open play with and against the pros, live music at sunset during happy hour, exciting exhibitions at night, including the infamous Pro ACE volleyball match, the Pro hard court challenge, and Men’s and Women’s Pro/Olympian Exhibition Games, and of course nightly flip cup and costume competitions. Bob Doyle from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida commented, “ Are you kidding me? I played doubles with Phil Dalhausser! I literally can not stop smiling!”

In addition to their huge popularity for beach volleyball enthusiasts, Volleyball Vacationer & Phil Dalhausser

Vacations (VBV) also gives back to the local communities. VBV donated volleyball nets and volleyballs to local high schools to help grow the sport. Kerri, Phil, Rosey and Al-B had the special delight of visiting Clement Howell High School where Kerri eloquently spoke to the students and staff about setting goals and following your dreams through dedication, commitment and hard work. Students had the chance to ask questions like, “What did it feel like to win a gold medal?” University of Central Florida alumni Phil Dalhausser responded, “I never gave up believing that I could be successful and now I am a Gold Medalist. You can do it too!”

Al-B Hannemann & Bridget Marquette

A few highlights from this trip was having Playboy Playmate Bridget Marquette feature the Volleyball Vacations trip on her new travel channel show to Phil giving every vacationer the opportunity to take a picture with him wearing his Gold Medal. The 70’s night was classic with costumes and afro wigs that rivaled Chevy Chase in the movie Fletch and the DJ’s rocked the dance floor all night long. All the food and alcohol is always included at Club Med so you never have to pay for a thing once you arrive. By the end of the week new lifelong friendships were made where everybody Kerri Walsh meets at AVP tournaments all summer long while cheering for their favorite VBV pro coaches. Kelly Taylor from New York stated, “I am shocked how much I learned on the courts and how many great people I have met. The Pros are very approachable and I can’t wait until the November 2009 trip!”

Club Med was so impressed with our group that they asked us to come back in November, 2009. was founded in 2009 and is partnering with Volleyball Vacations to launch the biggest sports vacation in the world. These two separate back to back trips will take place on November 7-14 and November 14-21, 2009. Elite Pro Athletes and celebrity trainers are Angela Lewis coaching a clinic of eager vacationers coming to coach and instruct vacationers in their sport or discipline. Beach volleyball, yoga, kite boarding, golf, cardio tennis, pilates, dodgeball, trapeze, sailing, flag football, basketball, beach tennis, Zumba, various dancing classes, health seminars, fitness, and scuba will be featured during the event. This trip is not just for volleyball enthusiasts but for anyone that wants to learn sports from the best coaches in the world and enjoy theme parties, world class DJ’s and listen to live bands and musicians during the action packed nightly entertainment. Club Med will fill the resort with like minded athletic people that love to be active and socialize at one of the worlds most beautiful destinations.D



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Dig the Beach Series fort lauderdale open April 4-5 - fort Lauderdale may 16-17 - Siesta Key June 6-7 - Fort Myers June 20-21 - fort Lauderdale June 27-28 - Clearwater July 11-12 - Siesta Key July 25-26 - Fort Lauderdale August 15-16 - Clearwater


Enjoy the Great Taste of Burning Calories!

Enjoy the Great Taste of Burning Calories!



Florida Beach Volleyball Tour 2009 Schedule April - 18 & 19 Deerfield Beach May - 2 & 3 Clearwater Beach May - 23 & 24 Ft. Lauderdale Beach June - 13 & 14 Hollywood Beach July - 18 & 19 Clearwater Beach August - 1 & 2 Clearwater Beach USAV East Coast Championship

For more information: 12


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The Hottest Action in Beach Volleyball Get ready to throw on your swimsuit and lather up the suntan lotion!

It’s time for sand, summer, and the 2009 EVP® ProAm National Tour. Sign up now and brag to your friends that you’re playing for the tour that thousands of spectators coast-to-coast call their favorite! Group tickets now on sale for “a day at the beach,” including a coach for your group, lunch & beverages, hourly clinics, VIP tent seating, and plenty of organized games. IT’S TImE To PlAy! Call our sales department at 312-287-5988 or e-mail us for a special package at Check out for more envent dates. Produced in association with Jmm Productions, Inc., St. Simons Island Georgia



NEWS FLASH! Beach Tennis USA and EVP Tour Team Up to Change the Face of Beach Sports America’s Fastest Growing Beach Sport to Share Stage With Beach Volleyball on 10-City Pro-Am Tour Beach Tennis USA®, the organization responsible for launching the sport of beach tennis in North America, and the EVP® Tour, the largest pro-am beach volleyball attraction in the U.S., announced a joint venture that will bring both sports together for a 10-city national tour in 2010. The dual-sport tour, which will include stops in Florida, Southern California, Chicago, and New York, will leverage both the long-standing success of the EVP Tour and the momentum that beach tennis has gained as a pro sport and a beach lifestyle phenomenon. Beach tennis combines tennis and beach volleyball into one exciting and fast-paced game. Now in its fifth season, Beach Tennis USA has garnered increased attention while hosting events in Florida, Southern California, New York and other U.S. cities. The company continues to grow by adding new licensees in U.S. and international cities and establishing “Team Beach Tennis,” which promotes yearround league play. The EVP Tour has established the largest national pro-am volleyball attraction in America. The tour travels to twenty key markets across the country from March to October. In 2009, The EVP® TV Network will produce six 30-minute TV shows that will reach over 60 million viewers in over 40 states on Comcast Sports Network. EVP Network Members assist in grassroots efforts by establishing relationships that drive the majority of player participation, reaching over 150,000 young active adults each year.



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The Florida Funnel

There must have been something that would compel so many people to move to Florida from all over the world and sculpt an uninhabitable landscape into landing strips, strip malls, and strip clubs. The marshes, hurricanes, sinkholes, gators, and mosquitoes seem enough to keep most sane people away; but, being the southernmost point in the continental US leads to a certain “Funnel Effect.” Just like those fire-engine red coin collecting funnels at the front of all Wal-Marts, people seem to roll around the upper 47, round and round until after agonizing anticipation, they are deposited into the bucket below: Florida. Like major-league baseball started to do in 1885 for spring training, people seem to drift further and further south, following the warm weather until they reach Florida. It takes some people many more years than others. There are many different types of Floridians. There is the special breed of condo-dwelling, Sunday-driver Floridians that take up all the good parking spots in the winter. Other Floridians just stay for a few sunsets and margaritas, spending their fanny-pack cash on time-shares, seashells, and cheeseburgers in paradise. Some Floridians just ran out of room running away from their former lives and end up where the sidewalk ended. And, perhaps the most overlooked Floridian, is the tradition-rich generational family that has quietly lived in Florida for many years.

By Greg Human

train and play games against each other before the official baseball season begins. These teams are known as the Grapefruit League. What started as a logical move to train in warm weather while it was still snowing in the North, has turned into another mass of people that have been welcomed into the culture of Florida. Local newspapers and media will report huge numbers of how spring-training positively impacts the economy of local communities. Such numbers are hard to prove and usually have political undertones since the state gives millions of dollars in incentives, stadium upgrades, and favorable leases for the MLB teams. All the facilities are on or near the coast except for Kissimee, Orlando, and Lakeland, which are in proximity to Disney. Beaches and Disney will draw tourists no matter who is playing baseball. The only real way to prove how much of an economic impact spring-training has on the communities is when a team leaves an area. After years of training in the Florida city of Sarasota, the Reds are breaking up with Florida and leaving for Arizona in 2010. The first time in 30 years Sarasota will have a spring without MLB. Is all of this money, heartbreak, and headache really worth that shot to the ego, that home-team pride that comes with housing a Major League ball club?

Hemingway had the best view of the funnel effect from Key West, the official end of the road in Florida. The collection of artisans and characters who have lived there make Key West the colorful, romantic place it is. Like the coins deposited in the red funnels, they roll until gravity does its job and they fall to the bottom of the bucket. They may have been pulled to the southernmost point by “gravity,” but it’s the beauty of the azure waters, blood-crimson sunsets, and the allure of living on the edge of US territory that keep people there.

Yes. The most valuable asset that Florida offers to it’s residents and visitors is a special sense of belonging. Major League Baseball’s spring-training epitomizes this feeling of down-home comfort and tradition that new Floridians value so much. Today, spring-training is a representation of the Florida culture that is so difficult to pinpoint. It brings together feelings that make up the unique Florida culture: equal parts historic local tradition, vagabond runaway, tacky tourist, ultra-rich celebrity, honest farmer, treasure seeker, and Yankee bastard.

The romantic side of Florida lies in its coastline. The state splits the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. A journey through Florida has the feeling of going over a bridge, eliciting the anticipation of a border crossing and a twinge of fear that it could collapse at any moment. The terrain of Florida supports this borderline anticipation and draws from an adventurous crowd of transplants based all over the world. Beaches, swamps, rivers, islands, and big sky offer the ideal setting for outdoor enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies. The infrastructure to support the domestic types from beach bums to Miami socialites also beckons snowbirds young and old from the North.

Because of the hodgepodge collection of people that make up Florida, the most valuable commodity for people is this sense of belonging. Because a person is willing to spend money on a vacation for a picture at Disney, or a picture of a sunset, this raises the personal value of living each day as a Florida resident. To live in Florida is to feel like you belong; you are somewhere where many people want to be.

People funnel in from every nook in North America, pinballing from state to state until they end up in this patchwork of transplants. How do such a wide range of people coexist in one state? How can a golden age retiree feel so welcome in a state with so many adventurous whippersnappers? The answer lies in a shared value of a sense of belonging and honest pride. We can see how these different communities come together using the model of Major League Baseball’s spring-training. Florida houses 16 teams in the spring that

Florida is an official destination. It’s where people vacation, convene, and travel. So many people talk about going to Florida, that when one moves to Florida, they have arrived at a destination, a talked about place, a finale, the end of the road. Whether a traveler comes to Florida to live or just to visit, that traveler achieves a sense of belonging just by arriving.

Greg Human grew up in Buffalo, NY and graduated from Valparaiso University in Indiana with a degree in English in 2005. After school he accepted a two-year assignment in Kyrgyzstan with the Peace Corp. He then lived in Orlando for a short stint and now resides on Anna Maria Island on Florida’s Gulf Coast.



Sarasota More than Meets the Eye By Sean Griffin


aradise, charm, natural beauty, abundant sunshine, dream destination; all are phrases married to any description or introduction to Florida’s gulf coast town of Sarasota. Scores travel from all over to experience the miles of white sandy beaches, an art and theater scene that rivals those of cities with hundreds of thousands of more residents, world-class golf and dining, the circus capital of the world, and the everpresent near perfect weather. These characteristics are evident even to Sarasota’s passerby, but, what may come as a shock to all of those who don’t call the place home, is how much is achieved between 9 to 5 in its shops, offices, and cubicles. Despite a state of violent flux rarely seen in our country’s history, Sarasota has maintained. There is no denying the fact that the tourism industry, the backbone of the local economy, has taken a hit, with fewer snowbirds making the trek south, and those who do, spending less. However, there hasn’t been the catastrophic downturn that many regions have felt. The one area that has seen the most dramatic slide is real estate; and frankly, no discussion of Sarasota business is complete without touching on housing. It’s one of the truly unique ingredients in the stew that is the city and region’s economy. In recent years, the rise and subsequent fall has not only foreshadowed more wide spread market changes but has made the moves with more pronounced intensity.

Prices inflated to exorbitant levels and people paid them. The attractiveness of the area blinded buyers, and they paid in many instances twice what properties were worth. For instance, a desirable 1/1 waterfront condo at 590 Golden Gate Point demanded between $500k and $600k less than three years ago, and now struggles to sell for less than $300k. The same trend followed nationally soon after. Global realty companies like Sotheby’s hustled to SRQ to stake their claim. After a year or two of realtor bliss, reality set in, and all the money that people were pouring into homes dried up. Several multi-million, even billion dollar development projects, including plans for a “W” Hotel on South 41, reached a stand still and are now represented only by a sign and overgrown vacant lot. The market was inundated with everything from luxury waterfront homes to condominiums. It hasn’t had a crushing effect on the city as transactions are picking up again and stability appears to be approaching. The majority of businesses in Sarasota are sturdy and have weathered the real-state and economic storm. The strength of business in this town is reflected in a number of prominent rankings. For instance, Inc. magazine recently ranked Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice No. 8 on a list of 393 “boomtowns,” in 2007, and No. 3 for growth among midsize cities.

There’s no Place Like Home… • Institute has ranked the

Sarasota-Bradenton area as the 39th “Best Place to Live” out of 294 U.S. metro areas (2002).

• Money Magazine named Sarasota one of

the nation’s “Best Places to Live” ranking the community seventh on a list led by New York City. (December, 2001)

• Money Magazine named Sarasota the “Best

Small City in the United States.” (December, 2000)

• Modern Maturity named Sarasota the “3rd Best Big City in Which to Retire.” (May-June, 2000)

• Expansion Management named Sarasota the

“6th Best Metropolitan Area for Standard of Living” in the Country. (November, 2000)

• Money Magazine named Sarasota as the “21st Best Place to Live in the United States.”

• Money Magazine ranked Sarasota as one of the “Top 20 Places to Retire.”

• Entrepreneur Magazine placed Sarasota as the

“6th Best Medium-sized City in the United States.” It also named Sarasota as the “8th Best City in the South.” (regardless of size)

• Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is


The Movers and Shakers ut who exactly are the people and what are the companies that work through all the “seasons” to contribute to the commercial notoriety of Sarasota? Believe it or not, more than 30 corporations make their headquarters in SRQ, an impressive number for a town of just over 50,000 residents. These include Turvis Tumbler, a maker of distinct plastic wear that can be found adorned with your favorite mascot in just about every college bookstore; Boar’s Head Provisions, one of the nation’s elite distributors of deli meats and cheeses for over a century; and MoneyShow, the world’s leading producer of investment conferences and cruises, hosting more than a dozen events all over the world. While tourists flock to the area to enjoy the weather, executives come to Sarasota to train and address regional business. Banks like Bank of America, M&I, Northern Trust, and Sun Trust, to name a few, have large regional offices in downtown SRQ. Their buildings share a leading role in the city’s modest skyline with luxury condominiums. There are an estimated 30,000 millionaires living in Sarasota County; and, according to a Kiplinger’s article from 2006, has a higher concentration of wealth than places like DC, NYC, and Honolulu. Twelve point six percent of the residents had a million dollars in the bank, good for eighth highest in the country in 2006. This alone is cause for the banking activity here and also why the city’s semi-pro football team is called, believe it or not, The Millionaires.

recognized among America’s 50 Best Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report and in 2008, was recognized among 10 of the largest safe hospitals in the nation by

Nice Doing Business with You… • Expansion Management Magazine has rated

Sarasota a four star community, one of only two to achieve this rank in all of Florida (2003)

• Business Development Outlook Magazine has

selected Sarasota as one of the “25 Choice Cities” – the most desirable cities into which a business can relocate or expand for 2001-2002. (November/ December, 2001)

• Sarasota was ranked “37th Best Place for

Business and Careers” out of 200 metro areas nationwide by Forbes Magazine. (May, 2001)

• Employment Review and BestJobs.USA has

selected Sarasota as the “Best Place in Florida to Live and Work” and the “3rd Best Place in the Nation to Live and Work.” (June, 2001)

• BizMiner Business Vitality Review ranked

the Sarasota/Bradenton metro area as the “3rd Best Second-Tier Metropolitan City for Business Relocations Nationwide.” It is ranked 1st in Florida. (May, 2001)

• Sarasota/Bradenton MSA received five stars (the highest rating) by (September, 2000)

• The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ranked the Sarasota/Bradenton area “3rd in the Nation in Job Growth.”

• A New Business Opportunity Index developed

by two professors in the College of Business Administration at the University of Texas at El Paso ranks Sarasota “7th among 316 Metropolitan areas in the US” for a variety of key conditions that positively influence business climate.




That Local Local businesses also manage to thrive on the wealth in the region; particularly the established leisure destinations like restaurants, spas, and boating related businesses. The retired portion of the population, which is significant, also helps the healthcare industry, particularly physical therapy and orthopedics prosper. Jason Nippert, owner of Fitness Quest, employs 50 in six offices, and has managed an ultra-successful operation in Sarasota. “Sarasota is not only a tropical paradise but it boasts an excellent market for the physical therapy industry. I have opened six Fitness Quest Therapy centers in Florida, I hate to admit it, but Sarasota is my favorite location,” said Nippert The variety of restaurants in SRQ is astounding. Fine dining, casual beachfront, al fresco, you name it, the competition is fierce and Sarasota’s visitors and residents benefit. The environment presented an attractive opportunity and destination for one of Manhattan’s most successful restaurateurs, Roberto Mei. “I was running three restaurants in Manhattan and was due for a sunny vacation in Florida. We had a wonderful visit but realized Sarasota could use an authentic Italian restaurant. Shortly after our visit, we made Sarasota our permanent home and enrolled our children at The Out-of-Door-Academy,” Mei said. Since then, Café Baci has taken off and garnered many local awards for its menu and wine list. Sarasota manages to exude a lot of that “good feeling” when people come here; making it desirable for business operators. Christine Nordstrom, owner of Wired Whisk, a gourmet baker in Sarasota, describes her move to Sarasota this way. “I was hop scotching between California, North Carolina, and Rhode Island for work and, one day, on a whim, we decided to move to paradise. Sarasota just seemed like the right kind of place for us. The more deeply rooted local businesses understand this “feeling” as well. Owner of Walt’s Fish Market and the fourth generation of leadership, Brett Wallin says, “The Sarasota local flavor is one of the main reasons why Sarasota is such a special and unique city.” Thoughts of commerce and economics rarely are tied to anyone’s idea of paradise. In fact, most run to paradise to escape ideas of work and money running through their heads. While many visitors and seasonal residents use Sarasota as an escape, those who live here, have moved here for work, and come to town for business help to create that good feeling that Sarasota oozes. “That feel” comes up a lot when talking about Sarasota. It draws people, people with money, and naturally, that draws business to the coastal spot. There is an obvious “season,” as it’s called, January to April, when the town’s population essentially doubles with the rush of snowbirds, but business hums year round in SRQ. It’s more than just city mentioned on The Sopranos or the town from where Dick Vitale remotely checks in with ESPN. Hidden behind the guise of glitz, palm trees, and stunning blue waters, is a booming business community whose arms reach all the corners of the globe. It’s a synergy rarely found in a place of such natural, and magnetic beauty. Next time Sarasota brings you in, take a second to consider everything that makes Sarasota one of a kind.

Happens Where it All

St. Armand’s Circle

Sarasota has several very distinct business districts. Here’s a quick look at a few... Downtown

Banners hanging from the light poles downtown say, “Shop. Stroll. Dine,” and that about sums up the retail side of downtown. It’s a pleasant walk with locally run shops and restaurants of all types. The skyscrapers also house most of the larger regional and national companies with presence in town. Take a stroll between 9 and 5, and you’re sure to brush shoulders with bankers, lawyers, and real estate professionals. In the evening crowds dressed to the nines dine and take in a show.

The Village

In the heart of Siesta Key, this spot has something for everyone any time of day. From tasty breakfast spots, to top of the line seafood, all your taste buds’ needs are catered to. Beach shops and boutiques take care of the shopper and, come nighttime, many of the restaurants turn the lights down and the music up, giving spring breakers, and those leaving the beach or getting off a boat, great spots to show off their fresh tan while they have a tropical drink

The world-famous creation of legendary circus king John Ringling, this man-made circle-shaped island is a favorite with the tourists visiting Longboat and Lido Keys. Hundreds of shops with everything from sports photography to sunglasses attract hoards. Fine dining also draws the crowds looking for some of the best seafood and steak that will ever touch your lips. Oh, and if you’re a people watcher, it doesn’t get much better than an evening walk around the circle.

Longboat Key

This narrow 9-mile-long land boasts some of the most luxurious resorts found in Florida. The permanent residences are limited because the large island large-scale luxury resorts and hotels control the waterfronts. Longboat’s reputation is widely known and brings visitors to Sarasota from all over the world. A large chunk of the out-of-town money that feeds the economy spends its nights on Longboat.


A few miles south of downtown, this cluster of shops is a bit of a local secret. Set back off US 41 behind a mall, two streets about 300 yards in length host a mish mash of bars that hop in the evenings, and quirky shops that bustle during the days. If you’re looking for something a little bit off the beaten path, park and stroll the streets of Gulfgate.

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Fitness Quest Physical Therapy

Athletics plays an instrumental role in the development of children. Three main life lessons that can be learned through athletics are: 1. Teamwork; 2. Self discipline; and 3. Self-worth.


Jason Nippert Owner Fitness Quest Physical Therapy Sarasota, Fl


Why did you open your business in Sarasota? Sarasota is not only a tropical paradise, but it boasts an excellent market for the physical therapy industry. I have opened six Fitness Quest Physical Therapy centers in Florida. I hate to admit it, but Sarasota is my favorite location. Why do you love your profession?

When you can make your living by helping and improving people’s health, I would say you’re in a pretty good spot in life. We have been in business over eleven years so we have many returning customers that have been seeking our services for years. Parttime residents in the Sarasota/Bradenton area attribute to a very large sector of our business. I try to work with local businesses and vendors as much as possible.


In your opinion what are the emerging athletic trends?

From a business and personal perceptive, I have noticed a large spike in athletics with girls. I attribute the growth of women’s athletics to Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972 (federal law that prohibits sex discrimination) I am a sport enthusiast, and considering I have two daughters, I couldn’t be happier. I had a very proud father-daughter experience this year with my three year old daughter, Reese. I took her surfing at the Siesta Key Beach and it was the best feeling in the world watching her smile as she competed with waves to stay on the board. In a few years, I can’t wait to get her playing beach volleyball.



Brett Wallin Owner Walt’s Fish Market Sarasota, Fl


Fish Market


The Sarasota local flavor is one of the main reasons why Sarasota is such a special and unique city. We buy our produce from a local R&N non-profit organization. The money helps feed families in the Sarasota area. When I go out to eat I patronize other locally owned businesses.

Why did you open your business in Sarasota?


My father, Tom Wallin, and his father Walt, opened Walt’s Fish Market in 1960. After two generations of commercial fishing in the Gulf waters around Sarasota, opening a seafood market and restaurant was a natural choice. Walt’s was the first to combine the idea of a seafood market, wholesaler, and restaurant under one roof.


Why do you love your profession? My profession is all about the people and carrying on the family tradition. At Walt’s we strive to give excellent service, a little history lesson, and a great product the people come back for. I have enjoyed meeting so many different wonderful customers from all walks of life. Being at Walt’s nearly every day gives me the unique opportunity to listen to old-time Sarasota crackers such as Jack Wilson (a local crabber from 1943 who fished with my great grandfather, Claus Wallin) reminisce on old times when they drop by Walt’s to sell some fish or talk about their latest catch.


Explain how the unique combination of local, tourists, snow birds, entrepreneurs, large business, small business are incorporated with your business? Since Walt’s is multi generational, we have touched Sarasota’s unique cliental in many ways. Loyal locals buy their fresh seafood weekly. Since we have been in business for so long many of our local customers, now doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc. were past employees as they worked their way through school. One of the best compliments we receive is when a past customer returns to the store, year after year, bringing his children and friends and says “Walt’s is my first stop on my way into town whether it has been one year or 20. I consider Walt’s seasonal customers regulars at Walts; when they’re in town they dine in several times a week



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Christine Nordstrom Owner Wired Whisk Bakehouse Sarasota, Fl

wired whisk bakehouse

When you buy from independent local retailers your money stays in Sarasota! Start at the Siesta Key or Downtown Farmers Markets. You will meet vendors with local shops, and you will learn about other local merchants and it grows from there. When you find a local that you love, tell everyone! Encourage your friends and family to buy local.


Why did you open your business in Sarasota? My husband and I moved to Sarasota in 2001 from Rhode Island. I was hopscotching between California, North Carolina, and Rhode Island for work and one day on a whim we decided to move to paradise. Sarasota just seemed like the right kind of place for us. I opened the Wired Whisk Bakehouse in 2007.  Sarasota needed and did not have a gourmet bakery. Being a parent I also needed flexibility in my schedule. So the decision to start building a business was a good fit for me.  Sarasota has the right mix of locals and visitors to support and grow my business, and it is paradise.


What is your favorite place to visit in Sarasota if you have a few minutes to yourself? When I am with my family our favorite place to visit is the Children’s Garden on 10th way. It is a magical place hidden just north of downtown in Sarasota, and is a must-see for anyone with children. Not only is the garden tranquil and whimsical, I think the place completely embraces the magic of being a

child. Also, when I have a minute, my favorite place is the Siesta Key beach at night. The beach is usually empty and the waves have a calming effect on me. Lying on the beach counting the stars and listening to the waves is a great reminder of how small our problems can be.   


What are you doing to keep Sarasota green?

We have always been conscious of the green movement and do our best every single day. All of our wholesale customers receive orders in large plastic bins rather than disposable cardboard boxes. It is more work and more expensive, but we save 50 or more boxes a week and that’s a lot of paper we are keeping out of the waste stream. The Bakehouse uses recycled paper products, and we have a scrap paper program for notices and printing. We use green cleaners such as vinegar and hydrogen peroxide for surface cleaning.  On the product side, we only create all-natural products with no artificial sweeteners or preservatives. We are especially proud of our green line of vegan and wheat free products. 

Sneak Peek at the Wired Whisk’s Summer lineup.... This summer the Bakehouse will be launching two new vegan cupcakes: “V” for Vanilla and Undercover Lover! We have also recently launched a new line of $1 cupcakes! In this economy everyone needs an affordable luxury. 36


Roberto Mei Owner Café Baci Sarasota, Fl



New York City’s Best Italian


Why did you open your business in Sarasota?

I was running three restaurants in Manhattan and was due for a sunny vacation to visit my mother in law in Florida. After arriving in the beautiful quaint town of Sarasota, our relatives invited us to dine with them at a local Italian restaurant. We had a wonderful visit but realized Sarasota could use an authentic Italian restaurant. Shortly after our visit we made Sarasota our permanent home and enlisted our children at the Out-of-Door-Academy.


What is you favorite place to visit in Sarasota if you have a few minutes to yourself?

Successful restaurants are always run in full gear and you have to be ready for the fast pace environment. Restaurants are management intensive, and require you to be present in the every day business. Spending time with myself allows me to relax and take in the beauty of Sarasota. I enjoy taking long bike rides around Siesta Key. If I only have a few minutes I make the point to enjoy the picturesque views of Sarasota.

Food Finds a Home in Florida


What do you tell visitors to do and see to get the real SRQ experience?

I tell my guests, which tends to be many as we come from a large Italian family, that no trip is complete without a stroll along Saint Armand’s Circle. Mote Marine Aquariam is a great place to take young children too, as they have very informative interactive educational programs and extensive touch tanks.

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offers a unique and individualized experience, through our SPORTS SPECIFIC TRAINING. Let us heighten YOUR GAME In addition to SPORTS SPECIFIC TRAINING, Common Conditions we treat For Athletes include: •Arthritis Pain •Bursitis •Dislocations •Fractures •Plantar Fasciitis •Post Surgical Rehab •Sport/Spine Injury •Tennis/Golfer’s Elbow Additional Services Include: •Massage Therapy •Nutrition Counseling

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1705 S. Ospery Avenue Sarasota, FL 34239 Office (941)957-3279 FAX (941)957-0243

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530 E. Olympia Ave Punta Gorda, FL. 33950 Office (941)575-7300 Fax (941)505-7301



1959 N. Honore Avenue Sarasota, FL 34235 Office (941) 379-3100 Fax (941) 379-3107

400 S. Tamiami Trail #210 Venice, FL 34285 Office (941) 483-3400 Fax (941) 483-3422

280 Park Avenue Boca Grande, FL 33921 Office (941) 964-2300 Fax (941) 964-2320


2886 Tamiami Trail #4 Port Charlotte, FL. 33952 Office (941)743-6700 Fax (941)743-6707


Two-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh

the muscles; it allows support while maintaining full range of motion. Although especially important to athletes, all individuals benefit from this treatment because they are able to participate in their normal physical activity with functional assistance. In the acute rehabilitation stage, this taping helps to prevent overuse or over-contraction and helps to facilitate lymph flow for an entire 24-hour period.

If you watched any beach volleyball during the Olympics, you couldn’t help but notice the unique taping on the shoulder of one of the USA’s top players—and if you haven’t seen it, you’ve probably heard about it!

Kinesio taping affects the activation of the neurological system, the body’s information processor and the circulatory system. Muscles control the circulation of venous and lymph flows, body temperature, and the like. When muscles fail to function properly, many different symptoms are produced.

Kinesio Taping is fast becoming the “GOLD” standard for therapeutic rehabilitative taping. This proprietary method of taping uses a uniquely designed and patented tape for the treatment of muscular disorders and lymphadema reduction.

At our office, Kinesio Taping gives our patients therapeutic benefits with comfort and ease 24 hours a day and each application can be worn for several days. If it works for the best athletes in the world, let it work for you!

This method involves taping over and around the muscles in order to give support or to prevent over-contraction of

For information on kinesio tape or chiropractic care in the Sarasota area contact: Advanced Wellness Center or visit: to set up a complimentary consultation.

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Believe, Be Healthy, Belong Spend the Summer at the YMCA Registration now available online!

we build strong kids, strong families, strong communities.

Evalyn Sadlier Jones Branch and Selby Aquatics Center at the CJ Lofino Family Complex 8301 Potter Park Drive • 941-922-9622 Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Branch 1075 S. Euclid Ave. • 941-955-8194 Babe Weiller Branch 1991 Main Street, Suite 200 • 941-366-6778




summer camps The YMCA is known nationwide for its healthy, educational, and productive programs for children and the Sarasota’s branch of the organization is no different. As part of their continuing mission to “build strong kids, strong families, and strong communities,” the Sarasota Family YMCA has a full schedule of activities for kids this summer. At the four-day camp at the Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Branch (1075 South Euclid Ave.) campers choose two one-hour specialty activities each morning and spend the afternoon taking part in traditional camp fun, including field trips. Through games, sport instruction, climbing, kayaking, hiking, swimming and creative fun, children at our YMCA camps will develop social skills, good values, and an active body. Camp Discovery at the Evalyn Sadlier Jones Branch YMCA (8301 Potter Park Drive) incorporates life skills with activities like skateboarding, kayaking, and interactive video games. The Four-Day Camp at the Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Branch (1075 South Euclid Ave.) is based on the four core principles of the YMCA—caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility. Here, campers choose two one-hour specialty activities each morning and spend the afternoon taking part in traditional camp fun, including field trips. Speaking of field trips, the YMCA is taking three week-long camping trips to the Florida Keys this summer as part of its Adventure program. Children staying closer to home can also experience nature with Outdoor Expeditions camp, which includes climbing the Y’s alpine tower and Carolina Climbing Wall, plus kayaking, and hiking. The YMCA also offers its always-popular flag football, soccer, and basketball camps. New this summer are baseball camps and youth tennis camps for ages five to 15. In the pool, there is Junior Lifeguard camp, and Water Quest camp where campers are instructed in activities like water polo, stroke development, springboard diving, and synchronized swimming. Children who enjoy performing out of the water will enjoy the Y’s gymnastics and dance camps, which are available to campers ages 3-1/2 and older. For teens and older children the Y offers Leaders in Training and Adventure programs, while preschoolers are invited to Kindercamp, a six-hour camp that gives children a taste of their first camp experience. For more information about the Sarasota Family YMCA’s summer camps, please call 952-9533 ext. 201 or 941-922-9622 or visit We look forward to seeing you at the YMCA!

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Another “Treasure” on the Key


Out-of-Door-Academy By Tracy Genovese

ost people who travel to Siesta Key only have one thing on their mind; hitting the beach! Speeding towards the world famous white powdery shores of Siesta Key, it is very possible and, dare I say likely, that a visitor to the island might miss another treasure, The Out-of-Door Academy, which is an independent elementary school fondly known by locals as ODA. A quaint, horseshoe shaped independent elementary school called The Out-ofDoor Academy. Established in 1924, two women, Fanneal Harrison and Catherine Gavin, had a vision. The name says it all. They wanted to create a school where classes could be held outdoors. The school at one time owned 650 feet of white sandy beach where it held classes such as swimming, canoeing, and horseback riding. In fact, rumor has it that at the one-time boarding school, all students possessed their own animal, right on campus. While today colorful modern buildings line the campus, the original rustic-brown cabin stands tall and proud at its heart. Walking to and from classes, students still enjoy the warm Florida sun beating down on their backs, as they did years ago; and they admire the natural beauty of the strong banyan and palm trees that tower over them. Tradition is everywhere at ODA. For instance, upon graduation, each student leaves his or her mark by having an engraved stepping stone placed on campus. This tradition was actually inspired by the one-and-only Thomas Edison, a frequent visitor to the breath-taking campus. Staff members and students still eat their lunches in the cool shade provided by the gargantuan banyan trees, all while surrounded by winding palms and the whispering melodies of the Gulf winds blowing through bamboo. So, slow down island visitors, and if you are traveling near the North Bridge, take a peek and catch a glimpse of this historic and special institution. It holds a spot near and dear to any who have studied there. The Out-of-Door Academy truly is a treasure all in its own and a “key” ingredient to Siesta Key’s magic.

Teacher Tracy Genovese with student McCabe Ballanbe

Out-of-Door Academy Archives



SARASOTA plays host

to major sporting events throughout the year, whether it’s the Suncoast Offshore Grand Prix every 4th of July weekend, Major League Baseball in the spring, professional volleyball tournaments, or the Sarasota Marathon. Earlier this year one of the country’s premier athletic organizations chose this sporty town over a number of cities across the nation for its permanent national headquarters. U.S. Masters Swimming (USMS), the 39 year old governing body for adult fitness, wellness, and competition through aquatics, will take the rest of 2009 to get operations of the headquarters up and running in the coastal Florida town. Today, U.S. Masters Swimming provides participant insurance coverage to nearly 50,000 adult swimmers that comprise the membership, sanctions and promotes two nationally recognized pool national championships, six open-water national championships and a series of fitness

“We see important short-term and long-term opportunities in Sarasota that we believe can best serve our initiatives. We in turn look forward to being a terrific and valued partner to Sarasota”

The selection process was grueling and thorough but in the end Sarasota provided everything that Copeland and his fellow decision makers were looking for. A warm weather city, a charitable spirit, and a number of allies with strong roots in the community like, Ringling College, The University of South Florida, and the Sarasota YMCA. “We see important short-term and longterm opportunities in Sarasota that we believe can best serve our initiatives. We in turn look forward to being a terrific and valued partner to Sarasota,” Copeland said.

challenges. In addition, it sanctions more than 500 local adult swimming competitions, tracks individual results, including adult age-group American records, promotes coaches education, distributes a bi-monthly member magazine and monthly member e-newsletters, and has 21 national corporate sponsors. USMS has come a long way since its inception in 1970, and the move to Sarasota caps one of the most intense periods of growth in the group’s history. “This is a significant milestone in the history of U.S. Masters Swimming,” commented Rob Copeland, U.S. Masters Swimming president. “For nearly 40 years, we have existed as a virtual, volunteer-run organization. Our membership has continued and is continuing to grow. We are now at nearly 50,000 members, and with the hiring of an executive director and additional staff, establishing a national headquarters is a natural evolution.”

Sarasota officials also expect a mutually beneficial relationship to develop quickly with USMS. Virginia J. Haley, President, Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau, commented, “with the many things our community has to offer, we feel they have found a swimmer’s paradise. We look forward to our future partnership and ensuring a first-class experience for all visiting their new headquarters in sunny Sarasota.” Sarasota Mayor Lou Ann Palmer said she is “thrilled” USMS will be making its home in Sarasota. U.S. Masters Swimming and Sarasota have established a transition team. The transition team will assist in the site selection of the office space and relocation of employees to Sarasota to be completed by the end of 2009.

For more information on U.S. Masters Swimming visit








Young and Healthy Tips for the Young and Healthy Investor By Cory Marlow So now what? You’re in your twenties or thirties and more than likely healthy and full of pomp and desire to outgrow your college days. All of a sudden you are caught in the midst of one of the more colossal economic meltdowns in the history of our great country. Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you have noticed the market down as much as 40% over the past year, sending your infantile 401K down the proverbial economic toilet. Good news, you have time on your side. Bad news, you have no direction and no stomach to speculate on the future. So now what? Here are a few tips to get you, the young and healthy investor, back on track.

If you haven’t already, open a Roth IRA When it comes to the investor, one of Florida’s bestkept secrets is a small company ca lled MoneyShow (previously InterS how). The Sarasota-based co mpany has been billed as “The world’s leading producer of investment tradeshows and cru ises.” Since 1978 Kim an d Charles Githler have been producing conferences and cruises that have hosted hundreds of thousands of individual inves tors. These investors have he ard from giants in the investment industry like, John Templeton, Steve Forbes, Louis Rukeyser, Jim Rogers, Newt Gingrich, and score s of others. The inaugural event too k place in San Francisco, was inv itation only, hosted only a couple hun dred, and was orchestrated by the Githlers with very little help. Today, MoneyShow employs mo re than 80, produces almost 20 eve nts a year, and outsources only one aspect of production: printing. The events the company produces from the ground up are The Money Show, The Traders Expo, The Financial Advisor Symposium, and the Forex & Options Expo, held in places like Chicago, New York Cit y, Las Vegas, and San Francisco. And, in the last decade the company has gone global, creating The World MoneyShow. The maiden show and largest of the year happens in Orlando registering nearly 15,000 attendees, but events also happen annually in Hong Kong and London and will begin in Toronto later in 2009. The company calls Sarasota home, but does little to no business in its own neck of the woods. Most in Sarasota are aware of the Githlers more for their vast charitable and community involvement or the development arm of their business . Little do they know, one of the investment world’s most important and powerful companies operates right in their back yard.

Since the inception of the Tax Payer Relief Act of 1997, the Roth IRA has quickly become one of the most popular retirement tools in the US. Unfortunately for some single taxpayers, the Roth IRA isn’t an option due to the modified adjusted gross income limits of $116,000. However, considering you are young, you might not quite be at that level yet. The Roth IRA allows you to contribute after tax dollars into a tax-free growth retirement plan at the current maximum level of $5,000 per year. What this means to you is tax-free withdrawals at retirement. Another caveat to the Roth IRA plan that should be hit on especially for the young investor is the opportunity to use the plan’s funds to purchase your first home. Let’s be honest, we are in a buyer’s market when it comes to real estate. Whether it’s the all time low mortgage rates, or the first time homebuyer tax credit that recently went into effect, buying a home now is ideal for the right person. The Roth IRA allows you to use up to $10,000 in earnings withdrawals, tax-free, if the money is used to acquire a principal residence. Not a bad deal. In short, if you haven’t opened a Roth IRA yet, do it now. We aren’t really sure how much longer it’s going to last, because it really is the best thing going.

Max out your 401K I’m sure you have heard this from just about everyone, or at least read it in an online article, but for real…MAX IT OUT. I’m going to say something that not a lot of people have a problem hearing; free money. Has a nice little ring to it eh? Your employer’s 401K plan allows you to contribute pre-tax money every time the payroll department puts that nice little pay check in your account. And hopefully, your employer has a company match to your 401K account as well. If so, put as much pre-tax money in as it takes to get that company match. If they match dollar for dollar up to 6%, put in 6%. If they will put in half of what you put in up to 4%, put in 8%. Obviously we all have budgets and can only do what’s affordable, but lets all be honest here: “Well, I could go out with the guys a couple times this weekend with that money I am putting in.” Probably true. But are your guys going to call you in 30 years when retirement is nearing and say, “Hey man, remember that time we all went out and had a great time? Well I am going to send you all of that money back.” Right, that’s what I thought.

Keep the faith After the worst decade our stock market has ever seen, it’s hard to have much faith in the financial system anymore, right? Bologna. The market has always, and in my opinion will always, turn around. It just goes back to the basic fundamentals of Econ 101. Demand, supply, equilibrium, it’s always going on. Production, distribution, consumption, and pricing are not just random occurrences. People do them all the time. They invest, they start firms, which produce and distribute goods and services. It is happening now, and will continue to happen. People consume goods and services everyday and that is what drives our economy. That being said, you are too young to just sit on the sidelines and wait and see what happens next. Take a systematic approach of dollar-cost averaging into the market if you are unsure, and whatever you do, keep the faith. So you are a young and healthy person. Why not become a young and healthy investor? Open a Roth IRA, max out your 401K, and keep the faith in the financial system. I know it all seems pretty basic, and it really is. Now, it might not be as easy as those college days were, and may seem extremely far removed from when all we had to worry about was deciding whether or not to go to marketing class. But be proactive and keep your future in mind at all times. And most importantly, give your retirement planning the old college try.

Cory Marlow is currently a Relationship Manager for Key Investment Services in South Bend, IN. He specializes in retirement planning and investment solutions for clients of all ages. Cory is a 2004 graduate of Valparaiso University and received a Professional MBA from Northern Illinois University in 2007.

—Sean Griffin




CITIES Orlando Area Sand Advantage: University of Central Florida has the best sand facility in Orlando with eight white sand courts and lights. Where to Play: Orlando Sports Center

Shall we dance: Blue Martini, Slingapores

Best Grub in town: Amura Sushi, Tijuana Flats

Beach Clubs and Organizations: Orlando Sports Center (Beach Volleyball) Website: www.

Thirsty: Latitudes, Cantina

Clearwater/Tampa Area Sand Advantage: You can’t beat the Clearwater Beach atmosphere. There are always tons of nets with all different skill levels. The sand is clean and not too shallow, but not too deep. Tip for summer volleyball players: the sand never gets too hot to play on. On weekends the Pier fills up with vendors and all sorts of cool stuff for locals and vacationers. Make sure to get to Pier 60 at sunset to be part of the excitement. Where to Play: Clearwater Beach by Pier 60 or Frenchy’s on the Beach (on weekends), Bayhead Center (during the week). Best Grub in Town: Post Corner Pizza and Frenchy’s in Clearwater. The Rack’s Sushi or Tina Tapas in Channelside. Thirsty: (Clearwater) Palm Pavillion Crabby Bills Beach Clubs and Organizations: Club V: Leading Outdoor/Indoor Volleyball Club in Tampa Bay Website:

VolleyChick Beach Clinics: Website: (See Kim Whitney and Tara Kuk) Beach Stars of Tomorrow: Held at Bayhead Center in Largo, Florida  Website: Information Provided by Local Pros: Tara Kuk, Clearwater Morgan Flarity, Tampa

Sarasota Beach Area Sand Advantage: Siesta Key Beach is extraordinarily beautiful. The blinding white powdery sand is the perfect “sand” for beach volleyball athletes. With so much beauty, the beach draws a large crowd. So get there before 10:30 am for parking on the weekend. Saint Michael’s on Midnight Pass Road also has additional parking for five dollars and is a short walk from the beach. Where to Play: Siesta Key Beach, 948 Beach Road, Siesta Key, Florida 34242 or Bee Ridge Park 4430 S. Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota, Florida 34231 (Outside Lights) Best Grub in Town: Walt’s Fish Market, a seafood original! Thirsty: Right off the beach, Gilligan’s Bar and Grill located in Siesta Key Village. Looking for SRQ’s night life, head downtown to EVIE’S Tavern on Ringling Blvd. Shall we Dance: The Beach Club in Siesta Key Village.

Beach Clubs and Organizations: SpikeKey Beach Volleyball Website: Sarasota Beach Volleyball Website: Information Provided by Local Pro: Megan Wallin

Fort Myers/Naples Beach Area Sand Advantage: Naples Pier is the local hangout for beach players. The setup has two nets, beautiful white sand, and a friendly atmosphere. Naples is home to AVP veterans and still attracts the best talent. Whether you’re digging balls in the sand, fishing on the pier, or soaking up the rays, Naples Pier is a beach destination to put on the map. Where to Play: (Naples) Naples Pier, Lowdermilk Park (Ft. Myers) Fort Myers Beach, Estero Park, USA South Beach Volleyball Complex Best Grub in Town: (Naples) USS Nemo’s Sea Bass, Tucks Seafood, (Ft. Myers) Sonny’s BBQ Thirsty: (Naples) Tommy Bahamas Bar, Jacks Bait Shop in North Naples (Ft. Myers) Pinchers Crab Shack Shall we Dance: (Naples) Sway and Yabbas, (Ft. Myers) Venue



Beach Clubs & Organizations: Ft. Myers Beach Volleyball Website: USA South Beach Volleyball Website: Information Provided by Local Pros: Brooke Sweat, Ft. Myers Kelly Weiler, Naples

Jacksonville Beach Area Sand Advantage: Jacksonville Beach is the best beach for two reasons: the friendly beach community and the high level of play. It has great weather, lots of good players, and an atmosphere that is second to none just south of the pier. There are four nets up all summer long right at the end of 4th North, with a boardwalk that stretches about a mile offering all sorts of restaurants and nightlife. In addition, there are NO parking meters anywhere! Best Grub in Town: Angie’s Subs on Beach Blvd. Sun Deli Primo Burrito, and Bucketts. Thirsty: The Ritz Carlton on 4th N (walking distance to the courts). During the day there are normally a few locals, but at night, the dance floor is packed.

Beach Clubs and Organizations: JJVA’s (Jacksonville Junior Volleyball Association) Website: Information Provided by Local Pro: Kent Ammons

Shall we dance: The Atlantic.

Fort Lauderdale Beach Area Sand Advantage: Fort Lauderdale Beach is a great place for athletes to train and play, regardless of your level of competition. There are always plenty of nets set up with every level of play from B to Open division. The AVP has even made it one of its stops in past years, and it still draws top AVP Players like Nick Lucena and Misty May for training. Where to Play: Yankee Clipper and the VanZwieten House (of course you must get permission from Mrs. VanZwieten to use her backyard for hitting practice).

Shall we dance: Beach Place for a more relaxed vibe, or America’s Backyard in Downtown Fort Lauderdale for a definite party weekend!

Best Grub in Town: Tijuana Flats and Zone Fresca.

Beach Clubs and Organizations: CLUB BEACH DIG Website:

Thirsty: The bar at the Yankee Clipper, which is right next to the courts, or pick from any of the great places for drinks at Beach Place, less than a mile down from the nets.

MST Sports Performance Website: Information Provided by Local Pro: Kendra Jackson

Miami Beach Area Sand Advantage: Miami Beach is everything anyone would want a sports venue to be; beautiful back drop, celebrities of all types (models, athletes, and actors), some of the best food and diverse culture in the world. The boardwalk is only steps away, and the volleyball itself is fierce and exciting! The Miami Beach community is tourist friendly, and we encourage everyone to hit the sand at least once. You might even get to play with a few professionals. There are multiple levels of play so don’t stray if you’re a beginner. Bienvenido a Miami. Where to Play: 8th Street and Ocean.

Shall we dance: You’re in Miami, take your pick?

Best Grub in town: Straight from the beach: Puerto Sagua for Cuban Food. Big Pink has an extensive menu and come as you are. If you have time to get cleaned up and dressed, Prime 112.

Beach Clubs and Organizations: CLUB BEACH DIG Website:

Thirsty: The real secret is Wet Willie’s, with great frozen drinks and located just across the street from the Beach; our favorite. Ted’s Hide Away or The Deuce Bar also have a great atmosphere and a variety of drink options.

Lisa Gaylord Fitness: Website: Elite Health Performance: Website: Information Provided by Local Pro: Bonnie Levin



Giovanni Lunardi Photography





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Panama City Beach REAL. FUN. BEACH. is the new “slogan” for Panama City Beach located in the panhandle of Florida. The campaign was developed to promote the white sand beach and help everyone “feel” the fun and sun in Panama City Beach. Local company PCB Sand Sports is working to bridge the various professional volleyball tours, including the AVP and EVP, to bring the excitement of professional volleyball to the beaches of Panama City Beach. A new natural wonderland is emerging to explore: the Florida Panhandle. Northwest Florida is one of the most important ecosystems, with diverse and rare species. From an environmental standpoint, the Panhandle is like no other place; the assemblage of plants and animals here occurs nowhere else on earth. Panama City Beach is often referred to as “The Last Undiscovered Florida Coast.” Panama City Beach’s legendary pure white sand resulted from quartz crystals washing down from the Appalachian Mountains centuries ago. Along their journey, the crystals were bleached, ground, smoothed, and polished until the surf of the Gulf of Mexico deposited them on the shoreline.

The Beach... Panama City Beach has 27 miles of snowy white sand and emerald green water, offering many fun things to enjoy. Panama City Beach is a source of natural beauty...a place to relax, experience nature, and restore balance to our lives. Swimming, fishing, and pleasure boating are just a few of the activities one can enjoy in the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico. For those looking for a bit more adventure, the answer might be parasailing, jet skiing, snorkeling, windsurfing or diving.



Panama City Beach, FL

Panama City Beach

a City Beach

am Beach Volleyball in Pan

and good base for training ter and can provide a win ny new the ma d an y the sta in sonable places to ball game began rea lley vo are h ere ac Th be s. an mp o-m ca The first tw airport and more offer any a prepares for the new CA. The first event to are a, nic the Mo as s nta job Sa in ’s n 1930 ners wo les in 1948 when the win travelers. prizes was in Los Ange anized org s wa r tou t firs the ’s 50 19 of the two the In i. ps a case of Pe , “the perfect synergy aches Richard Sanders adds Department on five be on ati opportunity cre at Re gre d a an es rks vid by a Pa zil had a ach volleyball pro Bra be t for tha s e nd tim e bra sam g the und-breakin long-term in California around op a successful and gro onsor the sport for vel sp y de an to mp co g hin blis newspaper pu own to be relationship”. rnia has long been kn tournament play. Califo sport, tive eti mp co the op vel Sand Sports in Panama de d d was identified by PCB an “the place” to play an ; y’s ure ark fut Sh d the of a are hot growth of AVPNext Leagues an however Florida is the Beach to host a series volleyball y h en, Cit ac Th be ts. the oo er ssr off gra to s a lot n and women’s Panama City Beach ha Tournaments with me of staurant and the Towne community. Sharky’s Beachfront Re Tour host the first AVP Pro to ce er aven came togeth to Beach is an ideal pla ah y was Se Cit er ma ath na we e Pa Th of . d The white san n Reese, ach this past March ma Be Ro y of Cit s ort ma eff na t Pa en ac in rec The l of teams from ross play beach volleyball. ild awareness. but the qualifier was ful bu , g ing lpin ng he alle is ch s, ort Sp Director of PCB Sand the southeast. y developing three rne jou ll PNext ba lley vo his n Reese bega staurant will host an AV Sharky’s Beachfront Re ille Beach, a volleyball shv mended by Na om at rec s urt y’s co ark d Sh . san white rnaments in 2009 . Reese, along Tou 95 er 19 in mm , Su ille shv s in Florida Na on e ati the unique loc complex just outsid was right to reach out Sand Sports as one of e B tim PC the Beach and y felt , Cit ice ma na Jan with his wife competition in Pa a beach the w w gro d gro r an the lish fur ab to est to n’s grassroots amateur to Panama City Beach work. He ies for men and wome to ser t a ou e set vid y the pro the so rnaments throughout volleyball community— h all the volleyball volleyball as well as tou wit h as ac ide be ss cu dis d an began to meet nders, V.P. summer. closely with Richard Sa associations. Working ip r’s Bureau, ito Vis d an on nti nve AVPNext Championsh Co hed the Barefoot Wine nc Sports Marketing at the e lau vid e in y pro “W d pla an to d ce an on how to exp enthusiasts the chan discussions centered Cup to give volleyball sociate y. ne mo ze pri Ann Polhemus Peltz, As d d an sai n competitio the big leagues,” ny people ma ot “N . ne Wi t nager for Barefoo nama City Beach Ma Pa g to tin ng rke mi Ma co rt po eti air and play comp tively, A new international this can bring further it their day job to travel d qu an n 10 ca 20 have their of y Ma in yers to which will open ople the opportunity to and this series gives pe al as well as national pla on ati ern int for ies nit .” opportu the court nama City dreams come true on d and “real, fun” of Pa g rin experience the white san du ld mi is h ac Be y Panama Cit Beach. The weather in



Panama City Beach and PCB Sand Sports Presents:


VOLLEYBALL! Clip and Save!

2009 Events

staurant and Tiki Bar Re nt ro hf ac Be ’s ky ar Sh AVPNext at n and Women’s Doubles ents: May 23, July 4 / Me Saturday Ev d 2’s ly 5 / Co-Ed 4’s and Co-E Ju , 24 y Ma : ts en Ev ay Sund Juniors Divisions: Open/A/BB/

EVP Amateur Qualifier Ev ent EVP

Qualifier June 20th Location: M.B. Miller Pa rk Saturday Events: June 20 / Men’s and Women ’s Doubles Sunday Events: June 21 / Co-Ed 4’s and Co -E d 2’s Divisions: Open/A/BB/ Juniors

EVP Pro Tour Labor Day Festival at Boardwalk Be To be televised on Com ach Resort cast Network

Register at: www.evpt Saturday Events: Sept ember 5 / Men and W omen’s Doubles Sunday Events: Septem ber 6 / Co-Ed 4’s and Co-Ed 2’s Divisions: Open/A/BB/ Juniors

Cash Prizes!

Day Weekend Festival s bu m lu Co A – t es hf ac Be PCB Sand Sports October 11 , October 10 / Sunday, Saturday er Flag Football, Sand Socc Beach Volleyball, Beach

For more information about these events and to register, visit

Panama City Beach The EVP Pro Tour sees opportunity in Panama City Beach and will televise their Labor Day event at the Boardwalk Beach Resort, September 5th and 6th. Ross Balling, founder of the EVP Tour along with Volleyball Professionals brings a passion to teach and grow the sport of volleyball across the country. EVP stands for “Extreme Volleyball Professionals” and its entire team maintains a firm commitment to producing events that build local support and attract spectators and athletes to the community it serves. The “extreme” represents a full day of competition that allows pro players to travel and compete at tour stops around the country.  The competitions give many players the opportunity to compete and travel, but still maintain their day-to-day life. A day at the beach is not the same without a well-organized event and a quality field of volleyball competitors. The EVP is excited to partner with PCB Sand Sports and Richard Sanders. Their leadership and commitment to develop this tour stop in Panama City Beach has been exemplary.

Kelly Rowe, CA

The EVP amateur events promote a “city vs. city” competition and the opportunity to support and develop competitive events to grow volleyball professionals around the country. Panama City Beach and Boardwalk Beach Resort are working together with

Ross Balling is a Certified Youth Sports Administrator. He founded Volleyball Professionals in 1994 to teach others the sport he loves so much. He is a master instructor and a leader in providing park districts and other facilities with quality volleyball instruction and program management. He continues to teach other

PCB Sand Sports to develop several EVP qualifier events throughout the summer leading up to the September event. The EVP Tour is adding a Juniors Division in 2009 to support the growing interest of younger players and to develop competition and play to expand the development of competitive players around the country. Panama City Beach and PCB Sand Sports hosted Ross in January of 2009. He toured Rasa Virsilaite, IL the area and discussed the opportunity to develop his volleyball Professionals approach to training and education along with bringing the EVP Tour to the area. Ross commented. “The white sand along with the hospitality of the local community is refreshing to see, and I am excited about the future growth of beach volleyball in this region.” Ross had his first face-to-face meeting with Beach Tennis USA while in town to further develop the vision and partnership suggested by PCB Sand Sports to combine volleyball and tennis to develop “beach” sports programs. “I think that it’s a great opportunity for the organization and players, this would give the game even more popularity shared Alex Mingozzi, the number one ranked beach tennis player in the world.” As a result of the introduction and vision of PCB Sand Sports, along with the welcome across the local Panama City Beach community the EVP Tour and Beach Tennis USA are beginning a partnership to develop and expand combined events in three cities for 2009 with additional cities planned in 2010.

volleyball professionals his proven system of training and encouraging class participants to reach their potential. Ross has been instrumental in developing volleyball as a true profession. The staff of volleyball professionals trained over 7,000 students by the end of the 2008 summer season at parks and beaches, both on the local and national level.

This fall over the Columbus Day Weekend, Panama City Beach and PCB Sand Sports will be hosting a Beachfest “fun” volleyball vacation and Sand Sports competition in partnership with Albert Hanneman of Volleyball Vacations.

(Left to Right) Dan Weinberg, Richard Sanders, Rick Dye, John Hamati, Janice Reese, Jim Lorenzo, Ross Balling

Albert comments, “ I am excited to be able to work with PCB Sand Sports to offer my volleyball vacations clients an opportunity to experience the beautiful beaches of Panama City and all the city has to offer. My

clients love to travel and come from all over the United States in search for the nicest beaches in the world and the white sand beaches in Panama City Beach rival some of our famous Caribbean locations. I hope to create an exciting event with Richard Sanders and PCB Sand Sports that we can build and grow each year for many years to come.” Albert will be launching a six-person tournament Manhattan-Beach-style, with a costume event as part of the festivities. The Panama City Beach community is excited to see all of the ‘fun” beach sports come to the area. The dedication and effort of Richard Sanders and his team are creating a bright future for growing “fun” competition in sand sports. Visitors are beginning to visit the Panama City Beach area and plan their vacations around the opportunity to learn, play, or compete across sand sports and enjoy the wonderful white sand and hospitality of this “hidden vacation spot.” PCB Sand Sports





Go Beyond the Beaches

When it comes to things to see and do in Sarasota and her seven islands, the sky’s the limit. But the prices are down to earth. Whether you love exceptional culture or magnificent white beaches, you’ll come home with sand in your shoes…and money in your pocket! Visit for more information. The Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau supports its local professional beach volleyball team, SpikeKey.

Longboat Key . Lido Key . Siesta Key . Casey Key . Venice . Manasota Key . Englewood . North Port


Following The Functional Path Principles & Application of Functional Exercise For Performance & Rehabilitation As explained by Vern Gambetta Vern Gambetta

It incorporates a kaleidoscope of methods, systematically applied to improve all systems of the body. No one system is emphasized to the exclusion of another. No one method or physical quality becomes an end unto itself. Each athlete is a case study of one. Each athlete brings something different to the table. It is characterized by integration of movement and a spectrum approach. By spectrum approach, I mean moving along a spectrum of methods and activities relevant to the method being utilized.


The dictionary defines spectrum as a broad range of related values or qualities or ideas or activities. The spectrum approach is the cornerstone of Functional Training and rehab as I define it. Training consists of a move across a spectrum of activities and training methods. You do not stay in one place, it is not segmented, but a blending of one method into another. At different times of the year and in a career, the emphasis will be on different points on the spectrum. For example, look at the strength training spectrum. It begins with bodyweight and progresses to highforce, slower-speed lifting, which in turn progresses to high-speed, high-force ballistic work. Depending on the sport and individual needs, it is entirely possible for one athlete to stay on one point on the spectrum for a relatively long period of time. This is not an arbitrary decision but it is criteria and need based. It is essential to have a method to determine where you need to be on the spectrum. This should be evidence based upon thorough testing and evaluation.

What is the Functional Path? The Traditional Linear Approach to training athletes has relied on a direct cause-effect, actionreaction relationship between training and results. Each small aspect of training is put under a microscope and examined minutely for its training effect. The Functional Path™ Approach to training is a significant departure FUNCTIONAL from the traditional approach. It is less direct and depends on the relationship and interaction of training components. Instead of viewing each segment microscopically, the view is of the big picture. What is Functional Training? Function is integrated multidirectional movement. Everything we do as long as we are alive is functional; it is really a matter of how functional relative to what we are preparing for. It does not mean that you don’t lift weights. It does mean that you are acutely aware of context and interrelationship of physical qualities and systems of the body.

Functional training is training that incorporates a full spectrum of training designed to elicit the optimum adaptive response appropriate for the sport or activity being trained for.

Gambetta Sports Training Systems “Training the Best to be Better”

Vern Gambetta is recognized internationally as an expert in training and conditioning. He has worked with world-class athletes and teams across the country. Vern was the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and Director of Athletic Development for the New York Mets. He was also the Strength & Conditioning Coach for the US Men’s World Cup team in 1998. For more information go to Vern’s Web site at



Vern’s Favorite Inspirational Words “There a re no tw oo regardin g comm ptions itment. You’re e ith out. The er in or you’re re thing as is no such life in be tween.” -Pat Riley

n’t u do o y f er. I , ream o dream d a t e B  w “ ho lvano know e dead.” -Jim Va r you’

“Things tu rn out bes t for those who make the b est of the way things turn out.” -Anonymous

edict y to pr it.” a w t s e t “The b e is to inven r u t u f ay the -Alan K “Flatter me, and I may not belie ve you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may no t forgive you. Encoura ge me, and I will not forget you.” -William Arthur


er n. Aft e p p a h ds les do ousan “Mirac nds and th . . . a ing thous of train en.” s r u o pp of h do ha s mous le c a -Anony mir

Vern Gambetta

Functional Path™ Travel Rules Rule # 1 - Have a Plan, Execute It, and Evaluate It

Without a sound, clear plan, a training program has no direction or purpose. The training plan is the roadmap. Gather all the information you can about the athletes you are going to work with. How much time do you have? The more time you have the better. Once you have a plan you are satisfied with, execute the plan. Evaluate the plan in terms of the long term, medium term and short terms goals and make adjustments accordingly.

Rule # 2 - Build and Rebuild the Complete Athlete

Do not think parts, think whole, and conceptualize how the body works together as a link system. All the training should be designed to enhance that linkage. Look for connections and relationships; do not get hung up on minutiae. All systems of the body work together all the time. You cannot just train the muscular system or the nervous system, or any other system in the body for that matter They all work together to produce smooth efficient movement. Train and rehab the connections by using methods that promote linkage. Think of linking the ankle, knee and hip, the hip to the shoulder. This is the most effective means of staying on the “Functional Path” and being efficient. Training linkage transfers to efficient movement, efficient movement transfers to improved performance.

Rule # 3 - Train Fundamental Movement Skills before Specific Sport Skills

There are three components to fundamental movement. 1) Movement and Rhythm Skills—Body, Rhythmic, and Directional awareness, consist of learning how to move. 2) Body Consciousness Skills—Senses of space, orientation and balance. 3) Sensory Development Skills—Awareness of our basic physical senses—sight, touch, hearing, and time. All of these components should be trained extensively and mastered before significant time is spent on sport-specific skill. Use movements that are multiple plane and multiple joint, and work through the core. Think of training movements not muscles. Push, pull, reach, grab, extend, bend, and then combine these into bigger patterns that encourage muscle synergies. Keep it simple to be smart. Give the body credit for its innate motor genius and put it in positions to use that genius. Make it simple. Make it FUNdamental and the complexity will follow.

Rule # 4 - Build and Rebuild the Athlete from the Ground Up

The ground is where we live, work, and play. Effective movement entails the ability to utilize ground reaction forces to propel the body in the intended direction. The legs are the base upon which we can build the most effective athlete. Building good sound functional leg strength will ensure efficient movement and go a long way toward preventing injuries.

Rule # 5 - Train the Core as the Center of the Action

The core is the center of the body; all movement must pass through the core. It is a muscular corset that lends integrity and support to the body. A strong, stable, fully functioning core is essential for quality injury free movement. The core works as an integrated functional unit that accelerates, decelerates, and dynamically stabilizes the body during movement. It helps to think of the core as a relay center for the body. All movement is relayed through the core which: 1) Allows the entire body to accelerate the limbs. 2) Allows the entire body to decelerate the limbs. 3) Allows the entire body to support a limb. Forces from the top down and the bottom up must be relayed through the core. All training is core training because the core is active in all movements. The most effective means of training the core is in standing and moving postures that incorporate extending bending, twisting, and rotating.

Rule # 6 - You Are What You Train To Be

Certainly the outcome of training depends on the input. If you train to be slow you will be slow, if you train to be strong you will be strong. Instead of searching for more specific activities we should broaden our approach to incorporate more sport-appropriate activities. Similar activities and movements will have a positive carryover. If we try to be too specific all the time, we will not get the adaptation that we need to make significant improvement.

Rule # 7 - Build a Work Capacity Base Appropriate For Your Sport

This is not be confused with an aerobic base, that is only part of a bigger picture. Work capacity is the ability to handle a workload. Without the ability to handle a workload it is very difficult to improve. Understand the demands of your sport. If it is a speed and power sport then the work should reflect that. Doing endurance work for a speed and power sport is counter productive.

Rule # 8 - Train Toe Nails To Fingernails

The body is a kinetic chain. For efficient, injury-free movement, all the parts must be working together. Training should reflect interaction. The emphasis in training should be on movements that enhance the interaction of body parts. This is achieved by selecting exercises that demand movement that is multiple-plane, multiple-joint, through large amplitudes of movement.

Rule # 9 - Training is Cumulative

Adaptation to training takes time. There are no instant results. Because training accumulates over time, the longer the athlete can be in a systematic training program the better the chance for long-term success. Remember, no one workout can make an athlete, but one workout can break an athlete. Put the training in the context of the long-term plan in order to keep everything in perspective.





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DOESN’T PLAY SPORTS By Tim “Red” Wakeham

Coordinator of Strength and Conditioning, Olympic Sports Michigan State University

Do you want to be a runway model or a healthy competitive athlete?

I have asked this question to many female athletes. I ask the question because, when I listen to their words, they say, “I want to be strong and explosive.” The problem is that when I listen to their actions, some say, “I want to look like a thin fashion model.” One of my goals as a strength and conditioning coach is to inspire my athletes to do progressively more work in the weight room. The combination of progressive overload with the genetics of most competitive athletes eventually results in a small increase in lean body mass. Research suggests that increases in lean body mass begin around week six. But it is common for the female athletes I coach to stop by my office for a meeting long before week six.

Meetings usually start with, “Red, I am worried that I am gaining weight and getting too big.” I sometimes want to smile because I know that a majority of women do not have the genetic predisposition for Ms. Olympia-size muscles, and certainly they won’t be showing increased muscle mass by week three. I don’t smile though, because I know that body weight and cosmetic shape are no laughing matter for most females. The conflict between the duty of strength coaches to increase lean body mass in female athletes and many females’ desire for social acceptance through thinness can be a difficult issue. How can strength coaches deal with this tug-of-war? In this article I’ll offer some specific strategies I use at Michigan State University to motivate our female athletes to embrace improvements in lean body mass

I want to make sure our athletes know that we don’t train because we love training—we train because we love winning.

By Tim Wakeham

LISTEN, ACKNOWLEDGE, TEACH When it comes to most issues, the more communication you can share, the less the conflict. Communication on this issue starts with the strength and conditioning coach acknowledging how focused many females are on slender shape and social acceptance, as opposed to physical competitive readiness. Listening to female athletes over the years has been an interesting education for me. The biggest surprise has been how much time and energy they spend thinking and talking about food, diet, body weight, and cosmetic shape. For some women, these topics are a constant preoccupation. Based on my experience, I believe that if four female athletes went out for lunch to discuss a team issue, each could recount what the others ate and how they looked in their clothes with greater clarity than the topic discussed. This may seem silly to a coach who thinks about body shape, oh, maybe once a year when he has to put on that suit and tie for the year-end awards banquet, or who comes from a football background where bigger is better. That’s why it’s important to commit to hearing and understanding females’ thoughts and feelings regarding their desire for thinness. This is the first step to making a connection from which they will listen, trust, and commit to our goals and plans. Along with listening to my athletes and acknowledging that they may constantly struggle with body image issues, I try to teach them why this problem exists. Females are taught from a very early age that attractiveness, acceptance,



personal happiness, and self-worth are based on a very thin shape. The message is simple: if you are thin, you will be confident, well-liked, and successful. They see it in every advertisement, women’s magazine, and celebrity photo shoot. I educate my athletes that they are being sold this unrealistic body ideal by marketers pushing products. The diet, fashion, and cosmetic industries take advantage of female body image insecurities through the promotion of an “ideal” body shape. The ideal shape is usually small muscled and thin. This distorted social norm is then linked to an extensive list of products to make your “perfect body” dreams come true. It is important to teach female athletes awareness about this deceit and how they are being manipulated.

Furthermore, it is not uncommon for fashion models’ and celebrities’ pictures to be digitally altered. In 2003, GQ magazine buffed, trimmed, and altered actress Kate Winslet’s photos in order to flatten her stomach and lengthen her legs. Winslet said the editors reduced the size of her legs by a third. Cover and photo shoots are often the culmination of weeks of personal preparation—along with professional lighting, make-up, costume design, air brushing, and computer manipulations. It is unrealistic and unwise for women to use these fantasy advertisements as role models. This is especially true for athletes, whose goals are health and triumph, not product sales. But the reality is, it’s extremely hard for females to ignore all these images. So we talk about the issue. I listen attentively to the female athlete who wants to talk about her fears, no matter how many times I’ve heard the same story. I try to empower each young woman by educating them on how the body image phenomenon has arisen. And I try to teach them that confidence and acceptance has to come from within. I say that while I empathize with them in their struggle and recognize their trepidation; they must not give themselves permission to succumb to these unrealistic social pressures. Rather, they should embrace their genetic gifts and physically prepare to stand shoulder to shoulder with their teammates and dominate. I leave them saying that changing their focus is their work to do, they need to do it, and that I believe in their ability to get it done.

FEARS VS. FACTS When women are afraid that strength training will cause them to bulk up and dramatically change their body size, one of the best things I can do is provide them with scientific evidence that this is PROBABLY not going to happen. I start with this: studies show that over a nine-week period, most women who engage in resistance training gain a little over one pound of lean body mass, while experiencing a corresponding decrease in body fat of just under two percent. I usually repeat that. A mere one pound! Females who weight train may see muscular size increases of 20 to 30 percent, depending upon body type and other genetic factors. However, increases do not appear to meaningfully affect external girth measurements, because they simultaneously lose body fat. Of two studies reviewed, one showed no overall change in girths and the other showed less than a quarter of an inch.

SMART EATING Many female athletes who are afraid strength training will make them too big also fear that eating adequate calories to fuel their workouts will lead to unwanted weight gain. So another important method of ridding female athletes of their fear of gaining weight is to give them a constant flow of nutrition education. We talk a lot about the benefits of eating a variety of wholesome foods throughout the day and immediately following exercise. I explain how doing so can provide a constant flow of energy, delayed onset of fatigue, enhanced healing of injuries, faster recovery from illness, improved concentration, and enhanced athletic performance. Ultimately, the benefits of healthy eating probably give athletes a competitive edge without spending more time practicing. To assist with nutrition education, we recently hung four 32-inch flat screen television monitors in our weight room. We have the monitors hooked into a computer that continually runs a nutrition PowerPoint presentation throughout the day. Each slide then answers one nutrition question or presents one important nutrition fact. For example, one slide answers the

Research clearly shows that a majority of females will gain muscle and lose fat while staying close to the same body weight and size. For most females, the meaningful result should be a more shapely and taut physique. I also tell them about the benefits that can be derived from weight training. A properly designed and implemented weight training program may contribute to increases in strength, speed, endurance, and flexibility. Further benefits include a decrease in the chance and severity of musculoskeletal injuries and increases in psychological well being. Finally, because muscle is a metabolically active tissue, small increases in lean body mass through weight training may lead to a higher metabolic rate (more calories expended during both exercise and recovery) and potentially less body fat.

question, “Why shouldn’t you restrict caloric intake?” while another explains how to make great food choices. The PowerPoint idea has worked extremely well to educate our athletes without taking up any extra time. We also educate them about what constitutes healthy and unhealthy eating in a psychological sense. Because we want to avoid disordered eating, we teach them what it means to have a balanced approach to meal planning. For example, smart eating can include refined sugar and foods with fat. Many dietitians suggest eating your favorite “fun” foods in moderation as part of a balanced, nutrient-wise plan and as a strategy to keep from binging. An example of an unhealthy eating attitude is the habit of labeling foods “good” or “bad.” Female athletes should not shudder at the offer of a cookie or small bag of chips. High caliber female athletes should feel relaxed and comfortable eating a wide variety of foods. Calories from the “bad food” list have no greater influence on weight than do the low calorie items from the “good food” list. A calorie is a calorie—weight gain results from going over your total caloric needs. What is needed is balanced meal planning. I encourage balanced eating through both motivation and education. I motivate by first establishing a relationship of trust and loyalty to

both the person and the athlete. The women I coach know that I care about them personally and am passionate about their athletic goals. They know this because I show up, inquire, listen, and try to understand them personally before professionally solving and leading. Then, I try to motivate them by sharing exchanges about the joys and purposes of eating. When the athletes and I talk there is little judgment, just education and some laughs. I also try to demonstratively celebrate those who are healthy eaters in front of the group. I tell stories about champions and championship teams I have worked with who committed to purposeful eating and benefited because of it. I also remind athletes of the times they were successful because of proper fueling or failed because of their lack of healthy eating. Furthermore, I practice what I preach. The women know that I generally fuel myself with healthy foods, but they also know that my “fun foods” are Little Debbies and Gummies. When I hear athletes say, “I am having one brownie after I get done eating a balanced plate that consists of a rainbow of wholesome foods …and, yes, I did eat breakfast!” I know we’re making strides. I give them a high five and a big smile.




At the same time, we make it clear that our goals in the weight room are to increase their strength and lean body mass. We acknowledge reality around body image, but we also invoke standards and apply them through consequences and rewards. Because many females are not that excited about the prospect of lifting weights and getting stronger, they tend to need more incentives than male athletes. Many females want to start with five pounds on each side of a bar or machine and progress by just two and a half pounds. This would mean we wouldn’t arrive at a challenging resistance or improve body composition until a week before they graduated. To ensure that our females are challenging their muscles, I assign the standards of “DF” meaning “demonstrated fatigue” and “NF” meaning “not to fatigue” next to all of the prescribed exercises. The effort level assigned to each exercise depends on the degree of technique involved.

Low technique exercises have an NF assigned to them instructing athletes to stop when the goal repetition is achieved or technique significantly breaks down. DF means female athletes must continue to lift until they achieve demonstrated fatigue. Demonstrated fatigue means continuing until exercise technique is significantly affected or the player cannot achieve a repetition without assistance from her partner. DF’s inspire trainees to start with a challenging weight load so they don’t have to lift a weight 50 to 100 times before they reach DF and are allowed to stop. Progressive improvement on both DF and NF exercises is also a measured standard. If athletes fail to meet these standards after being taught, reminded, and reinforced, they are told to leave the weight room for the day and their name goes on a “Throw Outs” list that is posted in the middle of the room. Those who do attain the standards are demonstratively celebrated and treated like the heroes they are.


Just as it is important to individualize strength and conditioning prescriptions, it is sometimes important to acknowledge aesthetic demands of the sport and how this affects body image. For example, if we are working with a naturally muscular and strong gymnast (mesomorph), we may decrease weight training volume and address higher priority rate limiting factors like explosiveness or flexibility. Additionally, if we are working with a slightly stocky wide framed diver (endomorph), we may decrease total quantity of weight training and add anaerobic conditioning to address the aesthetic requirements of her sport.


But, for the majority of the athletes we train, we build bodies with the goals of enhanced performance potential and reduced chance and severity of injuries, and we don’t worry about whether or not the body is attractive. We empathize and work with those females who feel dissatisfied with their bodies. However, we do not compare athletes to the standards talked about in the general public, and we do not try to solve the “my muscles are too big” problem unless it legitimately exists. To explain our focus, I sometimes tell a story about one female non-athlete and one female athlete who were eating at a local restaurant. When the non-athlete female was asked what she was doing she replied, “I’m eating lunch.” When the female athlete was asked, she replied, “I’m building a champion.” Selfless commitment to team victory is our main focus. To accomplish it, we individualize sportspecific programs so that our athletes can safely and dominantly perform their sports skills. To this end, we listen, learn, educate, and lead. At Michigan State University, exercise is a tool for fitness, fun, health, and victory, not weight control or body downsizing. To the Spartans, the weight room is a place to experience the joy of team interaction, connection, and accomplishment—a place to celebrate the strong, powerful, fit female.



An Exercise in Development

By Jack Elsey

A friend recently shared a story with me that illustrated the dominant role that sports play in our culture. Growing up in North Carolina, flipping the school calendar to the month of March transformed her desk—a place usually reserved for learning—into a virtual courtside seat next to the rolled-in television. When the Tarheels were playing in the NCAA tournament, everyone in the school watched.

Like my friend, sports have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, and their contributions to my physical, emotional, and mental health as a child and as an adult are immeasurable. As a teenager, no one could have convinced me that spending six hours each day in the hot sun at the local baseball diamond was over-doing it. In the winter, the lingering piles of melting snow became make-shift defenders on by path to sinking my last lay-up at 10 p.m. on a school night. From every athlete, professional or amateur, to every beer-league softball player, sports were an important part of their development as a child and thus, a human being.

The Kids Aren’t Alright

Children and athletics is a tricky subject, especially when it comes to sports. On the one hand, sports can provide engaging opportunities for children to achieve physical fitness, build emotional resilience and stability, and attain key social skills. Getting them involved is not always easy, however. Anyone who has spent large amounts of time with children knows that distractions to productive physical activity are endless—and without adult structure and guidance, children may sometimes favor their Xbox over their bike. As opportunities for more sedentary activities become more widely available (and more appealing) and physical education programs are continually de-prioritized for more math and reading instruction (current research asserts that only one-third of high school students take a physical education course), the overall health of American children continues to decline significantly. According to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, “about 25 million kids (ages 2-19) in the United States are overweight or at risk of becoming overweight” which means, “every one in three kids” is living a lifestyle that is not active enough. The Alliance warns that “if obesity among kids continues to increase at this rate, our current generation could become the first in American history to live shorter lives than their parents.” When taking into account that athletics are responsible for more than just physical well-being, these statistics point to an even more troubling conclusion: every aspect—the physical, emotional, and social—of our kids’ development is being shortchanged by unhealthy living.

There’s No “I” in Team. But...

Organized sports continue to be an option that can appeal to most children and help them develop their muscles as well as their character. Sports provide a venue through which kids can exercise without feeling like it is a chore to complete. Kids’ tendencies for physical activity begin at a very early age and often take the form of rough-housing, or what researchers call “rough-and-tumble play.” These sorts of unorganized activities can naturally translate into more purposeful games as children develop further brain capacity for understanding rules, the social constructs of a team, and the complex decision-making. Aside from aiding in physical fitness, sports have additional, positive effects on young minds. New research at the University of Florida suggests that sports have a dramatic influence on young girls’ self-image, especially in relationship to their bodies. As a result, girls who participate in consistent athletic activity are at less risk for eating disorders, among other psycho-physical diseases. Furthermore, girls who were athletes actually trusted other people more—a critical element of social interaction for teenagers. Other researchers note that sports can provide additional structure to a child’s life, which can help them to develop planning and decisionmaking skills that serve them well into adulthood.

Soccer Mom

Sports can also serve as an incentive to help teenagers avoid activities that are detrimental to their health. Researchers McDevitt and Ormrod, authors of Child Development, assert that coaches often have zero-tolerance policies for substances such as tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs. When these zero-tolerance policies are broken by an athlete on a team, the athletes are often given very clear consequences, which are known to the athlete before the offense is committed. Often, being “benched” for whole games or seasons and, in extreme cases removed from the team, are consequences that curb even minor risk-taking behavior of young athletes. And of course, any athlete knows—whether by experience or second-hand—that it can be a lot more difficult to run a mile after smoking a pack of cigarettes. As advocates and guardians of their children’s development, parents should be sure to always have the kids’ best interest at heart. Those of us who have played, coached, or watched little league baseball know that there is always the parent who takes his son or daughter’s success in sports too far. McDevitt and Ormrod provide guidelines that can maximize a child’s development through sports and ensure that they will be life-long athletes. They ask that parents make sure the activity is enjoyable, noting that kids are more likely to engage if “they enjoy it and find it reasonably challenging while still being within their ability levels.” If parents are consistently choosing sports activities that are not enjoyable to their child, their child’s natural interest in all sports activities will diminish quickly. McDevitt also suggests that adults focus on self-improvement, rather than on comparison with peers. Parents who consistently value their son or daughter’s status on the team’s hierarchy of ability set children up to rely on others’ opinions to evaluate their own success. This can make that missed ground ball or lay-up that much more detrimental to a child’s selfworth and can engender a perverse view of the place sports have in all of our lives. Certainly, the NCAA college basketball tournament is an easy way to get kids interested in the competition that only such an event can showcase. While I am certainly not one to say my friend’s annual ritual of watching Tarheel games in school should be curtailed, I hope the athletic frenzy did not end when the television was rolled out of the classroom after the tournament was over. If nothing else, I can bet there were some great pick-up games on the playground that afternoon.



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The POWER of Touch

Should massage therapy be an integral part of your training regime? Study shows that it can provide a competitive edge. BY JENNIFER CLARKSON

At this point you’re probably familiar enough with massage therapy to know that

it can help you relax and reduce pain. But did you know massage can also improve your game? More and more, competitive athletes are realizing that it is not about training harder but training smarter. Creating a complete strength and conditioning program includes receiving care for the fatiguing muscles and minor injuries that naturally occur with strenuous activity.

Does your current training program enable you to?

Jump higher Move faster and more efficiently Eliminate pain Reduce the risk of injuries Increase the length of your athletic career

If you’re not incorporating some type of routine body maintenance into your current training program, then the last three points probably aren’t realistic expectations. Let’s explore how massage and bodywork received at different times with different intentions can help you achieve these, and other, goals. Massage can serve as a maintenance program where the overall objective is to help the athlete reach optimal performance through injury-free training. Many of the benefits of massage come as a direct result of increasing the circulation of blood and lymphatic tissue. When circulation is increased, it maximizes the supply of nutrients and oxygen available to your tissues, thereby increasing the rate of the healing process. An increase in circulation, combined with compressive techniques, will assist in the elimination of metabolic waste products (such as lactic acid) that otherwise remain in your muscle tissue, creating delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Massage can decrease the effects of DOMS by up to 50%, which means you can get back to your high intensity training program sooner and improve your game in less time.



The POWER of Touch Have you ever looked down at your legs and noticed that one quad is bigger than the other, or been stretching and realized that one hamstring is tighter? Think of your body as a system of pulleys and

Massage can coincide with your warm up by increasing blood flow, reducing tension, and relaxing muscles. Warm

levers. If one of the ropes in the pulley system is too short, it will affect the entire system by altering the angles of the levers due to increased strain on some pulleys and slack on others. In bodywork we call this postural distortion. Working with a massage therapist who understands anatomy and physiology as well as sport specific kinesthetic movement can help you eliminate these restrictions. Your therapist can help you improve your flexibility through a variety of joint mobilization and stretching techniques such as proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, straincounterstrain, positional release, and active-isolated stretching. You will notice improvements in your posture and balance. These changes will improve the efficiency with which you move thus increasing your strength and power.

muscles contract more easily and work more efficiently thereby reducing the chance of sprains, strains, and micro tears. During a tournament, massage can not only help you recover from the preceding activity but can prepare you for the upcoming match. Post-event sports massage is geared toward muscle recovery. It focuses on releasing muscular spasms and flushing the metabolic waste products that develop during vigorous activity.

The therapist can also help you identify the root cause of any pain you experience and reduce the likelihood of developing chronic injuries. Many athletes accept minor pains as normal, due to the gradual onset with which they develop, and try to suppress them with drugs. Drugs merely mask pain allowing athletes to continue harmful activities which put them at risk for serious injury.

I didn’t even know I was sore there! Well, one of the most beneficial effects of massage and bodywork is that it increases the athlete’s awareness of pain patterns in their own body. Sometimes the pain you feel while playing is a result of muscle spasms in completely different areas of the body. We call these points of spasm, trigger points. Left untreated, these spasms settle in the tissue putting a constant strain on the joint, and lead to chronic conditions such as tendonitis and fascitis. But through careful examination, the trained therapist can evaluate whether the pain you’re experiencing is due to a restriction in the muscle tissue, fascia, or joints, and can treat the body accordingly.



For athletes currently in the rehabilitation phase of an injury, there are many types of massage that can accelerate healing and reduce discomfort. While in the acute stage, techniques like lymphatic drainage can be utilized to reduce swelling. When dealing with surgical rehabilitation, cross-fiber friction techniques may be applied during the sub-acute and maturation phases of healing to improve the formation of strong and flexible scar tissue. These techniques can prove vital in maintaining full pain-free range of motion.

Understanding the treatment you receive as an athlete can give you a competitive edge. You may not always be able to have your massage therapist with you, but if you have worked with them enough, and understand your body’s tendencies, you will learn how to self treat and maintain functionality between visits. If you are using a coach, they should also be aware of the training principles of sports massage and should maintain contact with the therapist. If you are looking for a sports massage practitioner, recognize that standards of training and practice can vary greatly. If the practitioner is not qualified, your treatment could be ineffective, or worse, it could cause injury.

QUICK SAND Bigger, Faster, Stronger… Athletes are all looking for the perfect training program to take their game to the next level. If you’ve grown tired of the gym routines, follow me to the beach where we will work on explosive power and maybe catch a sunset.

The Benefits of Training in Sand: Working out in the sand creates an environment that is safe on the joints, but challenging because of its unsteady surface. Many times athletes start to develop pain in their joints from the impact of hard surfaces. The sand alleviates the pressure on the joints as the uneven surface challenges the body to work harder.

Gretchen Duffner, BS

Master-Pro Trainer Fitness and Volleyball Professional

Female Athletes:

Women naturally have wider hips, increasing the workload on the knees making them susceptible to knee injuries. Doing explosive speed workouts in the sand allows for an easy pivot when trying to push off and explode forward. Most athletes notice increased speed, vertical leap, and strength when switching from beach training to the court. Sand workouts can improve any athlete’s game. Athletes now have to maximize their workouts, but minimize injury. Not only is the sand a great workout, but also very forgiving on the joints to keep young maturing athletes safe.

Hit the Sand: If you have not tried a sand workout and would like a challenge, first get a doctor’s clearance. Each sand workout will have different components, but I recommend starting with the exercises listed to the right. Life’s a beach and we get to play on it. Good luck to you and your upcoming seasons. See you on the court.

SQUAT JUMPS Start in squat position and then explode towards the sky. Max jump for each rep. (5 sets of 10 repetitions)

SPRINTS Long: No longer than 100 yards. Medium: The length of a volleyball court. Short: Sideline to sideline (3 sets of 5 repetitions)


Start in push-up position. Do one push-up and then explode up into a block jump. (3 sets of 10 repetitions)





LEONARDO LUNARDI Occupation: Professional Volleyball Player and Architect Height: 6’7’’ Home Town: Milan, Italy


LEO’S AB WORKOUT WEIGHTED PLANK Lie facedown on the floor with your body straight and forearms resting on the floor. Have someone place a 10-45 pound plate on your lower back. Slowly press your body up off the floor onto your forearms and toes. Keep your abs pulled in tight and your back flat while holding this position.


2-3 sets. 30 seconds each. 2 min rest.

DUMBELL CRUNCH Lie faceup on the floor with your knees bent and your feet and lower back flat on the floor. Grasp the ends of a dumbell in both hands with your arms extended overhead. Contract your abs to lift your shoulders and upper back off the floor while keeping your arms straight. Hold this position for a couple of counts before slowly lowering to the start. 2-3 sets. 6-8 reps. 2 min rest.

REVERSE CRUNCH Lie faceup on the floor with your legs fully extended and lower back flat on the floor while holding a 25-45 pound dumbell perpendicular to your body. Contract your lower abs to lift your legs of the floor while  keeping your back and arms flat to the floor for balance. Hold this position for a couple of counts before slowly lowering to the start. Do not touch the ground with your legs.


2-3 sets. 6-8 reps. 2 min rest.

RUSSIAN TWIST Sit on the floor with your knees bent and position your body in a half sit-up. Using both hands, hold a dumbell or a plate straight in front of you and lift your legs of the ground. With your arms loocked in that position, rotate your torso to the right 90 degrees and touch the weight to the ground. Pause for a moment, then return to the start. Repeat on your left side. Alternating from right to left is one complete rep.


2-3 sets. 8-10 reps (each side). 2 min rest.




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NCAA Approves

Sand Volleyball

as Emerging Sport

The NCAA Division I Legislative Council added sand volleyball to the list of emerging sports for women, on April 21, 2009, clearing the way for schools to use the sport toward minimum sponsorship requirements and minimum financial aid awards. NCAA Division II had already voted to add sand volleyball to the emerging sports list at the 2009 NCAA Convention in January.

“The opportunity to play sand volleyball in the spring will spur growth in the sport. I wish I had that opportunity when I was at Stanford,” said 2008 Olympic Beach Gold Medalist, Kerri Walsh. “Additionally, this development will give more women an opportunity for a professional volleyball career in the United States.” Capitalizing on the recent success of USA Volleyball’s beach teams in the Olympics and the growth in grassroots programs, the NCAA’s Committee on Women’s Athletics made the recommendation to add the sport to the emerging sports list last summer. “The United States has a proud and successful history in sand volleyball, having won at least one gold medal in every Summer Games since the discipline was added to the Olympic program in 1996,” said USAV CEO, Doug Beal. “This move by the NCAA is wonderful, particularly in light of the increased varsity athletic opportunities for young women at the collegiate level and the synergy with already existing USA Volleyball programs.” The NCAA will call the new sport “sand” volleyball, rather than “beach” volleyball, in hopes that the sport will have broad appeal across the country and not be confined to coastal areas. Already schools including The University of Texas, The University of Nebraska, and The University of Utah are competing in collegiate competitions in the spring. “The addition of sand volleyball as an NCAA sport will help us grow the discipline and increase its visibility around the country,” said Ali Wood Lamberson, USA Volleyball’s Director of Beach Programs. “Along with USA Volleyball’s already existing Beach High Performance and Development Programs and the USA Beach Junior Tour, NCAA sand volleyball opportunities will start young athletes looking at beach as an option much earlier in their careers. This will help the United States sustain our level of competitive excellence. Further, USAV is poised to support NCAA sand volleyball with various programs including coach and official education programs.” The group most responsible for spreading the popularity of the sport beyond the California and Florida coasts is the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) which hosts a series of competitions on man-made courts at in-land locations like Cincinnati, Atlanta, and Las Vegas. The AVP also sponsors a series of indoor sand competitions in January and February called “Hot Winter Nights” in cold-weather cities like Omaha and Grand Rapids, MI. “We are thrilled that the NCAA has voted to make sand volleyball a collegiate sport,” said Jason Hodell, CEO of AVP Pro Beach Volleyball. “The vote confirms the momentum behind the sport of beach volleyball, and we are excited to help grow our sport on the college level and create new beach volleyball stars around the country.” The NCAA will spend the next year developing the rules that will govern sand volleyball as a collegiate sport, including regulations on financial aid, playing dates, and recruiting. Institutions will be able to sponsor varsity programs starting in the 20102011 academic year. For more information please contact: B.J. Evans, USA Volleyball Beach Manager, Media Relations and Publications E-mail:


Profession: Retired teacher, beach volleyball coach Years Coaching: 34 When coaching on the beach he can’t live without? A bag of balls, ladder, towels (for hitting,

passing, setting, and serving targets)

The Right Age to Hit the Sand


Playing at the Recreational Level

I’ve worked with children as young as four years old on the basic skills, such as passing, digging, setting, and footwork. I’ve found that to successfully play in organized games, kids should be around ten years old.

Many tournaments have multiple divisions for men, women, and co-ed. Typically, there is the top, or open, division, which offers prize money. Then there are more divisions, depending on the size of the tournament. These levels are: AAA, AA, A, BB, and B, and may offer money or prizes. Some tournaments offer juniors levels, which are typically divided by age: 18 and under, 16 and under, etc., depending on the size of the tournament.

Teammates on the Sand

Most beach volleyball is played in the doubles format with two men, two women, or co-ed teams. Some areas do offer triples and four-person play.

Behind the Back

You’ll see players signaling whether they plan to block the opponents when they are hitting the ball, and if they are blocking, where they plan to block. Each hand represents one of the players on the other side of the court. For example, if the blocker holds the pointer finger of his left hand down, it means that the blocker is blocking the line hit of the hitter across the net on the left hand side. If the blocker holds two fingers of his left hand down, he is blocking the angle hit of the hitter across the net on the left hand side. A fist typically means that the blocker is not blocking that hitter, while opening the hand up means that the blocker is blocking ball. There are numerous other signals used as players get more advanced.

MAKING THE INDOOR-BEACH TRANSITION • Environmental Elements: Wind and sun—the wind will maneuver the ball in various ways and make passing, setting, and hitting more challenging. When the sun is bright, you may entirely lose sight of a ball coming through the sun.

• Sand: The sand makes movements more sluggish and makes jumping more difficult. • Spatial Boundaries: Indoor players have walls and ceilings to give spatial boundaries, while outdoors the endless boundaries makes visualizing ball distances different than with spatial boundaries.

• The Outdoor Ball: The outdoor ball is softer, more resilient, and passes further than the indoor ball. If the ball becomes wet, it becomes much heavier than it is when dry. Sand on the ball or your hands and arms can make ball contacts more difficult.

• Court Coverage: With two players on serve receive, you must split the court as a right alley, small center alley, and left alley.

The person receiving the down line serve covers only the down line alley, while the cross court receiver takes the cross court alley and the small center alley—meaning the cross court person covers a larger area including that troublesome middle alley. There is a lot of court to cover in doubles, so speed is of the utmost importance. In addition, players must read other players and balls, assume a high and lively position rather than a down and locked position, and be determined to give up the body and dive anywhere on the court.

FAVORITE DRILL Passing and setting a ball with a partner from stationary positions, moving positions, and varying the distances between the two players up and back; this will develop perfect passing and setting from any distance both moving and stationary. 78


all b y e ll o V h c a e B e m o S Let’s Play Bob Parker

Getting Started

Try to find a family member, friend, a local coach, a clinic, a camp, or anyone who is willing to teach you the basics of beach volleyball. It’s going to take many, many hours of off-court work before you should expect to get into an organized game. Playing beach volleyball is much more than just walking out without any skills and expecting to get in an organized game. Imagine trying to play ice hockey when you can’t ice skate.

The Beach Gear

To get started playing volleyball on the beach, get a ball! People will be more accepting of you if you have your own ball. Also, make sure you have suntan lotion, a visor or hat, a towel, a backpack, and sunglasses. If you don’t mind carrying a bit more to the beach, bring along a chair! Also, if you are playing on the east coast, or somewhere with dark sand that gets hot, get some sand socks. When you go out to the beach, make sure you have a jug with water in it, and food (fruit, power bars, etc.).

The Right Height?

There is a place for everyone on the beach. It’s customary to play with one shorter player and one taller player on a team. The taller player usually does the blocking and most of the setting, whereas the shorter player ends up doing most of the passing, hitting, and defense. Shorter players should work on their vertical jump, their ability to hit balls on the net, and their ability shoot and spot balls to the four corners of the court. They should practice this on a regular basis and rely on when the block hinders the hitting ability of the shorter player. I once coached a girl who was 5’3” when she was going into her first professional beach tournament, she was worried about winning a game. During our first practice session, I realized that her ability to score points on her hit was very limited, so we concentrated during the next three practices on hitting the four corners of the court. She ended up making it through four rounds of the double elimination tournament. She was by far the shortest girl in the tournament.

NET SPECS Women: 7’4 1/8” Men: 7’11 5/8”

Area: 8 m x 16 m (26’ 3” x 52’ 6”)

How to measure the height of net: You can buy a measuring tape at online volleyball web sites (for example, Spike Nashbar’s Rite Height), or cut a piece of string to the proper length and put it in your backpack. No Lines: Double court is nine big steps plus one foot from net to end line and from edge line to edge line. To measure the big court, it’s about ten big steps from net to end line and from edge line to edge line.




Profession: AVP/FIVB/USA Beach Volleyball Coach Years Coaching: 3 Sun Tan Lotion: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer, Dry-Touch Sunblock, SPF 70

Favorite Sunglasses: Oakley


TOPS SPOTS to train in California

The best spots to train in California are mainly Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach. The sand is deep, the weather is good, and 90% of the top players on the AVP tour train in the South Bay. If you want to be the best, you have to train against the best.


By the time you step on the court for your match, all you should have to do is hit a couple balls and serve a couple balls. The real warm up should be done before even arriving for the match. Ideally, there is a separate court where the team can go through a normal warm up (I recommend having a set warm-up so that you trigger yourself mentally and physically that it is time to play) Go through a ball control routine with passing and setting where the focus is on good technique: set ten good balls. Pass ten good balls, etc. Then try to get someone to serve or toss balls over the net to you so that you can side out ten times each and then move to the game court. When you step on the game court, you really want to just finalize your warm up. Don’t forget, the ten-minute warm-up (at least on AVP) includes meeting with the refs, coin toss, making sure you have water supplies for during the match, figuring out the good side if there is one, and setting your initial game plan.

Expectations of Coaches

Many players use the same coach for training purposes and it is up to the coach to be clear on whether he will share information with this other players. Each coach has different philosophies and the players and coach need to agree on what information will or will not be shared. This year some coaches have held joint practices; some players are going with multiple coaches, and some are training in isolation. So it really just depends on what the players want and expect from their coach. I personally have a priority system for my teams. I’m up front that I will coach the top priority team against my other teams. That’s just the way I’m working it and players have the choice of using me or not.

Ladies and Gentlemen

I’m going to be careful here because the men have always been viewed as being more physical and playing a faster game, but that is changing more and more with the women becoming more aggressive, more athletic, and stronger. I see the women being more professional in their preparation such as in scouting and video taping their opponents’ matches and coming up with a game plan for each opponent. The men are catching up as they are now seeing the upside of studying players and tendencies.

Coaching Highlight

I really don’t have any “coaching highlights.” Players win and have highlights. I just like helping players improve. There is nothing better in coaching than seeing your teachings help an athlete. For me just knowing that I helped an athlete improve, learn something new, or be better prepared to compete is very satisfying. For instance, I started coaching on the AVP with Ashley Ivy and would like to think I helped her improve. Last season she decided to play on the FIVB and her and Lauren Fendrick won two FIVB C&S events, placed well in the final three FIVB events and are now our #3 USA team on the FIVB. A great beginning for her, but for me its just fun watching her start to realize her potential. On the men’s side, Billy Allen and Brady Halverson asked me to work with them about midseason last year. With just slight tweaking, they proceeded to knock off the two-seed in Chicago and continued improving the rest of the season, including finishing the Croc Challenge series as one of the top eight teams on tour with an automatic bid into the Manhattan Open. Hopefully, something I said or did aided in their success. I guess the “highlight” so far is other players and coaches recognizing the improvement in players I have worked with and commenting on the fact that my players are ready to play when it comes to game time.

FAVORITE DRILL Most people believe passing is the key to the game. For the most part they are correct; it’s the first contact. However, I believe the small court game is more about setting than anything else. If you can give your partner a consistent set, off a good or bad pass, then siding out and scoring becomes easier. I would love to see players set, set, and set again, both in transition and in serve reception and from anywhere on the court. 80





I am interested in hiring a coach. What are a few aspects I should consider? How long is a typical practice and how much should I expect to pay?

2. 3.

What are the key elements to pay attention to when arriving to a tournament?


 uring the off-season (October-December) what advice would you give your athletes to D prepare for the upcoming season?

 hat are the most popular snacks you see your athletes using between matches W to stay fueled?


1. You should start by deciding what type of lessons or coaching you’re looking for. Some questions to ask are: How serious you are? How hard you want to work? How many days a week you want to play? What level you are? What level you’re looking to reach? And, how quickly you’re looking to reach it? Another consideration is your budget and your allowable time. As far as looking for a coach, consider asking other players about coaches they have had, or, ask someone at a local club, organization, or a high school coach. A player must have complete confidence in the person they hire as far as philosophies, types of training, aspects of the game, and personality.


I suggest starting with practicing twice a week for 1.5-2 hours each time with a coach. Someone who wants to achieve a goal faster might consider formal coaching 3-4 days a week. One should expect to pay coaches somewhere around $35/hour for private coaching or small group coaching. The most important aspects to look for in a coach are compatibility, knowledge of the game, and ability to teach. Pro beach volleyball is not a continuation of the indoor game, so you want a coach that will help you transition to- or refine your beach game. You will get out of practice whatever effort you put into it, so you want a coach that you can work with and will keep you confident and motivated. Additionally, with beach volleyball, you want to look for someone experienced with the beach game. Many people know the indoor game but the outdoor game is a separate and distinct animal; the passing is different, the setting is different, and the attack is different. Finally, you need to find someone that can teach. There are a lot of great players that think they can coach, but if the coach doesn’t know how to teach so that a player can improve and gain confidence, then the player is wasting his/her time. Most practices last an hour and a half to two hours. Much more than that and the body and mind grow tired and players may start practicing bad habits. Each coach charges different amounts and it will change according to the number of people participating in a practice, the type of practice (individual attention versus running drills), and the coach’s availability. For the most part, players can anticipate paying between $40 and $75 per hour.


2. The night before a tournament, it’s a good idea to check the weather forecast for the tournament morning, afternoon, and evening temperatures, precipitation, and winds. Prepare your bag and equipment accordingly. When you get your court assignment, make sure you know what your schedule is. During the day, keep a close eye on your competition by watching ongoing games in your division.


Keep in mind that on windy days it is best to keep passes and sets as low as possible to avoid wind blown balls. When choosing side, serve, or receive on a windy day, always choose to serve into the wind.




Upon arrival, one should pay attention to the playing conditions, and where they can find shade or shelter from the weather. Many events have player’s tents, but that is not always the best place to relax and focus on the next match. Also, you always want to know where the “board”, or tournament bracket is, as well as where the tournament director and medical tents are located. Don’t forget to locate the nearest restrooms, so you know how far you have to go to go, especially if you wait until right before a match. As far as scoping out your competition, it’s a little overrated unless you’re going to be able to scout them actually playing a match; everyone looks like Gods in warm-up, actual competition is far different.

Fluids: water, Gatorade, or other sports drinks, half and half mixture of Gatorade and water, or Pedialyte. Some players drink pickle juice to avoid cramping. When cramping occurs, avoid mixtures with carbonation or caffeine. Food: fruit, power or energy bars, pretzels, crackers, or chips (for a little salt), sandwich quarters, or halves. The number one snack is by far different forms of energy or nutritional bars.


Stay in SHAPE! If you want to take a break from volleyball, find an off-season sport to keep active in or take aerobics classes at a gym. • Get in the gym and weight lift. • Take stretching, Pilates, or yoga classes. • Read volleyball magazines, volleyball coaching books, and other inspirational books. • Practice mental imaging of yourself making perfect passes, perfect sets, and perfect hits, etc. Practice this in your mind over and over again. In your mind, relive your most positive moments from your last season.



Once your season ends, take time off, relax and enjoy your family and friends. Both the body and mind need to take a break from the business of volleyball. If you do play, just have fun…oh and remind yourself that volleyball is supposed to be fun.




From keeping stats to filling the stat sheet, freshmen and senior volleyball players reflect on what makes their experiences unique.

The First Serve…

These young athletes compete at different collegiate levels but they all have one thing in common: the rank of freshman. These future stars exhibit strength and have an interesting perspective on the role of freshmen on a collegiate volleyball team. Knowing that every player is integral to the success of the team, these freshmen share their views on how to best succeed in their respective roles.

Freshman Questions 1. What is the most difficult transition from high school to college? 2. What is the biggest challenge of being a freshman? 3. What is one piece of advice you would give to incoming freshmen?

Carli Weiler

Libero Michigan State University Oak Lawn, IL

1. Hands down, the most challenging transition was time

management. Having three-hour practices, weightlifting classes, and study hours can get overwhelming. The support of my teammates helped me stay on track. Luckily, four other freshmen had similarly hectic schedules, so we could relate to what each other was going through.

Sara Rex

Outside Hitter University of Central Florida Oldsmar, FL

1. The most difficult transition from high school to college

is the amount of physical activity. Significantly less time is devoted to practice in high school and club volleyball. As a result, it is much more difficult to stay focused and engaged for the whole practice.

2. For me, the biggest challenge is transitioning from being

an upperclassmen in high school to accepting criticism and feedback from collegiate upperclassmen.

3. Make sure you love volleyball and that you are pursuing it in college for the right reasons..

2. The biggest challenge of being a freshman is lack of

experience. As a freshman, you are faced with new playing environments and more intense workout schedules. Playing in a gym with a large crowd and noisy hecklers can be intimidating. This type of experience is the only way you will become comfortable and prepared to play in a high energy environment. Intense workouts should be viewed the same way. The more time you spend in the weight room, the more comfortable you will feel with your strength abilities on the court.

3. Don’t get overwhelmed. Like other sports teams, a

learning process is involved. However the beginning is the most difficult stage because you are transitioning into college life and learning time-management skills. Once you begin to efficiently manage your time between academics and athletics, everything else will fall into place.

UCF Volleyball Team, 2009 Collegiate Beach Volleyball Challenge




Four Years Later…

These college seniors are nearing the end their collegiate careers. They have learned what it means to be a teammate and a leader. They know the elation of victory over a rival and the anguish of a season ending all too soon. While these moments are irreplaceable, each also leaves college with the invaluable asset of of education. All of these experiences, both athletic and academic, will help these student-athletes succeed in life.

Senior Questions 1. What is the most memorable moment of your college career? 2. What was the most challenging transition from a new freshman to a senior leader? 3. What advice would you give an incoming freshman?

Vanessa King

Middle Blocker Michigan State University Grand Haven, MI

1. The most memorable moment of my college career is

beating our archrival, the Michigan Wolverines, in front of thousands of people on our home court. There is no feeling like playing in front of the home crowd, knowing that you’re going to beat the team across the net. It’s such a rush.

2. The biggest challenge is finding your role on a new team

each year. Even though there are many of the same faces, it’s a new team with different chemistry and different roles each season. From year to year, you take on more and more responsibilities. As a freshman, I didn’t know how to make a difference in the locker room or on the floor. By the time I was a senior, I realized that regardless of class or experience, the confidence you display can make all the difference.

3. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t get immediate results.

Stick with it and keep working hard. The payoff is amazing when you reach your full potential as a volleyball player.

Stephanie Serna

Right Side Hitter University of Central Florida San Antonio, TX

1. Winning our first conference tournament match of my senior year is the most memorable moment.

2. The most challenging transition was adapting to the faster pace of the collegiate game and developing the mental toughness needed to be a consistent and successful college player.

3. Be prepared to completely change your game around and play at a higher level than you ever imagined. You need to push yourself to achieve greater things than you have before. Remember, playing in college isn’t all stars and happy-faces, you have to learn to deal with and overcome adversity to become an elite-level athlete.

Marlee Copper Middle Hitter Union College NAIA Bloomington, IL

1. My most memorable moment is winning the 2007

conference championship by defeating conference rival Bryan College. 2. Over my college career, the biggest challenge was staying healthy and injury free 3. Enjoy your college years. They fly by!

Megan Wisniewski

Outside Hitter University of California, Santa Cruz Chicago Park, CA

1. My most memorable moment without a doubt would be when we beat Mt. Saint Joseph at the Cal State East Bay Wild West Shootout in 2008. At that time in the season, Mt. Saint Joseph was ranked 21st in the nation and we needed to beat them to win the regional title! After our victory, what I remember most was looking at our libero that I had played with for four years and smiling, nothing more. Our whole team was relatively calm, even though we had just won our biggest match of the year. We acted like it was no big deal in front of the other team and our fans. As soon as the gym door was shut and the hallway was clear we began jumping up and down screaming like a bunch of little kids. 2. My biggest challenge was finding my role on the team

and accepting it. Every player wants to be a four-year starter, but for some that is not realistic. It is hard to be that “work horse” in practice and never really get to see much game time. Eventually, I found my place on the team and embraced it. After I accepted my role I was happier and also earned the playing time that I desired.

3. At risk of sounding cliché, the advice I would give is don’t

let the experience rush by, and really take this experience for what it is worth. Enjoy every moment, both the good and the bad. I can truly say that playing volleyball at UC Santa Cruz was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. My only regret is that it went by too quickly.




Athletes talk about why they chose to play at the level they did.

Division I

The Ultimate Commitment Carli Weiler

Freshman Libero Oak Lawn, IL Michigan State University I decided to play Division I volleyball because of the high level of competition. I started thinking about playing in college when I was in middle school and I feel the more I am challenged, the better athlete I will become. Recruiting in the volleyball world starts at a very young age largely because of the competitive AAU and club tournaments across the nation. Taking official and unofficial visits to several colleges helped me narrow my decision on what schools and what division I wanted to dedicate my next four years to. One school stole my heart the day I stepped foot on campus: Michigan State University. Everything about the school, including the coaches, the Big Ten competition, the academic support, and the overall environment of the campus felt perfect for me. Also, I was more interested in the volleyball program’s direction, as opposed to its record at a particular time. In this respect, the Michigan State University coaching staff was very candid with their expectations.

2008 Top 5 Division I Volleyball Teams 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Penn State Stanford Nebraska Texas Washington

Division I Leaders in Home Attendance School


Hawaii Nebraska Wisconsin Minnesota Wichita State Penn State

136,714 71,539 56,539 63,259 44,478 54,450

2008 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Attendance



Home Matches


23 15 13 19 14 20

5,944 4,769 4,349 3,329 3,177 2,723

38-0 31-4 31-3 29-4 27-5

The Big Ten conference was the leader in attendance in 2008. The average attendance was over 2,000 fans per match.

Division II

Champion on the Court, Leader in the Classroom Danielle Alexander

Middle Blocker Newport, MI Grand Valley State University I am very happy with my decision to play Division II volleyball. Arriving on any college campus as a freshman is overwhelming, but the dual role of student-athlete can be even more so. One of the main reasons the Division II level was the right academic fit for me was the faculty-student ratio. I got to know my professors and I wasn’t just a name in roll call. The relationship with my professors was important when it came to missing class for volleyball matches. Of course, I was held to the same standard as every other student, but the open communication with my professors alleviated any additional stress from having to miss class. Additionally, Grand Valley State athletics are a tight knit community where athletes are encouraged to grow as leaders in the community. I would strongly recommend that high school students interested in pursuing athletics in college consider Division II schools.

2008 Top 5 Division II Volleyball Teams 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Concordia-St. Paul Cal State San Bernardino Grand Valley State Truman Emporia

Division II Leaders in Home Attendance School


Neb.-Kearney Emporia State Southwest Minn. State Michigan Tech Concordia-St. Paul

18,910 12,166 8,502 6,334 11,509

2008 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Attendance

Home Matches Average 19 13 11 11 20

995 936 773 576 575

37-1 30-4 33-4 33-8 34-4

The MIAA conference was the leader in attendance in 2008, with an average attendance of approximately 400 fans per match



Division III

Balancing Life, Learning, and Volleyball Dani Huffman Middle Blocker San Diego, CA Emory University

I could not be happier with my decision to play Division III volleyball. As a sophomore and junior in high school, I was unsure if I wanted to play volleyball in college. Luckily, I played in San Diego where it is easy to get your name out to college coaches, and schools started recruiting my teammates and I during our sophomore and junior years. I talked with many coaches, and even visited a few Division I schools, but never thought that I wanted to devote my entire life to volleyball. I had ambitions to study abroad and work at home during the summers. Most of the Division I programs I explored did not offer these options. However, I was nervous at first about joining a program that wasn’t Division I because I assumed that the volleyball would be subpar. Wow, was I mistaken. Finally, I visited Emory University and fell in love with the school, the girls, and the team’s vision. I watched a practice and was truly amazed at the quality of the athletes. As a volleyball coach, I try to encourage players to consider all of the collegiate divisions, including NAIA schools. Although professional volleyball is becoming more popular and some players make a living playing volleyball, the majority of us are “going pro in something other than sports,”as the NCAA slogan says. Emory opened my eyes to being an all around person, student, and athlete in a way that most Division I schools could not have done. Even this past season, when we won the Division III National Championship, we were able to reflect on more than just the intense practices, lifting, and conditioning that got us there. Instead, we thought back to all of the fun our team had outside of volleyball: hanging out during off-season, flying to tournaments in New York and Chicago, and studying together in the library. We were much more than a team; we were a family. I arrived at Emory not knowing how intense the volleyball would be, and I discovered a top program with the same goals as any other school: winning a National Championship. At Emory, I was a part of unforgettable volleyball memories and still had time to double major, study abroad for five months in Paris, take a spring break mission trip to China, and be an active member of the Emory community. Division III volleyball is as competitive as many Division I and II programs, and I am blessed to have had the opportunity to play at a school where we were encouraged to be student-athletes, rather than just athletes.

2008 Top 5 Division III Volleyball Teams 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Emory La Verne Juniata Ohio Northern Washington (St. Louis)

The IIAC conference was the leader in attendance in 2008, with an average attendance of approximately 300 fans per match.

35-6 27-3 35-5 34-5 31-7

Division III Leaders in Home Attendance School


Home Matches

East Texas Baptist Hope Loras Pacific Lutheran La Verne

2,829 6,076 2,753 4,000 6,361

5 11 6 9 15

2008 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Attendance



Average 566 552 459 444 424

NAIA Division

A Champion, is a Champion, is a Champion Brittany Pierce

Outside Hitter Clovis, CA Fresno Pacific University I am very happy with my decision to play volleyball at the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) level. NAIA was a great choice for me for a number of reasons. I attended a public high school, where I graduated in a class of over 500 people and religion was never allowed in the classroom or on the volleyball court. To some, this might not matter, but God is an important part of my life. So, the major reasons I decided to attend Fresno Pacific are because it is a small, private, Christian school, with a demanding curriculum. I am an undersized athlete at 5’10”, but the NAIA gave me an opportunity to compete at a very high level for all four years of my college career while gaining a private education. Because some of the rules are different than the NCAA, I had an opportunity to play with international athletes from places like Brazil, China, and Colombia, many of whom played at the Olympic level. Players should consider playing at the NAIA level because the top teams in NAIA are considered comparable with the top 20 teams at the Division I level. The competition is great. In 2006 we were the national runner-up, and in 2007 and 2008 we were crowned national champions. Being a national champion at any level is a huge accomplishment. It is the culmination of months of training, day in and day out, all coming together during the national tournament. The NAIA tournament is almost identical to the NCAA national tournament, and we all know how hard that tournament is! The feeling of winning the national title twice is something that I am unable to put into words. Our team mottos this year were “Cherish the Journey” and “It’s Not the Achievement, It’s The Journey”. We made it our team goal to cherish every memory we made along the way because we had seven seniors graduate, and we spent the past four years together. We’ve been through a lot together, from going to Europe for two weeks, to winning two national championships. These past four years were, by far, the best years of volleyball and camaraderie that I have been a part of. The friends, competition, and experiences will definitely be missed, but of course, never forgotten.

2008 Top 5 NAIA Volleyball Teams 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Fresno Pacific University Biola University Concordia University Bellevue University Columbia College



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GOLD MEDAL IN BUSINESS John Jansheski wanted to be the “best in the world.” A lofty goal for anyone, but he actually had a chance to do just that in the sport he loved: sailing. A four-time winner at the Etchells Worlds and winner at the Chinese Championships, he was on a one-way path to qualifying for the Olympics and making his mark on the world. But, he wanted more. Not only did he want to be the best in the world, he wanted to do it while affecting as many people in a positive way as possible. As John put it, “I decided that even if I were successful in medaling in the Olympics, it would be a pretty selfish goal with relatively little impact on the world.” He began to put a lot of thought into how he could use the tools and experiences of being one of the world’s best sailors and take a crack at something new and different. During this time of reflection he realized that the lesson that translated best was how to overcome fear. He describes it like this, “Confidence comes from knowing your capabilities and working harder than anyone else to achieve a level of competency that on any given day, you can be the best in the world. Overcoming fear comes from doing what you fear and winning.” Armed with the lessons he learned on the water and inspired by his father, John decided to take a leap at being the very best in the same calling as his father, dentistry. No, he didn’t go back to school and learn to read x-rays or fill cavities, but rather he took what he learned from being around the industry all his life and a little practicality and created DenTek. DenTek is now the most innovative and largest producer of home dental gear in the US. John is not only the founder but, serves as CEO and Chief Innovation Officer. DenTek has essentially revolutionized floss and the toothpick all under the guidance of John. And it all started with lessons that translated from the sporting world to the corner office. From that corner office he is discovering opportunity in these shaky economic times, as all successful businesses do. “The silver lining is that chaos breeds opportunity. Look where people and business is failing and create your own value. Create the value and the money will follow,” John said. Not only has he become one of the best at what he does but it has put him in the position to give back. He is heavily involved in the MBA Innovation and Entrepreneurship program at the University of Tennessee. “My intention is to share some of my past experiences and knowledge with students, so they can save time in their journey to greatness,” John said.

“Be responsible for yourself” -John Jansheski

From sailor to CEO, John Jansheski’s story is the perfect example of translating lessons learned in the heat of athletic competition to success in the boardroom. A little practical thought, a smidge of dental knowledge, and a ton of experience and success on the sailboat have lead John to where he is today, one of the “best in the world.”

. . . D R A H s

Life i Get a Helmet When is the last time you complained about life not being fair? An hour ago, a few minutes, or was it perhaps your last statement? You’re not alone. Complaining comes naturally to most of us with feelings like: “I wish we had a nicer house like our neighbors across the street,” “The woman next to me has a newer car,” or “My job doesn’t pay enough.” We are often consumed with being victims, always focused on how bad life has treated us. If Mike Bruning was in the same room as you, he would say “Get a Helmet.” This unique phrase may have you thinking, but after reading his story, I hope you will strap on your helmet.

From the Beginning… Mike was a born a healthy baby in an Arizona hospital in 1970. However, at the age of two Mike developed a severe ear infection; but it wasn’t until he was in first grade that his hearing loss was discovered. At the age of six Mike was fitted with a hearing aid for his left ear and was transferred to The Schumaker School for hard-of-hearing children. With the help of this hearing aid, Mike was able to gain 30 decibels in his left ear. In 1989 tragedy struck when a bullet shot from a .44 caliber pistol was fired near his good ear and Mike became legally deaf.

A Rocky Road… With his gracious smile and sincere laugh it would be impossible to detect the struggles that Mike endured as a child and continues to encounter as an adult. As a kid, he was afraid he would miss out on what was being said and would end up responding with an embarrassing comment. This past April, Mike added one of those embarrassing moments to the list when he was competing in an AVP tournament in Riverside, California. In the heat of the moment Mike thought his opponent was trash-talking and screamed at him for such unsportsmanlike behavior. It turned out that his opponent was merely telling his teammate to switch the block/defense call. In the end, it’s no sweat off Mike’s back.

uning, U Mike Br

Mike was four years old when he became active in athletics. The Bruning family of five almost had enough kids to outfit an entire volleyball team. His athletic childhood led him to The University of Arizona where he quickly became a star on the men’s volleyball team. Mike was not only the top middle blocker in the conference, but was a standout in the classroom. He graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering and has been successful in his chosen career for over fifteen years.


Spiking the Ball Comes Around…

Passing the Torch… From an outsider’s view we admire an athlete’s physical and mental toughness. Some may consider Mike to be a linguistic minority, but I am fortunate to have had the opportunity interview a world class athlete, the ideal role model for future generations of athletes. In the athletic arena, he has won hundreds of trophies and medals, but the power of his message showcases the vast amount of respect he commands. Here’s to us all living our lives with such boldness.

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We All Have Fears… It’s only natural to have fears. When I asked Mike about his biggest fear, he answered “sleeping alone.” Ladies, don’t get the wrong impression. Mike is happily married to the love of his life. Rather, his fear is that he will not hear the warning sounds that could potentially save his life: a fire alarm, house intruders, or a faint cry for help. When Mike goes to sleep, he removes his hearing aides and has total absence of noise. To some of us the thought of a peaceful night’s sleep sounds like a slice of heaven. You may have second thoughts now when you sigh with annoyance at your noisy neighbor.

Th E… V O family. L ma f o ds and ble advice fro ing e n l ie fr c f r hear Ci tiona ircle o e

e ac f the ng c f a stro le to give Mik challenges o upport and o g in s s s ab bles nd the viding er, also ity” wa as the ndersta al role in pro u er broth too. ld Mike h ing commun to o ’s it im v e h ik a aids ear ,M help yed “non-h miliarity and Francis wears hearing ring aids as lso pla . a s y s il e c m c fa a e fa th of su itary, h advanced he cts, “Our level of The Bruning ike’s pa gh not hered rd fle d. M o e re ff ir to a e a to p g u ik to im able leadin , altho oys. M ssful, we had d e e b n b c a n th to s o ta b h m e r g c le u c fo b o assis u y ro to be s nate en therap aring p has he mily was fortu rs of speech e were going u w o fa h if Mike’s s nds of ed that rity.” ot stres on’t thousa e realiz , “Do n d well as made sure w on a high prio im le h p o ld e p to ti pics res. If m a parents r communica y c fl , a o re e h the u dw mD nds fro able an ings here and an make o g eaf frie trol; it’s inevit th d lo s e w s is fe lo iss a e’s c t of th ’t con p ik m n e u M a c o f c n y o o u One kward hat yo . The c on why about w tand the reas t about them)” nce during aw hear s o e r e n a org hard to und more th them (F ing so ility then F- Mike at ease I stopped try sponsib re “ t . u e s p n th s o t a h teracti n to pu social in ing and bega d society to th y , r . It ily an eve ds, fam bit more on frien modate me a ach; it appro accom selfish is not a tribution of is a dis nsibility.” respo

Two Different Worlds…

Most of you have watched and even played in an athletic competition of some sort. For those of you who have competed in beach volleyball, imagine the absence of verbal communication from your partner or the loud fans or even hecklers in some cases. You may think that competing in a quiet atmosphere would be impossible. Mike is well known for his volleyball skills as a volleyball player both in the hearing and non-hearing worlds. Mike competed in his first Deaflympics on the USA indoor volleyball team in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1992. Since then he has competed in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1997 and Rome, Italy in 2001. In 2005 beach volleyball was introduced to the Deaflympics. Mike competed with partner Scott Majorino and the pair took home the silver medal. In September of this year Mike and teammate Dimitri Nikiforov have their eyes set on the Gold Medal. Mike’s no stranger to the color gold, he already tasted victory after winning the Gold Medal for USA in the Cayman Islands this past March.

Scott M




& Mike



Age: 20//Height: 6’2//Position: Setter Michigan State University

Being Tough Enough: Leading as a Freshman What single piece of advice would you tell high school athletes who are interested in playing Division I athletics?

Set your goals high and work to be the very best athlete and teammate. I would strongly suggest competing in club volleyball or AAU programs for two main reasons: First, you have the opportunity to practice additional hours during the week and you’re able to compete against other athletes during the weekends at highly competitive tournaments; secondly, college coaches are always scouting these events, searching for the top athletes. Competing in high school athletics is rarely enough exposure to play at a Division I school. Also, not only do college coaches focus on an athlete’s skills, but they also look for a positive attitude and mental toughness when recruiting. If two athletes are similar in ability and skill-set, the one with the positive attitude will win the spot.

What can you tell other young guns that have the opportunity to lead a team at such a young age?

Starting as a freshman has already helped me develop as a player in terms of strategy and knowledge of the game at the college level. I believe one year of playing experience has already played a vital role in my development. Entering college I was absolutely naïve to what it took to be a top contender in the Big Ten. It becomes apparent very quickly that the college game is a completely different level than high school or club volleyball. I believe the foundation of a top volleyball player involves hours of practice, watching video, learning from others, and competing against the best to develop as an all-around player. If your coach has you in the starting lineup he or she has confidence in you as a player regardless of your age; and your job is to perform. I would suggest to other young players to embrace the opportunity to improve their game, and become a leader on the court. If you are not playing on game day you have the best view to watch the country’s top players compete—and learn from other athletes who you will soon face across the net.




Did you ever picture yourself as an athletic director?

This is my second job as an athletic director. My first athletic director job was at Marquette High School in Michigan City, Indiana. I spent three years there and this is my first at Chicago Christian. Going through my Master’s program, I never envisioned being an athletic director, but as soon as I started at Marquette, as the assistant athletic director, I planned on doing this. It only took me two years to get my first AD job and now, I can hardly imagine doing a different job. I love it. But before I got going in the field, I had not really thought of doing this.


Eric Brauer

pitching while at Valparaiso University

From the Mound to the AD’s Desk As spectators of the great American pastime, we closely follow the footsteps of athletes who achieve great success on the diamond, but we often overlook the athletes who turn athletic experiences into success off the field. Professional baseball is made up of organizations that develop hundreds of players. These players and the executives alike come from all over the globe; Asia, Central America, Australia, you name it. This makes for a hierarchy where scores of athletes who once were the Great White are no more than pin fish in an ocean of talent, many times spending their entire athletic career in the obscurity of minor and developmental leagues. These factors form a recipe for some of the most fascinating individual stories in sport, and most aren’t on the big stage. Eric Brauer played lead in one of the too familiar sad baseball tales in which injury cut an promising playing career short. He was forced to trade in his dream of playing in the big leagues, but these days, he’s pitching perfect games with studentathletes at Chicago Christian High School in Palos Heights, Illinois. 94


Describe your feelings when you learned your athletic career and dreams to play in the big leagues ended after a serious injury?

Believe it or not, I was at total peace with it. I had been through two intense surgeries my junior year of college and was able to get back and pitch again after being out of the game for 20 months. So, when I got hurt during the last month of my collegiate career, I knew it was my time to be done and I had made peace with that. I was blessed enough to graduate from Valparaiso University with an undergraduate degree in Finance and my Master’s in Sports Administration. I paid nothing for a $140,000 education.


You’re a role model to student athletes, how did playing athletics give you the confidence and skill to be a leader?

Playing the game at a level higher level than I coach gives me instant credibility with the kids I coach, especially having played on scholarship at the Division I level. The knowledge I gained in college, gave me the skills I needed to coach high school baseball, but coaching itself requires years of experience to learn the craft. I am a much better coach now, in my fourth year as a head varsity coach, than I was when I started. Coaching and playing are totally different, but having played gives me knowledge to not only teach the skills of the game, but also to understand the psyché of the kids I coach.

DARE TO DREAM I have been in the situations that these kids are in, so I find it easy to say things in the right situations. I enjoy this part of coaching more than anything. Academically, they are student-athletes, not athlete-students. I have instituted a policy this year that requires all student-athletes to attend tutoring twice a week for a class if they are receiving a D+ or lower. We have strict academic eligibility requirements and I take great pride in that. I was a five-time Academic All-Conference athlete at Valparaiso University, so I believe whole-heartedly in the value of academics.


Do you feel athletics play an important role in character building at the high school level?

Absolutely. Simply stated, you can’t learn some of life’s lessons in the classroom or the church. You have to play sports to be put in situations where you can be a part of something greater than yourself. Sports teach certain character building traits and that is why they are so important in the development of our student-athletes.



What advice would you give high school students who want to compete in college?

More than anything, I would stress the value of the game being bigger than you are. If you are a college-bound athlete, chances are pretty good that you are one of the top five athletes in your high school, but there are thousands of high schools in our country. There are plenty of student-athletes out there better than you, so don’t get apathetic towards improving your game on a daily basis. It is not good enough to be the best at your high school, or even in your conference. When you get to collegiate athletics, you are playing against every other kid who was the best athlete at their high school. There is always someone better than you and the game can go on without you, so don’t make a decision that would be detrimental to you continuing to play a game that you love. Work hard at your skills every day. Instead of being a big fish in a small pond at your high school, you are really just a small fish in a big pond when you get to college.

Most memorable highlight of your professional career thus far?

I try to carry myself, as a coach, with the highest level of integrity that I can. I believe this builds trust and respect with my players. My most memorable accomplishment thus far was winning the sectional championship in my second year at Marquette. We won on a walk-off single in the bottom of the tenth inning. It was the high point of my coaching career thus far, in terms of wins and losses. My most memorable highlight of an athlete doing something as a direct result of what I said or did was actually just last week. During the conditioning portion of the practice, I had a couple of athletes who were literally a teammate from the back on a running drill. I mean, they were physically pushing him to get through the drill. We did not make it, as a team, but no one said anything negative to the kid. The level of character and integrity my players showed was a direct result of the devotional time we have had with them. Your team always takes on some of the personality of the head coach, so to see them act the way they did and be so positive and encouraging, was a very big joy for me to see.

On June 26th Eric got engaged to his girlfriend of 35 months, Merideth. How could you say no to a head of hair and a suit like that. The special moment took place at the Shedd Aquarium in downtown Chicago Merideth’s “favorite place on Earth”. DARE TO DREAM!!’ Eric proposing in front of the dolphin tank at the Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, IL



The phrase “I have a dream” is of a famed origin having little to do with athletic achievement. But, it has made its way into our vocabularies as a charge for success and rising above in all areas of life. What does it mean when it comes specifically to athletics? It means years of preparing, waking early to train and going to bed late after long bus rides, lonely times in the gym, and doing one more set when you’re your body says no but you heart says don’t stop. Success can be so fleeting on the court or field, but these athletes have seen this charge through, and reached the pinnacle.



Words of Wisdom: Be Patient

What differences stand out most to you between competing in college and professionally?

I don’t have the luxuries that being on a college team provides anymore. I don’t have coaches aiding in legwork such as helping me getting me into to meets anymore. Also, I don’t get to have my coach travel along with me to meets unless I pay his way and that gets expensive. One of the hardest things to get used to was traveling by myself. I always loved traveling to meets with my friends and teammates. It takes some getting used to not having that support system of friends and coaches.

Most memorable moment of your professional career?

I think all the international travel that I have done has been awesome! I have a ton of pictures from Spain, Germany, Denmark, Poland, Greece, Italy, Brazil, Argentina, China, and Korea! I love to travel and experience the culture of new places.

Age: 26 College: Florida State University Sport: Professional Pole Vaulter Height: 5’10” Favorite healthy snack: Grapes Highest jump: 15’3” Coolest place you’ve competed: Switzerland and Brazil How old when you started playing/ competing in your sport? 16

What role has athletics played in your development as a person?

You learn a lot about yourself when you compete and train for a sport. I think doing it professionally has taught me even more. It helps you push beyond what you thought yourself capable of enduring and find yourself on the other side of an obstacle stronger and better. It shapes you both physically and mentally. Sports teach you to push yourself through tough times towards success and those are skills you can take everywhere in life.

What advice would you give high school students who want to compete in college?

Find a college that fits you. Take visits and talk to coaches. Try to assess the coach’s coaching style and see if that is compatible with your learning style. Also, see how long the coach has been at the school and if he has plans or can expect to stick around for your years of eligibility. Meet the athletes of team and get a feel for the atmosphere. It will be your new home and family for four or five years. Have FUN!


Words of Wisdom: Enthusiasm

What differences stand out most to you between competing in college and professionally?

One of the main differences is more accountability for the individual. In college your roster spot is virtually guaranteed for 4 years. In professional football, you could be released or traded on any given day. You have to bring your “A” game each day whether it’s on the game field, practice field, or in the meeting room. Also, budgeting your time. In professional football you have practice on a given day. There’s no class, no study hall, nor any other things you may have been required to do in college. Building a schedule around your practices that works for you is very important. Age: 25 College: Clemson University Sport: Football Profession: Broadcasting (national radio show, TV work for SunSports/Fox Sports/Central Florida News13), Marketing for a Capital Management Firm Height: 6’2.5 Size shoe: 13 Favorite healthy snack: Nature’s Valley Granola Bars Highest jump: example: 360 dunk, pole vault jump, 6’8 high jump Coolest place you’ve competed: Death Valley, SC How old when you started playing/ competing in your sport? 12 96


Most memorable moment of your professional career?

Winning the 2008 Grey Cup Canadian Football League Championship

What role has athletics played in your development as a person?

You can learn a lot of life lessons on the football field and in a locker room. As a quarterback, you learn how to manage a lot of different personalities on a team. You learn about trust, adversity, perseverance, determination, and sacrifice. Athletics have been the key character builder thus far in my life. Athletics has certainly made me who I am today.

What advice would you give high school students who want to compete in college?

Press on toward your goal. Try and get better each and every day. Whether it is at practice, in a workout, or even taking the appropriate time off; there is something you can do every day to make yourself better. One of the great things about college athletics is that there is a level for most everyone. Whether it’s Division I or NAIA; there are schools and coaches looking to recruit the best talent in America. I’ve always suggested to kids to be as well rounded an athlete as possible. Coaches look for multiple-sport athletes. If you are a football player, go play basketball, run track, or play baseball. All coaches love to see a kid who dedicates himself to sport on a year-round basis.


Words of Wisdom: Never Settle!

Age: 24 College: Michigan State University Sport: Basketball Profession: Los Angeles Clippers, National Basketball Association Height: 6’11 Size shoe: 18 Favorite healthy snack: Sushi Highest jump: 360 Dunk Coolest place you’ve competed: Beijing, China How old when you started playing/competing in your sport? 4 Sponsor: NIKE

What differences stand out most to you between competing in college and professionally? Players are faster, stronger, and longer. The game is more fluid, and there are more than 80 games in a season, so you really have to take care of your body: diet, rest, stretching, and treatment. Taking care of your body is almost more important than practicing your skill.

Most memorable moment of your professional career?

Starting against the Lakers for the first time at their arena, The Staples Center. The history behind that team and organization is amazing. The LA rivalry, and the celebrities in the stands just add to it.

What role has athletics played in your development as a person?

I wouldn’t be who I am today without the sacrifices I’ve made, and the mental toughness I needed to get through things I’ve had to in basketball (workouts, injuries, discipline of taking care of my body). It All plays a part into having a good, focused, strong character, and competitive life.

What advice would you give high school students who want to compete in college?

You need to know that to be great you have to sacrifice a lot. As you move up in basketball: High school to college to the NBA, less and less spots are available. What are you going do to separate yourself?



Words of Wisdom: Dedication

Words of Wisdom: Believe

Age: 26 College: Michigan State University Sport: Hockey  Profession: Currently Signed with Hartford Wolfpack of the American Hockey League (AHL) Height: 6’2”  Favorite healthy snack: Grilled chicken, pasta, and baked potato  Coolest place you’ve competed: Fairbanks, Alaska  How old when you started playing/competing in your sport? Started skating at 3 and started competing at 7

Age: 26 College: Michigan State University Sport: Wrestling Profession: Wrestling/club coach Favorite healthy snack: Pineapple Coolest place where you competed: Hungary How old when you started playing/ competing in your sport? 5 Sponsor: Sunkist kids wrestling club

What differences stand out most to you between competing in college and professionally?

Wrestling has made me who I am today. The sport of wrestling has taught me some of the most important life skills. I believe that competing in athletics at a young age helped me understand the importance of communication and leadership.

The play at the professional level is much more organized and the players are stronger because they are older. Also, there are more games in pro hockey so you have to prepare your body and mind for much longer season.

Most memorable moment of your professional career? My first game

What role has athletics played in your development as a person?

I think athletics have helped me adapt to many different situations, which has helped to cultivate different parts of my character such as confidence, trust, and dependability.

What advice would you give high school students who want to compete in college?

Believe in yourself. Other people will guide you but at the end of the day only you will get yourself to the next level. You have to trust in your abilities and your preparation. Also, whatever level of college you play at, it can be the best time of your life!

What role has athletics played in your development as a person?

What advice would you give high school students who want to compete in college?

It takes countless hours of hard work and sacrifice to be the best in your sport. It’s important to remember that you learn the fundamentals and skills from your coaches and then you need to take it a step further and practice additional hours on your own, mastering your skills. Being the best won’t be handed to you.

Most memorable moment of your professional career?

Winning The Pan Am Championship




Russ Rose, Head Womens Volleyball Coach at Penn State, is a living legend. Coaches

emulate his drills and coaching philosophy. Young athletes dream of having their name appear under his on a roster. And, just about every year, he and his team give Nittany Lion fans reason to celebrate in the volleyball arena. He’s garnered many coaching awards, trained several AllAmericans, and even engineered a perfect 38-0 season.

While sporting perfection is often determined by numbers like “38-0”, statistics, records, rankings, stats, and percentages, there is one immeasurable part of the equation that is at the core of Coach Rose and his players’ success: Mental Toughness. SpikeKey recently caught up with Coach Rose to discuss what mental toughness means on the court and how he helps young athletes succeed through what he calls an “aggressive attitude, with confidence and all of the skills to play the game.” Winning back-to-back National Championships is not an easy task, how do you keep your athletes mentally focused on winning the 2009 National Championship? I don’t start a training cycle by looking at how we are going to compete for the National Championship unless I feel we have the talent base to end up there. Every player and every team that I have coached I approach from the outside with the goal of trying to help them become the best they can be. Some teams and players have the potential to really set the bar high and others have to be more realistic—so much rests at the soul of the player. You have a knack for recruiting players that contribute very early, including a number of freshmen All-Americans. How do you approach the mental side of the game with young stars?  I think the higher recruited younger players come in with a variety of positive experiences from their high school and club programs, but don’t really know what to expect from the college game. The game is faster, the players are much more physical, and the season is significantly longer. There are a large number of players that have flown under the radar screens in recruiting that do a great job making the transition to college. I try to be direct in my dealings with the prospective players and get them to understand what the expectations are for them when, and if they decide to attend Penn State.  When recruiting prospective athletes you’re evaluating their physical ability and mental strength. While you can judge physical ability by stats and video, how do you assess mental strength? Truth is, those are two different areas and you may not know about the mental skills of a player unless you watch the individual in a myriad of competitive experiences. I think the early phase of recruiting is based on the way the person looks, moves, and plays the game. I think each coach looks for different things and the way a player interacts with their peers and in different situations may give you an insight into the player’s total package. Each coach may define mental strength differently, so many times comes down to a few small items. 98


What is the single most important piece of advice you give athletes for contributing to the team early on? I would think that you need to find the area that you can make the biggest and earliest contribution to your team and start from there. I believe the players and their families have to do a thorough job in the recruiting process to make sure the match between player and coach and team are a good one. I have had some players in the program that would have played better for another coach and feel I lost some players during the recruiting process that I know would have excelled here. Your not only preparing elite college athletes, but future professionals. How does mentally preparing athletes translate to excelling at life after college and volleyball? I don’t approach coaching our players with the goal of preparing them for professional volleyball, but I am aware of how being a member of a college team can better prepare them for the challenges of life.  We have had a number of players elect to continue with volleyball and make a living and we have had some go into coaching, while others place it on the backburner until they have children of their own. Volleyball at the various levels of play is tough and so is life, so I like to try and get the players to see how they can transfer the skills learned in sports.


Skill and confidence breed mental toughness:

I feel it is essential to devise and conduct aggressive practice drills that repeatedly put each athlete and your team under challenging and stressful conditions mentally. This will result in making high-stress situations more familiar with the goal of “hardening� your athletes to stay on task during game duress. Facilitate drills that focus on developing tough servers, passers, setters, hitters, competitors, back row players, and the team as a whole. These drills provide unique challenges that will encourage your players to rally around their teammates in tough, competitive situations. Creating a mentally tough culture has earned me two national titles and it will give your team a new competitive edge. -Russ Rose

Penn State Head Womens Volleyball Coach Russ Rose was selected as the 2008 AVCA Division I National Coach of the Year. Coach Rose became the first person in the history of the AVCA Division I womens awards program to earn back-to-back National Coach of the Year honors. Coach Rose has also been recognized as the Big Ten Coach of the Year ten times in his career while at Penn State.

Style and Trends Tourney Must Haves By: Cayley Thurlby

When it comes to competing there are some things that players just can’t live without! Whether its food, lip balm or even s favorite hair tie we each have different quirky desires, that help us prepare and perform during a long day at the beach. My search for the tournament “must haves” lead me to all different shapes and sizes of players across the country to find out just what it is that we cannot live without. I know that I am not going anywhere without my bag fully stocked with ZICO coconut water, a sarong, a back-up honey girl bathing suit, mint chocolate cliff bars, Neutrogena sunscreen, and a good hat! Check out what you must have in your beach bag this season...straight from the players!

Austin Rester Grapevine, TX Kelly Hickham St. Louis MO

Lucas Wisniakowski Houston, TX

“Emenren-C Packets, and lots of them!”

“My bandanna, it must be black because it dries in the sun faster, it keeps the sweat at of my eyes and I can ring it out easily!”

“A back-up bikini in case of wardrobe malfunction.”

Traci Morin Detroit, MI “Chap-stick with SPF, visor, and hair clips”

Hans Stolfus Newport Beach, CA “Jack Black Lip Balm SPF 25. My Lips burn like bacon on a frying pan. Can’t live without it.”

Jennifer Johnson Chicago, IL “Watermelon, it is super refreshing and helps keep you hydrated.”

Christal Morrison Manhattan Beach, CA “XXXL sweatshirts, and that goes for my partner too!”

Dan Madden Hermosa Beach, CA Kevin McColloch Salana Beach, Ca “I always like to play with a little bit of change in my pocket…quarters and dimes are preferable

Holly McPeak Manhattan Beach, CA Water, sunglasses and sunscreen

Travis Wilson Chicago, IL “Pickles, I drink the pickle juice to prevent cramping.”

“Sea Salt, to put in my water so I don’t cramp and of course my Kinda Good bandanna.”

Alicia Zamparelli Manhattan Beach, Ca “My Sarong and sunscreen”



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Long is Beautiful

By: Chelsea “The Fashionista” Veeneman

Love wearing jeans, but hate when they come up too short? If you are over 5’10”, you know the challenges of finding a fashionable jean that covers your ankles. London fashion designer Roy Parkin has your answer with his new line, TallGeneZ. With inseams ranging from 34” to over 45”, TallGeneZ are sure to fit all from 5’10” to 6’8”. With a hip urban style, these jeans are sure to be a fashion stable for taller women worldwide. TallGeneZ will launch this June with the first fashion show in LA at The House of Blues. Check out the styles at

Making a Splash Summer is finally here and its time to put on your suit and strut your stuff. Whether you are lounging on the beach or sipping cocktails poolside, you need to look stunning. With its newly launched resort swimwear collection, Tibi is the perfect fit for this summer’s enviable swimwear. After arriving on the fashion scene in 1997, Tibi has quickly become and international brand. Tibi is most well known for bright colors and bold patterns, with simple retro style dresses. “I wanted to create a selection of patterns immediately identifiable. You won’t mistake my suits for any other designers,” says owner and creative director Amy Smilovic. Ranging from a sexy low cut one-piece suit to a sporty bikini with boy short bottoms, every fashionista is covered. To complete your resort look Tibi also offers stylish cover-ups, with the same energetic patterns. Look for Tibi at Saks, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, and other fine boutiques throughout the US and around the world. View the runway collection at



Work Out, Chill Out, Hang Out 7 albums for whatever you’re up to…


Bump, Forward (Illuminated One, 2009) The album name is à propos for this quartet from Detroit. Having recently endured several changes in personnel and representation, the boys emerge victorious with an album that suits the modern indie-era and manages to push the conversation even further, if for no one but themselves. Forward showcases their master-musicianship on road-tested tunes influenced by, fortunately for our ears, the best of the 70s and 80s progressive rock (listen for The Police, The Cure, U2, and Traffic). Welcome to your new sound, Detroit—it’s better than anticipated. SpikeKey recommends: “Everyone Knows” and “Disconnected” -J. Elsey


Better Than Ezra, How Does Your Garden Grow? (Elektra/Asylum, 1998) The music snob’s guilty pleasure, Better than Ezra, brings a New Orleans strut to pop music. This record is a departure from their catchy rock tunes like “Good”. Funky rhythms collide with echoing pianos and looped guitar in this ethereal collection. Everything from trance, to hard rock, to hip hop finds its way onto this album; an exploration of creativity for the group. This isn’t your older brother’s Better Than Ezra, and not even your, younger sister’s. This is the band in a unique stage of its career, making it’s most unique piece of work. SpikeKey recommends: “One More Murder” and “Under You” -S. Griffin


Dr. Dog, Fate (Park the Van, 2008) It’s rarely accurate to compare a band’s harmonies or melodies to The Beatles, but Philly’s own Dr. Dog forces this critic to do so. The rustic sound accompanies lovely vocal harmonies (with the occasional KOLesque scream), tempting the listener to run away to the vinyldominated days of the early 70’s. As intricate as the piano and horns are, this album is made by its creative drum pick ups and bass. They also travel down the bar with some unpredictability; you never know when a clap, tambourine, horns, standup bass, or synthesizer will direct the next tune. This album makes for a musical trip back in time that everyone should get excited about. SpikeKey recommends: “100 Years” and “The Ark” -S. Griffin


The Roots, Rising Down (Def Jam, 2008) Arguably, the Roots are hip-hop’s most talented group. The Roots always manage to explore every nook and cranny of their distinguished sound. Questlove, the group’s drummer and primary producer, said of Rising Down “It feels like the musical equivalent of ‘Blade Runner.’ The collaboration-heavy record adds the newest synth and sound technology to traditional old-school instrumental rap that the band is known for. Questlove may not be eager to admit it, but you may even hear a little Kanye. In March 2009, this Grammy-winning Philly group began its run as the house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Here’s hoping it doesn’t detract from their admirable studio efforts. SpikeKey recommends: “Criminal”, “I Will not Apologize”, and “Rising Up” -S. Griffin


Bon Iver, For Emma Forever Ago (JagJaguwar, 2008) A play on the French phrase “good winter”, this band’s name is derived from the story of For Emma’s making. In the age of technical perfection and plastic, overly-enhanced production, For Emma makes us feel the uneven heat of a woodstove in a northern Wisconsin cabin and the honesty of heartbreak that can only emerge after spending the entire winter recording an album—alone. For Emma screams (or whispers, in this case) a directness of thought that hangs effortlessly from falsetto melodies. From the opening line “I am my mother’s only one, it’s enough”, it’s tough to deny that this album has something to get off of its chest. Finally, you no longer have to be a musician to appreciate a recording that transports us to a different place on a shoestring budget. SpikeKey recommends: “Flume”, “Skinny Love”, and “Re: Stacks” -J. Elsey


ZZ Top, Tejas (London, 1977) Do a cardio workout with this album playing and you are guaranteed to burn more calories than normal during its 40 minutes. Blues drives this album from its core. The sound makes you feel like you’re driving from roadhouse to roadhouse in central Texas with the top down, waiting for an unwise cowboy to cross you. It gets you fired up; picture the blowing tumble weed on a sugar high. Love the guitar and feel the soulful vocals. This record will take you for a ride and surprisingly tucks you in with the last song, an artful Mexican influenced instrumental called “Asleep in the Desert”. SpikeKey recommends: “Enjoy and Get it On”,”Arrested for Driving While Blind”, -S. Griffin and “El Diablo”


The Silent Years, The Silent Years (NoAlternative, 2006) Just good rock and roll. SPIN Magazine’s “2007 Underground Artist of the Year” garnered the award based primarily on the efforts delivered in this, their debut album. Josh Epstein’s vocals are the band’s trademark. Stratospheric guitars and eventful drumbeats make for a rock record that partners heavy tunes with spaceship-sounding accents. Displaying their versatility, the album is capped with the sweet tune “Lost at Sea”. “Everything turn without a sound, what’s lost oh it can be found,” the song says. What you might find when you listen to this album is your new favorite band. SpikeKey recommends: “Lidocaine” and “No Secrets” -S. Griffin 104


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