Volleyball, Perspectives and Life
Cristian's story in Volleyball, focused on goals!
How did you get started playing volleyball and what advice would you have for our readers who are just getting started?
I started playing volleyball in highschool, maybe when I was fourteen years old. My advice for readers who are just starting to play is that like every sport this is a process, and although we all enjoy the results, the most important thing is what is behind it, the spent ours, the known people, and the failures and successes in the way.
What was the most important lesson that you learned as a player that season and how has it helped you?
One season 3 teammates, including me, took very seriously the weight training and increased our speed, power and vertical jump, so we were very powerful physically this year, but that was not enough, the rest of the team didn't play as well as they should, and we lost the final. Then, the next year all the team took the practices and weight training very seriously, so we won the final and went to the national tournament. In conclusion, teamwork is the most important thing when we work with people. It's important to have the same goals, ideas, and a strong connection to make real whatever you want.
What are the best experiences have you had as a Volleyball player?
My best experience was when I participated in the national beach volleyball tournament. With my partner we trained ourselves all year for that tournament, we were total strangers for the rest of the teams, however we got third place and a spot to participate in the South American tournament.
How has volleyball affected your life?
Now volleyball is a big part of my life. Most of my best friends are thanks to that sport, I can travel to many places, even outside the country. I´am still playing today, maybe not so competitively, but with the same energy and happiness.
What type of conditioning would you recommend for someone who wants to play at the highest level?
You have to get a strong and flexible lower body, so you have to do many weight training for example, squats, deadlift, glute exercises, in combinations with a lot of flexibility and plyometric routine. You don't need a big body (you need to be tall hahaha), but you must have powerful and explosive muscles.
Do you like playing indoor volleyball or beach volleyball more? Why?
I like playing beach volleyball more than indoor, because you need less people, and you can play on any beach or place with sand, and in Antofagasta, you see a lot of that. Also like beach volleyball because you have to be a complete player, you have to receive, set, and spike all the time.
Do you have any pregame ritual(s) that you do before every game?
Yes, before every game I see motivational videos and do a lot of flexibility exercise, obviously I try to eat light and sleep well.
What 2 things do you do daily/weekly, etc. that make you a successful athlete?
Every day you should try to exercise to generate the habit, maybe no strong or long exercise, you can do regenerative routines, flexibility routines or preventive exercises for thirty minutes.
And another important thing is the food, you have to eat correctly, drink a lot of water, and try to don't drink sodas or alcohol. I know the last is difficult.
How do you think volleyball can contribute to the inclusion of young people into society?
Like every team sport, volleyball is a great great way to know different kinds of people, and develop communication and interaction skills with them. I think that it is so difficult to start a conversation or know a person for the first time, but if you practice a sport or go to a place where it is played frequently you can break the ice easily. It happened to me when I went on an exchange to Spain.
Is it possible to earn a living from volleyball?
Oh, that depends on the country that you live, for example in Chile it's very difficult because we don't have a professional league, but for example in the USA, Italy, Germany or Japan, maybe if you are good, you can play in the profesional league and live for that.
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