Junior Alyssa Warren is fresh off another national team tryout, this time for the USA Volleyball High Performance Beach National teams at Montrose Beach in Chicago on June 2. Tryouts were held in various regions and the top 8-12 players across the country will be selected to participate in the High Performance Championships in Hermosa, Calif. in July. From there, those athletes will have a chance to represent the United States in the U21 World Championships.
The standout libero was once again kind enough to take some time out of her schedule to share her experience with SHUPirates.com.
I have only played in the sand a few times, but have never played competitive sand volleyball before. So this was definitely something new and exciting for me. I also wanted to see if it is something I may have a future in.
I knew playing on the beach would be a unique experience compared to playing inside, but the transition was not as bad as I expected. Beach volleyball is a completely different sport than indoor since there are only two people on a team, the rules are a little different, you are moving in sand, and you have to play with the weather affecting the game. Going in with an open mind definitely helped me make a quick adjustment and helped me improve as the day went along.
The head beach coach of USC, Anna Collier, who is also the Beach National Team coach, was there coaching and watching us. She was tough, but very helpful in showing us the techniques and making sure we did them correctly. Our other coach was Lorelee Smith, head indoor coach at Lewis University, and Regional High Performance representative who helped me, personally, to develop my skills. When we first got there we had to do various testing in the sand, including broad jumps, a dash, our vertical jump, and an agility drill called the Star Drill. They were hard, but I think I did pretty well on them.
Then we started getting warmed up with some drills and games. We increased the difficulty as the tryout went on, incorporating new skills as we went. The group was pretty small with various aged girls and various skill levels. By the end, we did a queen of the court drill which was a lot of fun.
The weather was perfect, but as you would expect in Chicago, it was a windy day. The good thing about that was I was able to learn how to play the game in a difficult situation and make the right adjustments. Overall, this was a great tryout. I am so glad that I participated and am excited to see the results. It was cool to experience a different side of volleyball and learn new things. I will definitely use the tools they gave me in the future and will continue to play beach volleyball whenever I can.