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Hello Monday: My Volleyball and Band Story!!

Hey hey! Happy Monday!! For any of you who missed my post on Friday you can see it HERE! As you all know, I play volleyball and I am in the marching band, so today I am linking up with Heather and Lindsay to bring you Hello Monday where I will be sharing my volleyball and band story!

V O L L E Y B A L L : 
I first started volleyball in the fall of fourth grade (2016), so about four years ago!! I played so many seasons at our YMCA up until 2019. In 2019 I tried out for our middle school volleyball team, and made it!! I had so much fun playing on our school team! We trained all summer long, and then we had games from August to October! We did all right considering we had a staff change in the middle of the season! 
In November I tried out for Capitol City Juniors club volleyball, and I made it on the 13-2 team! We started training December 2, 2019, we practiced three times a week and each practice was two hours. From December all of the way until the beginning of March we trained three times a week with a total of six hours. During our travel season, we had six tournaments planned but we only got to go to four of them (corona). The first one was Heart of Dixie, the tournament that CCJ hosts for other clubs! Our second tournament was in Muscle Shoals! We came in third in the gold bracket! We did amazing in this tournament, and I think that this was the best we have ever played! Another one of our tournaments was the Tennessee tournament which was SOO much fun! Overall, our whole entire club season was absolutely so much fun and we all grew so so much!!




In July my school started having open gym for volleyball, this was kind of a practice for everyone to get to play before try outs! Try outs are actually tomorrow (which is Tuesday the 28th)!! I am so excited for them! On Wednesday I am posting a What's Up Wednesday, and I will share the results! I am also so glad to get to go back and play, I have missed actually playing on a court rather than in our pool, back yard, or on the drive way against the roof! But let me say this, if you play volleyball and you want to practice at home by yourself, just serve to your roof and then it bounces down and you can pass it back! It is super fun, and honestly keeps me occupied for hours!!!
So now that you know the basics of my volleyball story, I am going to answer some frequently asked questions about volleyball!

Q  &  A:
1. What position do you play in volleyball?
Okay, well when I first started playing volleyball, everybody learned how to pass first because it is probably the most simple thing to do for a beginner. My first couple of seasons nobody really had any positions because everybody has a chance to play every position. It wasn’t until going to Auburn Volleyball camps that I worked on each and every position and I realized that I was most likely a defensive specialist/libero! For school volleyball I was a ds, but I also got a couple of hits! Generally the people playing the front row are hitter and they are tall people, I am not tall at all and I think around then I was about 4’ 8’’. When I tried out for travel volleyball I knew that I was going to be a passer. Once I made the team and we were establishing positions I was put as the libero! The libero is the main back row player, they always have a different color jersey than the rest of the team! I was so so happy to be a libero and I enjoyed it so much! So yes the answer to this question is that I am a ds/libero, but I can also set pretty well and I am pretty good at hitting despite my height and I really enjoy doing it!

2. What do I wear when playing?
When you are playing it is best to just wear any shirt you are comfortable in! You can wear athletic material or cotton/polyester blend! I would recommend any shirt you can move easily in that fits you just right! For our shorts it is best to play in spandex. I advise the Nike brand kind (that is wear mine are from), I also like the Under Armour as well!  When you aren't on the court playing wear athletic shorts over your spandex, or if it is cold wear sweats. When you are at a tournament it is best to stay warm, so I advise wearing sweatshirts and sweat pants! You also must wear knee-pads when playing. The protect your knees when you are diving after balls! For best results, try wearing actual volleyball shoes. These have great grip and help immensely when playing. You can also wear ankle braces to protect your ankles, also wear mid-calf high socks. 

You can find Nike brand spandex HERE!

You can find Under Armour brand spandex HERE!

You can find Nike brand knee-pads HERE!

You can find Nike brand socks HERE!

You can find Nike brand volleyball shoes HERE!

3. How often should I practice volleyball?
This just depends on where you play! Even if you are on a team that plays every single week day, there can still be improvement at home! You might not think you can do much practicing at home, but honestly if you have space and another person that you can pass to you can still get better! I try to practice everyday! 

4. Where do I practice?
You can practice volleyball anywhere as long as you have a ball and plenty of space! Because of corona  most gyms aren't open, so I would just play in your back yard. You can work on control by passing to yourself while walking in a line and back. You can do the same with setting! You can toss up the ball like it was set and practice your hitting, or you could toss the ball to yourself and practice setting to the different spots! The way I like to practice at my house is to serve to my roof, have it roll down for me to pass, and see how many times I can pass set hit to the roof! I also serve to certain spots around my yard! When gyms are open then you can practice there! I also recommend taking private volleyball lessons with a coach just to work on anything technical, and to get more feedback! 

5. How do I know what position I should play?
I think the best way to know which position to play, is to look at your strengths and weaknesses and to try everything out! If you are great at passing, then I work on that a bit more frequently. Another great way to know what position you might be best at, is to look at height. If you are really tall, but you can also jump really well than you would probably be a great hitter if you practiced! If you enjoy setting a you can set the ball high and out far, then with some practice you could be a great setter! The best advice I can give, is to be open to anything and every position!

6. What should I work on if I am an outside, right side, or middle hitter?
A big thing about hitting, is the approach! The first thing any coach will teach you about hitting, is the approach! The approach for any right handed people, is Left Right Left! Step with your left, then you right, then your left, and then jump and swing the ball! For left handed people it is Right Left Right! When you practice your approach it makes it easier for when your setter is actually setting you! It is also good to practice your timing for your approach and jump! If you just want to work on your jumping, then I would work on doing jump squats and box jumps!

7. What should I work on if I am a setter?
For setting I would practice doing tiny baby sets against a wall to get your hands all warmed up. I would also practice setting to myself while walking in a line, you can switch up the height for each one and how far it goes. You can also practice getting some harder tosses to you to work on your speed of getting to the ball to get that second hit. 

8. What should I work on if I am a defensive specialist/libero (passers)?
A big thing is to pass most of the ball that come anywhere near you at all. This helps take off pressure on any hitters who are pushed back and passing in that rotation. Work on calling (loudly) every ball that you are getting. At home you can practice you ready position and work on being low! You can work on what for platform, arms, and shoulders will look like when passing. One exercise that I do a lot, is passing while sitting in a chair. To do this sit down in a chair and have people throw easy balls to you for you to pass. They key to this is to NOT swing your arms, but to shrug your shoulders forward and freeze your platform! 

9. Do I need to work out during volleyball season?
Yes! It is so much easier to play when you are constantly getting stronger from working out! I would work on a schedule, like having a cardio/endurance work out one day, a day just focused on leg work outs, a day for upper body strengths, and don't forget to give yourself a rest day!

One last thing I would recommend, is to always always practice practice practice, and if you are having trouble understanding something try watching volleyball videos online (those can help a lot)!


B A N D :
The first time I started band was in sixth grade (2018). Band is available to be taken in sixth grade, and I was super excited to take it because my dad played in his band and he eventually marched DCI (drum corps international). So, I chose to be in percussion! That whole year I learned so many things about band! I learned how to read music, how to play it, and I went from not knowing anything to being able to play a lot of music in a year! I enjoyed band a lot! Eighth grade is the year where you can join the marching band, so I wasn't able to join the next year but I still went to band camp to help out with the band. When I was there I was offered the part of cymbals in the front ensemble! From then on I was a part of the high school marching band! During band camp I learned how to play the cymbals and I learned my part in the show! During band camp I also got to learn how to play bass drum! One of the bass drummers was able to play that day, so I got to fill in! I immediately fell in love, and a couple days later I was able to march with one on! I loved it so much! During the football season I played in the stands and during our half time show and went to competitions!

After football season was over all I had was concert band. We had a concert in December, but our spring concert was cancelled. Then we had our Universal Band Trip for the band! We were invited to go and perform in a parade there! You can read both full recaps on this blog, Universal Orlando Band Trip 2020 Part 1Universal Orlando Band Trip Part 2



After the Orlando trip America completely shut down!! The next time I saw the drum line was when we started rehearsing for the marching band on a couple of Monday's in June and July! During that time we were working on learning the music and auditioning! I am happy to say that I got bass drum!! That is the drum I have wanting since last year and I am so happy that first bass is mine! Last week was the first week of band camp, but it was just the drum line and the color guard! This week and next is the full band camp, but due to corona the band is splitting the times. Unfortunately, that means that we are having to learn the music and everything twice in half of the time than we did last year. But we are moving fast! The drum line already has to songs learned, one of them is completely memorized and the other is about half way memorized! I am so excited for our half time show, and our first football game where we will perform is on August 20th!! 
That is pretty much my band story/experience. Now it is time for some frequently asked questions about band!

Q & A :
1. What drum do you play, and what is it like?
I play the bass drum, to be exact I play first bass. It is the smallest of all the bass drums, but don't let that fool you because it is still pretty heavy! Our battery has four bass drums top bass (also called first bass) is a 20 inch drum (20 inches in diameter). Second bass is 22 inches, third is 24, and bottom bass is 26 inches (I think)! Playing top bass is so fun, and if you are interested in learning how to play, do it!! It is so worth it! When playing bass you play a lot of splits (notes split between all of the basses)! If you are marching with it, it is a lot of work to march with thirty pounds weighing you down in the front, but I love it and I am so happy to be playing it!!

2. Where can I learn to play?
I learned to play at school, but if you are not in school then there are plenty of other ways to learn! One way to learn would be to get a teacher to teach you, you can reach out to a lot of music teachers who would help you learn. Another way would be to learn from online tutorials. The Vic Firth website has a great page on education for drumming! It has tips for if you are a beginner, your technique, and all of the rudiments! To access it click on the link above, and when you get there you can click on education at the top!

3. How long and frequently do you practice?
I try to practice for maybe an hour or so everyday. During band camp we learn for four hours, and then go home and run the music over over again! I try to practice my music as much as I can. I normally do it before bed! If you are learning to play, practice every day and go through new songs until you can play them perfectly, and even try to memorize them. Another great thing to do is to practice your rudiments. Everything is much easier when you can play all of your rudiments, because they are the building blocks for music! So my answer to this question is, to set aside a time for practice every day. It could even be fifteen minutes, or it could be three hours. Just make sure you practice regularly. 

4. How do you read music?
Once you learn all of the notes, and how each one sounds it makes then you will be able to recognize it. When you know it very well, then you can start putting notes together! On bass drums each drum has its own line on the staff. When a note is on your line, then you play that note. Most of the time the basses aren't all playing the same thing but when it comes together it sounds like one rhythm just with each note being a different sound. 

Those are all of the questions that are frequently asked! If any of you have ANY questions about anything, whether it is volleyball or band or something in between you can fill out the form HERE! It asks for your name, your email (so I can answer it back but your email is not required to be put), and your question! Fill it out any time you have a question, and I will try to either email you back or I will answer the question on my blog!

Whew! That was a lot! I am so glad that I finally got to share about two of my favorite things in the world ; volleyball and band!! I am linking up with Heather and Lindsay to bring you this Hello Monday!
I hope you enjoyed this post, and if you did make sure to comment and read some of my other posts! I hope you all have a great rest of your Monday, and I will see you back here on Wednesday! 

Love Abby!!

Comments

  1. We were supposed to go to Disney and Universal this spring but that didn't happen; glad you got to go before everything shut down! Best of luck with your tryouts tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete

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