Throughout this “Day in the life” series, we have been have been through the typical days in the life of a collegiate swimmer and a collegiate cross country runner. This week’s edition will now take us through a typical day in the life of a volleyball player and what it takes to make it on a collegiate level both mentally and physically.
Volleyball is a competitive sport that involves using every part of your body in order to be successful. You have to be able to move your feet well, jump, hit and have good technique while hitting.
Volleyball is a long season, so you also have to be able to take care of your body throughout the course of the season and ensure that you get the amount of rest every night. This, however, is easier said than done. As mentioned in previous articles, being a collegiate athlete is time consuming, regardless of the sport.
For a volleyball player, the days vary. Unlike swimmers and cross country runners, collegiate volleyball players arrive on campus earlier than any other fall sport (with the exception of football) due to the early start of the season.
The volleyball season starts in August and could potentially last all the way through mid December, depending upon how well your team does come tournament time. This means potentially up to five months of hard practices, games and balancing your studies.
For Ouachita volleyball players, this is no exception. They have a consistent schedule to follow, and they have to make sure they keep up with their studies while also ensuring that they take care of their bodies to last up to five months.
Stormi Leonard, a sophomore business major from Decatur, Texas, emphasized the importance of taking care of one’s body and how that is a part of her daily routine during the season.
“Right now I go to therapy every morning for my back and that is at 7 every morning,” Leonard said.
She then described what the rest of her day usually consists of.
“I go to class from 9 to 2, and then I will get treatment around 3, and afterwards we will usually have practice from 4 to 6,” Leonard said.
The end of practice, however, does not necessarily mean the end of the day for the athletes. Sometimes players are required to go to mandatory study hall after practice is over.
“After practice, we go eat dinner, and sometimes we will have study hall from 7 to 8, and then we will start it all over again the next day,” Leonard said go to my site.
Kori Bullard, a junior biology and chemistry double major from Hot Springs, also talked about the importance of taking care of your body throughout the season and what they do to ensure they are consistently healthy.
“We monitor what we eat; we have to eat healthy,” Bullard said.
She also made note of the importance of preventive treatment.
“Treatment is a big deal. It is not only treatment for injuries, but it is treatment for prevention of injuries. So right now I go to treatment before and after practice. I stretch really well and make sure to keep my shoulder good and healthy to last in season,” Bullard said.
Regarding the actual practices, Leonard said that they have a different focus each day. She also explained that the upcoming opponent can be a factor influencing how practices run that particular day.
“On Mondays, we will typically have a hard practice. We go through conditioning and weights and they (Mondays) don’t really consist of a lot of team-oriented stuff. Tuesdays are more team-oriented stuff. We work on certain positions and what everyone has to do. Once Wednesday and Thursday come around, we focus on what to expect from our upcoming opponent,” Leonard said.
Bullard discussed the biggest differences between high school and collegiate level volleyball and made note that the intensity and speed are definitely two of them.
“As a college athlete, we were all standouts in high school. In college, you have to work hard for your spot and it’s a lot more intense,” Bullard said.
The Ouachita volleyball team currently has hopes to win the conference tournament and qualify for nationals. The tournament will be in November in Hot Springs.
By Marcellus Hill, sports writer