00:00:00,370 --> 00:00:11,278
Make sure that you are super driven, just intrinsically motivated, because that shift from College to professional is so challenging.
00:00:11,434 --> 00:00:18,558
There's just, you know, in College, you're just pretty much given everything you're given a schedule to follow.
00:00:18,644 --> 00:00:24,260
You're given nutrition, mental coaches, a coach in general.
00:00:24,830 --> 00:00:29,154
Just making that shift is super challenging, but find ways to make it work.
00:00:29,192 --> 00:00:37,940
If you got to pick up a part time job, whatever it might be, find ways to make it work and go for it.
00:00:40,650 --> 00:00:44,474
What's up, everybody? Welcome to the Better At Beach Volleyball Podcast.
00:00:44,582 --> 00:00:53,782
My name is Mark Burik, and today we have a very special guest, Allie Wheeler, who is a longtime volleyball pro.
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As far as I know, she's got three FIVB medals under her belt, AVP High finish of a fifth.
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She's been playing on tour for quite a bit, and she is a fellow entrepreneur, has a company called AW Recruiting.
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Allie Wheeler Recruiting, where she helps volleyball players, both indoor and beach, find a home in some colleges.
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And she's going to tell us all about that and more.
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And we're going to learn a lot from her volleyball path.
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So without further Ado, Allie Wheeler, thanks for showing up.
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Thanks for having me, Mark.
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I really appreciate it.
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What was your day like today? What was it for?
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It was good until now. Yeah.
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So far, so good.
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I woke up, I usually wake up at 06:00 a.m.
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And I had practiced this morning, had a couple of meetings, and now I'm here.
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Who are the meetings with?
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Had some meetings with some athletes this morning.
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Okay. For your recruiting company? Yeah.
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Now how does that go? So does somebody just come and they sign up on your website and then they have to provide videos? You teach them how to provide videos.
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You reach out to colleges for them.
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How does somebody utilize Awrecruiting.com so that they can get themselves to a call?
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Yeah, great question. So basically how the process works.
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A lot of people find me via Instagram or word of mouth is usually how I've been getting my clients.
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And how it starts is we'll talk and have kind of that first consultation call, talk about what they're looking for in a school, what's important to them.
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And from there, I help them basically with every step of the way when it comes to emailing, phone calls, figuring out the best fit for them academically and athletically, too, and also help with talking to coaches for them.
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So just helping them step by step through the process and helping the parents to better understand what to expect for their kids.
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What do you think before we kind of get into the flow of our regular questions? Number one, the biggest misconception that parents and students have is and then number two, the biggest problem, what are you really discussing with them the most?
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It's a great question. I think a lot of it is just a big learning curve for kids and parents for the kids.
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It's just learning how to it's pretty much like learning these skills that you will then later have to learn in College and after school as well.
00:03:42,460 --> 00:03:51,100
Just like simple writing an email like, best way to do that and the best way to market yourself to these coaches as well.
00:03:51,730 --> 00:03:55,358
And the best way to just make a phone call.
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How are you supposed to be communicating with these coaches? So it's not only just like recruiting process, but teaching these kids life skills as well.
00:04:03,904 --> 00:04:10,540
So I would say that's the biggest thing that can be like, oh, I didn't even think about having to do this.
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Presentation over an email and showing up in a good way that the majority of the people will at least appreciate or feel comfortable with you when you talk.
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It's not an easy skill for everybody.
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Everybody's like, yeah, they'll accept me for who I am.
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Show up to a business meeting, to a presentation, you want to have something to say so you're not just your way through a first conversation.
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And then even if a coach is on the line, I think where athletically, you're kind of the same person, but they actually vibes with you just a little bit better as a person just because you're able to communicate or present yourself like that's.
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Somebody I kind of want to represent my program.
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So you're going to get that upper edge, right?
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Exactly. And you can't just show up and blow up at a tournament and just play really well.
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You got to do the behind the scenes work, too, of emailing these coaches and talking to them and really just laying down that groundwork and foundation and yeah, just that on court presence is super important along with that behind the scenes work.
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So do you give them kind of coaching critique on how they are acting on court or like their reactions? Yeah, you do exactly that's.
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Body language is so important in general.
00:05:33,056 --> 00:05:39,646
But to get recruited, too, it's so important for coaches to see that they're supportive to their partner.
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Maybe they're quiet, but they're a quiet leader, stuff like that, to just make sure that they are presenting themselves in the best light.
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Yeah, that's got to be so important, especially when you're inviting somebody to your culture, like a coach and the teammates that they've now hopefully become sort of their family.
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You live with that team day in and day out.
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And if you can't glean some sort of positivity, some type of personality that you want on your team or if it's just hidden and it's a question Mark and you're like, well, then I don't know.
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And I think that on court presence for a coach, looking at somebody who they want to bring and then as you said in the interviews, emails, how they present themselves is crucial for signing somebody up to live with you for the next four or five years.
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Because that team just becomes your family.
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And obviously it's important to be athletic and good volleyball player with good skills, but there are just so many other factors that a lot of kids just don't even think about it's.
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Funny, personally, we had a guy, Brandon McLaughlin, on our College team, and Huntington Beach had the ultimate slow, California trailing off at the end time.
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Well, this is a good practice.
00:07:02,950 --> 00:07:06,020
Like, didn't smoke it ever in his life.
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No drugs, barely any drinking, and just had that like, California slang talk.
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Not slang, but slur trail off.
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And then we called it public speaking, Brandon, because as soon as he was in front of a group of people or you saw him write any of his emails that he sent to Fred, he was a complete and other person.
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He knew how to show himself off in front of groups and how to speak loud and clearly and assertively and in his writing.
00:07:38,350 --> 00:07:39,742
00:07:39,826 --> 00:07:48,978
And when you take a look at the emails that he sent to our coach versus how he actually talked to us and hung out, it was completely different.
00:07:49,004 --> 00:07:51,378
Like unexpected, same day, different.
00:07:51,524 --> 00:07:51,906
00:07:51,968 --> 00:07:53,130
That's so funny.
00:07:53,570 --> 00:07:55,318
But, you know, like, hey, this guy's, like, smart.
00:07:55,354 --> 00:07:56,938
He knows how to present himself.
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So he's somebody that I want to represent my program and presentation versus who you really are.
00:08:04,868 --> 00:08:08,754
You can be careful and you can be purposeful, I think with both of them.
00:08:08,792 --> 00:08:09,066
00:08:09,128 --> 00:08:11,250
Purposeful is a good way to put it, for sure.
00:08:11,360 --> 00:08:12,154
00:08:12,202 --> 00:08:12,522
00:08:12,596 --> 00:08:29,442
Well, I want to get back into that recruiting talk, but first let's go back to the beginning, and I just want to hear when and why you started playing beach volleyball and if indoor came before it, if there was a mix of those two and just kind of tell your origin story.
00:08:29,516 --> 00:08:29,718
00:08:29,744 --> 00:08:46,100
So I started playing indoor when I was about nine years old, and I know a long time and I was playing a bunch of different sports from soccer to cross country to ski racing, too.
00:08:46,790 --> 00:08:49,280
Just was basically thrown into everything.
00:08:49,970 --> 00:08:55,890
And then my freshman year of high school, I decided to really just focus on volleyball.
00:08:56,630 --> 00:09:02,490
And I started playing beach volleyball when I was twelve more just for fun on the weekends.
00:09:02,990 --> 00:09:19,546
Could you tell me what that decision was like? Was it an active decision at that age? Was there an adult or coach influence that you can pinpoint that made you say focus that early? Because I didn't focus on volleyball, I think, until I was 19.
00:09:19,738 --> 00:09:20,526
00:09:20,708 --> 00:09:24,342
And there was a lot of different ebbs and flows around there.
00:09:24,356 --> 00:09:28,400
So what was that like as a 12 13 year old to say? I know.
00:09:29,090 --> 00:09:35,202
I think for me, I just really liked the concept of volleyball in general.
00:09:35,396 --> 00:09:37,770
I liked how technical it was.
00:09:37,820 --> 00:09:46,858
I was just such a technical player, and I was deciding at the end whether to play volleyball or soccer and soccer.
00:09:46,894 --> 00:09:52,110
For me, I just wasn't as physical, like, actual physical.
00:09:52,550 --> 00:10:07,818
Why did you think did somebody tell you how to choose or you felt that you had to choose?
00:10:07,904 --> 00:10:12,642
No one told me I needed to choose, but for me, I knew that I really wanted to play Division One and go on to play at a high level. And I felt that I wanted to just focus on that one.
00:10:12,716 --> 00:10:32,554
I don't think there's any right or wrong way to do it, but I think at the time when I was playing indoor, indoor club was super intense, too, on the girls side, where it was like, it's not as much like this now, but it was from December to July of tournaments every single weekend.
00:10:32,602 --> 00:10:37,170
So it was tough for me to do both or different sports in general.
00:10:37,340 --> 00:10:38,060
00:10:38,390 --> 00:10:41,490
So you were heavy in that club scene for me.
00:10:41,600 --> 00:10:41,910
00:10:41,960 --> 00:10:44,840
The club wasn't really for me.
00:10:45,530 --> 00:10:46,758
It wasn't an issue.
00:10:46,784 --> 00:10:52,566
It's just what sport I was going to go out and play that weekend for fun, right?
00:10:52,748 --> 00:10:56,960
Yeah. Honestly, I wish I could have played more sports in high school.
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It was just that club scene was pretty heavy with tournaments pretty much every weekend.
00:11:04,654 --> 00:11:11,094
So then started focusing on indoor my freshman year playing club and all that.
00:11:11,192 --> 00:11:23,070
My sophomore year, I started kind of looking at schools all along East Coast and West Coast, and I got invited to play at this USA High Performance Camp down in Chula Vista.
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And Anna Coyer, the former USC head coach, she was down there as well.
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And I had emailed her probably like ten times, trying to just introduce myself, get in front of her, and no response.
00:11:40,486 --> 00:11:46,938
And this was before the new role of the June 15 role for recruiting what's, like sophomore to.
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So basically before your sophomore to junior year, June 15, before that time, you basically can't talk to coaches.
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Like, it's basically a one way street.
00:11:58,822 --> 00:12:04,614
So you're communicating with them, giving updates, but they can't respond back to you
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in any way. Can they acknowledge that they received an email?
00:12:14,540 --> 00:12:14,814
They can acknowledge and they can send camp information and questionnaires that's it
00:12:14,852 --> 00:12:15,150
okay. Yeah. All right.
00:12:15,200 --> 00:12:15,378
00:12:15,404 --> 00:12:24,574
Because I was trying to say there's a crazy good player in in Missouri, and I was trying to set him up with Hudson, who's the associate coach at Ohio.
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And he's like, I can't do this.
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I can't do this.
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I can't do this.
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If you send me his email, I can send him camp information.
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And I was like, wow, the rules are so strict for NCAA, but that's good.
00:12:40,010 --> 00:12:49,050
You don't want coaches hounding 8th grade freshmen who are the daughters of six, seven Olympians, then their lives are miserable, too.
00:12:49,220 --> 00:12:52,146
So there's good and there's bad in general.
00:12:52,208 --> 00:12:54,898
Ncaa is brutal to navigate.
00:12:54,994 --> 00:12:55,434
00:12:55,532 --> 00:13:05,670
I honestly think that rule is good because it used to be where coaches could recruit kids when they were in 8th grade, which was pretty insane.
00:13:06,710 --> 00:13:14,660
How do you know where you want to go to school at 8th grade when you're in 8th grade?
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I was trying to figure out which hostile I should pick. That was the biggest choice in 8th grade.
00:13:18,770 --> 00:13:19,520
00:13:21,410 --> 00:13:21,774
00:13:21,812 --> 00:13:24,740
So that rule, I think, has been good.
00:13:25,550 --> 00:13:27,450
I forget where I was going with that.
00:13:27,560 --> 00:13:28,902
So you're in high school.
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This is before the June 15.
00:13:31,064 --> 00:13:31,700
00:13:32,570 --> 00:13:35,262
But that rule wasn't a rule back then.
00:13:35,396 --> 00:13:37,498
So I was able to communicate with Anna.
00:13:37,534 --> 00:13:40,050
So I was just waiting for a response from her.
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Never received one.
00:13:41,012 --> 00:13:53,466
So at that USA High Performance Camp, I went up to her, introduced myself, you know, told her I'd been emailing her, I'd love to have you watch me at this camp.
00:13:53,588 --> 00:13:57,140
And she basically said, all right, let's see what you got.
00:13:57,710 --> 00:14:00,800
Just treated it like kind of try out in a way.
00:14:01,970 --> 00:14:11,158
And so I emailed her after the camp, didn't get a response for like two months, and she said, hey, I love to have you on a visit.
00:14:11,254 --> 00:14:15,850
So I went on a visit and ended up getting an offer at USC.
00:14:16,030 --> 00:14:17,130
00:14:17,990 --> 00:14:18,354
00:14:18,392 --> 00:14:20,370
That was my only beach offer.
00:14:20,540 --> 00:14:22,650
I had offers indoor.
00:14:23,450 --> 00:14:27,178
And at the end of the day, I absolutely loved beach volleyball.
00:14:27,214 --> 00:14:30,478
And I had two concussions from indoor.
00:14:30,574 --> 00:14:32,998
That kind of just drove me away from indoor.
00:14:33,094 --> 00:14:33,606
00:14:33,728 --> 00:14:34,400
00:14:34,730 --> 00:14:36,574
Yeah, it's pretty gnarly.
00:14:36,622 --> 00:14:45,020
So I just basically got pretty burned out from indoor and really liked beach volleyball and wanted to pursue it in College.
00:14:45,410 --> 00:14:46,518
00:14:46,604 --> 00:14:55,326
Now, you were probably the generation where it was like, that had to be the first three years of beach, right when it was a College board.
00:14:55,388 --> 00:14:56,010
00:14:56,180 --> 00:15:02,674
So I was actually one of the first recruited scholarship athletes for beach volleyball.
00:15:02,782 --> 00:15:03,018
00:15:03,044 --> 00:15:07,590
It was like me and Sarah Hughes were the first ones that's wild.
00:15:07,910 --> 00:15:08,274
00:15:08,312 --> 00:15:09,440
It's pretty awesome.
00:15:10,250 --> 00:15:14,346
And a lot of my coaches thought I was absolutely crazy.
00:15:14,528 --> 00:15:16,486
They're like, this is a new sport.
00:15:16,558 --> 00:15:23,766
It's like, of course they want you to follow the path that they follow and that they're comfortable with.
00:15:23,888 --> 00:15:24,560
00:15:25,730 --> 00:15:30,666
But I absolutely love beach and really wanted to pursue it and took a chance.
00:15:30,728 --> 00:15:31,594
And it was risky.
00:15:31,642 --> 00:15:33,762
But look at where the sport is now.
00:15:33,836 --> 00:15:35,420
It's pretty awesome.
00:15:35,810 --> 00:15:44,238
And now I think that USA women for the next decade and a half at least are just going to annihilate the world.
00:15:44,324 --> 00:15:45,078
00:15:45,224 --> 00:15:52,880
Our club system, the way that America does, it just turns athletes out.
00:15:53,570 --> 00:15:58,498
We see this in basketball a lot, and we see it definitely in volleyball.
00:15:58,534 --> 00:16:02,782
I don't think the strength really is in as many other sports.
00:16:02,926 --> 00:16:14,830
There's some travel, baseball, but there's really no one who can compete with us in baseball in terms of leagues or Olympic games, I guess, like Cuba, Dominican Republic, Japan.
00:16:14,950 --> 00:16:49,326
But for volleyball, at least having the strength of our indoor club system turn to beach club system is a little for a lot of people, a little scary for beach volleyball because there are those that don't want beach volleyball to turn into what indoor became, from my point of view, crazy parents, an overbearing situation where, like you said, from December strike in July, you're going every weekend.
00:16:49,398 --> 00:16:50,246
This is your life.
00:16:50,308 --> 00:16:53,330
There is no opportunity anymore to be like a teenager.
00:16:53,830 --> 00:16:56,430
And once you're committed to a team, you should commit.
00:16:56,550 --> 00:16:58,686
I am a full believer in that finish the season.
00:16:58,758 --> 00:17:06,880
Whatever you do, you finish the season and then you reassess in the off season like you made a promise to your coaches and your teammates, so you should be there for them.
00:17:08,230 --> 00:17:13,214
I think it's an intense route, and I think if you love it, it's awesome for you.
00:17:13,252 --> 00:17:17,030
But if you're on the fence, that's where it's different.
00:17:17,080 --> 00:17:25,960
And I imagine people who are coming to you probably make the same hopefully they're going through the same thought process when they talk about maybe division one, division two, Naiad three.
00:17:26,590 --> 00:17:52,898
Do you want this to consume your life? Do you want volleyball to be everything for you or do you enjoy it? And do you have lots of other endeavors that you're interested in? So what do you tell exactly the people who are that you know might be on the fence of how much they love the game?
00:17:52,924 --> 00:18:05,910
Yeah, that's a great question because I don't think it's so much of like on the fence of how much I love the game. It's more so understanding of how much you have to give up and prioritize when you're playing at a Division one or division two level and finding that good balance.
00:18:06,030 --> 00:18:11,510
So I think a lot of the athletes I work with absolutely love the sport.
00:18:12,250 --> 00:18:40,538
I think it's just more so just that understanding of what kind of College experience do I want? Do I want to just be playing on this highly competitive team where we're always competing against each other, fighting for different spots, and give up that balance of school or social life, whatever it might be, or having that good balance of like, school is obviously number one important.
00:18:40,624 --> 00:18:51,110
But I really want to just focus on school and have volleyball as that outlet kind of thing and have it be that friendly, good community, but maybe not as competitive.
00:18:53,230 --> 00:19:23,920
Do you have any questions that you try to source that answer from? Do you ask your players, hey, how much do you look forward to off season when it's not clipped, and then you say you're miserable in the off season because there's no volleyball, you're probably maybe a candidate, at least emotionally wise, for D one, or if they love off season, you're like, cool, let's maybe move away from the full time job that is D One, definitely.
00:19:24,790 --> 00:19:25,262
00:19:25,336 --> 00:19:41,320
And I asked them tough questions, too, about what really do they want to prioritize? Because this decision that they make is basically the most important decision that they'll make up to date of really what they want their College experience to look like.
00:19:41,650 --> 00:19:52,610
So, yeah, definitely ask those tough questions and make sure that we're all on the same page, like their family too, and themselves and me too.
00:19:52,780 --> 00:19:58,254
For me, I always try to it is an important decision, and it weighed on me tremendously.
00:19:58,362 --> 00:19:59,510
And going and doing that.
00:19:59,560 --> 00:20:02,754
I went to my first College, I went there to play football.
00:20:02,862 --> 00:20:06,762
And when I left that, it was to play volleyball.
00:20:06,906 --> 00:20:09,940
So the decision of which College I went to.
00:20:10,450 --> 00:20:10,994
00:20:11,092 --> 00:20:14,454
Now I'm on a new branch that can lead to a whole other branches.
00:20:14,562 --> 00:20:20,320
But when I talk to kids, I also want to let them know that this decision is not the end.
00:20:20,890 --> 00:20:26,454
Wherever you go, you can stop playing after a season.
00:20:26,622 --> 00:20:28,134
I don't want them to stop playing season.
00:20:28,182 --> 00:20:29,258
People are counting on you.
00:20:29,284 --> 00:20:32,320
So, like, hold yourself to your word and be there for them.
00:20:32,950 --> 00:20:34,838
But you can change.
00:20:34,984 --> 00:20:37,214
This is not the end of your life.
00:20:37,252 --> 00:20:38,250
It's an important decision.
00:20:38,310 --> 00:20:39,470
It will affect the next year.
00:20:39,520 --> 00:20:44,978
But remember, you're going to reassess at the end of the year or midway through the year and then figure out again what you want.
00:20:45,004 --> 00:20:48,686
And there's always that choice of you can continue on the same road.
00:20:48,748 --> 00:20:51,570
People think that when you're on one road, there's no choice.
00:20:51,750 --> 00:20:55,480
The choice is continuing or turning off of that road.
00:20:55,810 --> 00:20:57,842
And you have that every single day.
00:20:57,976 --> 00:21:12,122
And I wish more kids could understand that at that time when you feel a chest full of air and you can't breathe because you think this decision is going to be everything for you and everybody who's looking at you.
00:21:12,256 --> 00:21:14,714
It's a tough time for kids.
00:21:14,812 --> 00:21:15,270
00:21:15,330 --> 00:21:23,354
And one thing that I always tell my kids is that you want to choose the school for the school.
00:21:23,512 --> 00:21:26,942
Let's say you pray to God this doesn't happen.
00:21:27,016 --> 00:21:31,842
But what if you get injured, like first practice and you're out, you can't play volleyball.
00:21:31,986 --> 00:21:40,646
Are you going to like the school as is? I always tell my kids you need to just make sure you love the school for the school.
00:21:40,828 --> 00:21:46,070
In the case that maybe you do change paths and don't want to play volleyball anymore.
00:21:46,450 --> 00:21:53,006
Well, I do want to hear how you went from USC to playing pro.
00:21:53,188 --> 00:21:55,526
What was that process like?
00:21:55,708 --> 00:22:04,290
It was good. So I actually went from USC to Cal Poly San Luis Fispo to get my MBA.
00:22:04,470 --> 00:22:06,290
So I was there for two years.
00:22:06,460 --> 00:22:09,822
What was your master?
00:22:09,966 --> 00:22:10,490
00:22:10,600 --> 00:22:11,166
Awesome. Good choice.
00:22:11,238 --> 00:22:11,802
00:22:11,886 --> 00:22:13,900
Oh, God, I wish I had any education.
00:22:16,190 --> 00:22:16,734
00:22:16,832 --> 00:22:26,098
So went there for two years and then coached there as well as the assistant coach there for the beach team with Todd Rogers.
00:22:26,134 --> 00:22:28,074
And that was an incredible experience.
00:22:28,232 --> 00:22:30,140
Learned so much from him.
00:22:30,650 --> 00:22:32,374
Yeah, it was epic.
00:22:32,422 --> 00:22:43,114
So I was doing that while playing which was honestly really tough, just commuting down to La a lot for practices and finding partners and whatnot.
00:22:43,222 --> 00:22:45,380
So it was challenging, made it work.
00:22:45,770 --> 00:22:52,794
And then after those two years, I moved down to Hermosa in 2019 and have been here ever since.
00:22:52,892 --> 00:22:53,540
00:22:55,310 --> 00:23:04,460
Who are you playing with this year? What's the plan? What's the roadmap? I know you had a back injury for the last little while, so you got knocked out.
00:23:05,330 --> 00:23:06,080
00:23:06,530 --> 00:23:11,840
So coming back from that, still trying it out right now.
00:23:12,350 --> 00:23:15,210
Have some things in the works, though, that I'm really excited about.
00:23:15,380 --> 00:23:17,526
Oh, all right.
00:23:17,708 --> 00:23:20,850
Not divulging ever since leave you on a cliffhanger.
00:23:22,250 --> 00:23:23,660
All right, cool.
00:23:25,850 --> 00:23:35,322
I do want to talk to you because I know that you see a lot of players who are talking so much about potential, where they are, what they're going to be.
00:23:35,456 --> 00:23:41,946
And you see this because you've played pro because you've played at a high level in College.
00:23:42,128 --> 00:23:53,830
So what do you think? And as a recruiter, what do you think are the two most important attributes? And they can be mental or physical, but the two most important attributes of a successful player, a beach player.
00:23:53,890 --> 00:23:54,186
00:23:54,248 --> 00:23:59,574
Are you saying just in general successful beach player? Okay.
00:23:59,672 --> 00:24:09,646
I would say number one thing is mentally tough, having that confidence in yourself, especially in tight situations, just being fully mentally tough.
00:24:09,778 --> 00:24:21,826
And I would say second thing is driven because it's such kind of like an individual sport in a way where you have the freedom to set up your own practices, your own schedule, your own weight lifting.
00:24:21,958 --> 00:24:27,174
You have to be so intrinsically motivated to be the best version of yourself.
00:24:27,272 --> 00:24:29,922
So I would say those are the two most important things.
00:24:29,996 --> 00:24:30,870
There's so many others.
00:24:30,920 --> 00:24:35,780
But if I were to choose those off the bat,
00:24:36,350 --> 00:24:37,422
yes, I think driven can be one of those. Every field.
00:24:37,556 --> 00:24:43,086
Can I exercise it's like, hey, do you want to be excellent? You have to do more than everybody else is doing.
00:24:43,148 --> 00:24:46,782
There's always a Bell curve for every industry, for every job.
00:24:46,976 --> 00:24:51,294
People think like lawyers of prestigious job, like doctor is a prestigious job.
00:24:51,392 --> 00:24:54,010
Guess what? There's a Bell curve of doctors and lawyers.
00:24:54,070 --> 00:24:57,126
There are crappy ones and there are the average ones.
00:24:57,188 --> 00:25:09,070
And then they're the ones that go above and beyond and continue to push themselves and drive themselves, like you're saying, to the next level of knowledge, practice, care and effort.
00:25:09,130 --> 00:25:18,010
It's very easy to just ride in whatever you're currently doing instead of putting that extra energy into getting it going faster, better, more efficient.
00:25:18,130 --> 00:25:18,800
00:25:19,130 --> 00:25:22,894
You said mental toughness, being mentally tough.
00:25:23,002 --> 00:25:33,594
Can you give an in game example of what it actually means when you say mentally tough? What do you really mean? And do it by an example?
00:25:33,692 --> 00:25:34,062
00:25:34,136 --> 00:25:36,342
So let's say we're in.
00:25:36,476 --> 00:25:48,186
Let's say it's 1413 in the third set, you're down having that focus and that confidence in you and your partner that you guys are going to find out.
00:25:48,248 --> 00:26:02,022
I would say to me that's being mentally tough and having that focus to be able to sign out and make sure you're able to trust and rely on your partner and yourself.
00:26:02,156 --> 00:26:08,310
So would you say that mental toughness to you directly translates as confidence?
00:26:08,930 --> 00:26:12,822
Not directly. I think there's a lot that goes into mental toughness with that.
00:26:12,896 --> 00:26:14,598
I think that's a part of it.
00:26:14,684 --> 00:26:16,258
I think a part of it is focused.
00:26:16,294 --> 00:26:20,540
Like I said, I think a part of it is just like that trust as well.
00:26:21,470 --> 00:26:23,250
I think there's a lot that goes into it.
00:26:23,300 --> 00:26:37,606
Is there anything would be like the three do you do anything or say anything or practice anything specifically that makes you mentally tough on the court or off the court?
00:26:37,678 --> 00:26:46,690
Both, I would say on the court. For me, breathing really helps and then also just leaning on my partner as well to find that trust and confidence with each other off the court.
00:26:46,810 --> 00:26:52,294
I do a lot of visualization and that helps with my mental focus, with my mental strength.
00:26:52,342 --> 00:26:56,862
And visualization is like another practice to me and reps for me.
00:26:56,936 --> 00:26:59,742
So I would say those are the things that I really focus on.
00:26:59,816 --> 00:27:15,966
So when you're visualizing, what do you visualize? Do you see a picture of yourself on a podium? Do you see yourself hitting nonstop high lines that are untouched, passing nails like lip and everything? What is your visualization session actually visually look like?
00:27:16,028 --> 00:27:33,202
Great question. So it depends if it's before a tournament, I have this visualization, like, voice memo that talks about basically me getting ready for the tournament, going on to the court, warming up, and then it goes into, like, Endgame.
00:27:33,286 --> 00:27:38,250
So I have some scenarios where it's like I'm passing really well.
00:27:38,300 --> 00:27:41,754
I'm setting really well, hitting, just nailing everything down.
00:27:41,792 --> 00:27:52,110
And then I have some scenarios where I would say 80% is those scenarios where I'm doing well, and then 20% is where I'm in a rut and I need to help myself get out of it.
00:27:52,160 --> 00:28:03,080
And some of that is within visualization because I think it is important to visualize some bad times because it's going to happen and you need to visualize how you're going to get yourself out of it.
00:28:03,590 --> 00:28:05,694
So I think that's part of it.
00:28:05,732 --> 00:28:12,874
And then I think when so that's like before a match, you said every day you had a voice memo.
00:28:12,922 --> 00:28:14,106
Voice memo? Yeah.
00:28:14,228 --> 00:28:27,270
Like, you've recorded yourself talking yourself through points and saying, like, and you pass perfect, and you take a slow to fast approach and you see the defender and you crisply, cleanly shoot this line.
00:28:27,320 --> 00:28:34,378
It's actually a voice memo where it's talking me through the feelings of what I'm feeling.
00:28:34,414 --> 00:28:38,950
So let's say the voice memo says, like, all right, you're walking onto the beach.
00:28:39,010 --> 00:28:45,322
You feel the sand from the strand pavement to the sand beneath your feet.
00:28:45,406 --> 00:28:47,240
You drop your bags down.
00:28:47,870 --> 00:28:50,770
It walks you through kind of that visualization.
00:28:50,950 --> 00:28:51,682
00:28:51,826 --> 00:28:59,840
How cool is that? Are you on your phone right now? Can you play like 30 seconds of it?
00:29:01,070 --> 00:29:03,582
I can play part of it. I'll play the one that
00:29:03,656 --> 00:29:12,522
this is blowing my mind. That's so much dedication that you sat down and you actually went off court and you recorded yourself going through this.
00:29:12,596 --> 00:29:13,962
Who led you through this?
00:29:14,036 --> 00:29:26,950
Yeah. So actually, when I was injured, I worked with a mental coach, and she really helped me with a lot of stuff because it was really tough for me just getting back onto the court.
00:29:27,010 --> 00:29:32,218
I was really nervous because that's how I originally got injured was playing.
00:29:32,314 --> 00:29:42,586
So she really helped me with the visualization and figuring out what I can do to get over that hump of being nervous.
00:29:42,658 --> 00:29:45,898
And so she really helped me with that confidence aspect.
00:29:45,994 --> 00:29:51,810
And then I also have this voice memo of just like a practice as well.
00:29:51,920 --> 00:29:55,090
And it kind of takes you through same kind of concepts.
00:29:55,150 --> 00:30:03,814
But also there's like this portion where it's just meditating and you're just focusing on just one specific skill in that practice.
00:30:03,922 --> 00:30:05,720
And it's like for about five minutes.
00:30:06,290 --> 00:30:08,254
If you could pull up 20 seconds.
00:30:08,422 --> 00:30:11,214
I know I'm trying to pull it up here.
00:30:11,312 --> 00:30:13,278
Might be like on my laptop, though.
00:30:13,364 --> 00:30:14,398
No rush, no pressure.
00:30:14,434 --> 00:30:15,618
If it happens, it happens.
00:30:15,764 --> 00:30:36,202
But I think what people don't understand is that there's an actual true science behind visualization and that your nervous system literally builds physical pathways when you take your brain through a sequence of activities.
00:30:36,286 --> 00:30:55,650
And it's been studied again and again, mostly like with foul shots from basketball players where they measure three different people, people who are just shooting, people who are just visualizing and people who are visualizing and shooting, and the people who visualize and shoot free throws always outperform the other groups.
00:30:56,810 --> 00:31:08,914
The physical pathway that is built, when you imagine and take yourself through those movements, it actually translates to nervous system and muscular regulation.
00:31:09,022 --> 00:31:09,666
00:31:09,788 --> 00:31:10,460
00:31:11,150 --> 00:31:14,960
I go from the biomechanics and exercise science standpoint of it.
00:31:15,530 --> 00:31:16,146
00:31:16,268 --> 00:31:17,370
Love that stuff.
00:31:17,480 --> 00:31:35,634
Along with that, the two most important attributes you said are the drive, going and doing your own thing, which for young athletes, the majority of them, of course, just like anybody else, do not understand that when you show up to practice, no one should Pat you on the back.
00:31:35,672 --> 00:31:42,250
For that, you are doing the bare minimum requirement by attending practice.
00:31:42,430 --> 00:31:55,410
So when the parents and students and they talk about playing time, how many hours have you put in outside that gives you the right to come and talk about playing time, gives you a glimpse into your future.
00:31:55,460 --> 00:32:14,274
Because if your kid is not the one that's out there in the driveway, like hitting a ball against a wall for an hour and a half after practice, if you're not the parent that has to say, hey, Sarah, come on, get off the court, mom has to go to work.
00:32:14,372 --> 00:32:17,600
Like, I don't know if that person gets to the next level.
00:32:18,230 --> 00:32:25,386
The person is the one that gets addicted to it so early and you can't pull them away from it.
00:32:25,508 --> 00:32:33,750
So that whole kind of like, bare minimum stuff where people just show up to practice and they say, like, why aren't I at a certain level? Because you're only.
00:32:33,920 --> 00:32:39,690
Right, you're doing less or just the same as the average.
00:32:40,730 --> 00:32:41,480
00:32:41,870 --> 00:32:51,678
So people need to understand that driven part and what it actually means if you're not improving faster than the people around you.
00:32:51,764 --> 00:32:57,018
Hey, how many extra hours have you put in compared to them?
00:32:57,104 --> 00:33:06,800
Right. And there's a quote on this, like, talent only gets you so far, but effort is what really gets you to the top.
00:33:07,850 --> 00:33:09,790
And I think especially with practice.
00:33:09,850 --> 00:33:10,074
00:33:10,112 --> 00:33:11,430
It's beyond practice.
00:33:11,750 --> 00:33:13,978
It's beyond I can't just say I work harder.
00:33:14,014 --> 00:33:14,350
00:33:14,410 --> 00:33:15,270
00:33:16,310 --> 00:33:18,260
00:33:18,650 --> 00:33:27,066
And I think a lot of kids in high school, too, it's like everything's kind of just done for them in terms of practices and schedules and all that.
00:33:27,128 --> 00:33:32,806
But yeah, it's so important for them to just, like, go that extra mile of putting in that effort.
00:33:32,878 --> 00:33:33,954
00:33:34,052 --> 00:34:00,790
All right, well, aside from the mental game and pushing and being driven, which I can't give enough credo to, but what skill for you? Like, what volleyball technique was the hardest for you to learn or that you have the most struggles with or that keeps coming back like a monster in your closet?
00:34:01,530 --> 00:34:06,550
I would honestly say right now it's passing. I felt like last year my passing was just really solid, felt really good.
00:34:06,600 --> 00:34:27,310
And then I had my back injury, and for some reason, this weird concept of my posture when I'm passing, it's just super interesting, and I've been trying to mess around with it and figure out a way with the limitations, like how I can be a good pastor again and just really feel good about it.
00:34:27,420 --> 00:34:32,974
And my passing is not horrendous or anything, but it's just something that I've really been focusing on.
00:34:33,012 --> 00:34:35,734
And I would say I've been struggling with.
00:34:35,772 --> 00:34:41,350
So that's something that is a skill that I've really been wanting to Hone down since my injury.
00:34:41,790 --> 00:34:53,460
Is it because you're so consciously feeling stiff, like you don't want to move your torso freely, like the twists and the dips that happened with passing?
00:34:54,270 --> 00:34:58,440
Yeah. Disassociation from your torso and legs, I think.
00:34:59,250 --> 00:35:02,974
And like this movement and going forward as well.
00:35:03,072 --> 00:35:14,174
So I would say having that disassociation is the part that I'm still training my body to do
00:35:14,222 --> 00:35:14,506
to get back to being comfortable with where it used to be unconscious. Right.
00:35:14,568 --> 00:35:19,198
It used to be like, I can sit in my chair and wiggle my upper body and do whatever I want.
00:35:19,224 --> 00:35:29,926
But now it's like from the top of your knees all the way to your armpits, you want them to move together because you don't want that feeling of being near paralyzed again from your back.
00:35:30,108 --> 00:35:30,814
00:35:30,972 --> 00:35:31,546
00:35:31,668 --> 00:35:34,882
So that's something that I've just been messing around with.
00:35:34,896 --> 00:35:42,060
And honestly, it's been kind of fun just being able to just retrain my body to do certain things in a way.
00:35:42,810 --> 00:35:45,490
So, yeah, it's been a journey with that.
00:35:45,540 --> 00:36:04,200
Are there any things that you thought? I guess you never assumed that you would be uncomfortable twisting or bending over, but are you discovering anything about passing that you pay zero attention to before?
00:36:04,830 --> 00:36:18,914
Honestly, yeah. I wouldn't say zero attention to, but it's kind of fun learning different ways that you can be successful with passing without being very specific with a certain technique.
00:36:19,022 --> 00:36:28,774
Like, everyone can have their own technique and have it work for them, which I've been finding kind of interesting and kind of fun to mess around with.
00:36:28,812 --> 00:36:40,474
It's just like finding what works best for each person in terms of a technique, if you have specific limitations or mobility wise can't do a certain movement as well. Like what's going to work best for your body?
00:36:40,512 --> 00:36:59,306
When you were first starting, like pre injury, did you have any fears or worries? What were your biggest concerns walking into a game or practice as you were trying to grow your game and get to the next level? When you're thinking about going pro, you're thinking about your first AVP.
00:36:59,378 --> 00:37:07,798
What were the biggest fears when you were stepping up to that level of tournament? Did you have any? Do you even think of them?
00:37:07,884 --> 00:37:12,190
I don't know if I had any. I mean, my first AVPs were in College.
00:37:12,300 --> 00:37:18,074
And that kind of mindset, like, when you're in College is like you have no worries.
00:37:18,182 --> 00:37:20,890
You're just going out there, you're playing, you're getting better.
00:37:21,000 --> 00:37:23,938
So there's really, like, nothing on the line with that.
00:37:24,084 --> 00:37:28,814
I think after College it was still kind of same mindset.
00:37:28,922 --> 00:37:31,330
At least tried to keep that same mindset.
00:37:32,190 --> 00:37:40,490
You are doing this as a job now, but to go out there and have fun and get better, every game is still the goal.
00:37:40,550 --> 00:37:40,846
00:37:40,908 --> 00:37:43,762
So you just walked out to the court? Yeah, I get to play.
00:37:43,956 --> 00:37:44,700
00:37:46,470 --> 00:37:50,054
When I was first starting, I definitely had that mindset.
00:37:50,102 --> 00:37:54,646
I think I try and remain to have that mindset, and that fun.
00:37:54,708 --> 00:37:58,690
Like going out there, you're playing and competing.
00:37:59,490 --> 00:38:14,386
So how do you talk to or help people who actually do have that doubt where they're nervous to be in their first tournament? They don't want to be looked at, they're worried about what they're going to look like or how they're going to play. How do you help that person?
00:38:14,568 --> 00:38:20,578
I mean, I've definitely had those scenarios where you have doubt that creeps in.
00:38:20,664 --> 00:38:28,860
I think everyone has or a game where you don't feel as confident because you're not feeling that great or whatever it might be.
00:38:29,310 --> 00:38:43,814
The main thing that I tell them is just like, to trust your reps and trust what you're doing off the court and just remind yourself that you've done everything you can to prepare for this moment and just play freely.
00:38:43,982 --> 00:38:49,378
So in game the act of telling yourself, I'm prepared, this is where I am.
00:38:49,404 --> 00:38:49,774
00:38:49,872 --> 00:38:50,974
I've prepared for this.
00:38:51,012 --> 00:38:52,306
This is where I'm at.
00:38:52,488 --> 00:38:53,842
Whatever happens, happens.
00:38:53,916 --> 00:38:57,300
But leave it all out on the court and that's all you can do.
00:38:57,690 --> 00:39:00,970
I think that helps you get your mind off of the result.
00:39:01,080 --> 00:39:01,462
00:39:01,536 --> 00:39:12,062
Of like if I don't get this, I don't make the next tier or flight of the tournament, and then I might not get to exactly regionals and then I won't get looked at by that coach.
00:39:12,206 --> 00:39:18,900
And once you go two steps down that path, the spiral, it's over.
00:39:19,890 --> 00:39:20,290
00:39:20,340 --> 00:39:27,718
I love that you said breathing in the beginning because that's something that I really just started incorporating to my game in the last two or three years.
00:39:27,744 --> 00:39:34,178
I started listening to Headspace, the sports performance, led meditations for Headspace.
00:39:34,214 --> 00:39:37,406
And he constantly talked about quiet, calm, confidence.
00:39:37,478 --> 00:39:40,920
And he focuses on getting you to breathe at a certain rate.
00:39:41,250 --> 00:39:44,114
And I felt my heart rate getting up in this last tournament.
00:39:44,162 --> 00:39:45,518
Like me getting excited.
00:39:45,614 --> 00:39:59,854
And I said you played your best when you're like when you slow your heart rate down and you stop thinking about because when you're getting excited, it means that you're probably thinking about what's about to happen.
00:39:59,952 --> 00:40:00,600
00:40:00,930 --> 00:40:05,362
And then you're in the wrong spot already instead of right.
00:40:05,556 --> 00:40:07,730
I'm going to pass the volleyball.
00:40:07,850 --> 00:40:10,020
That's the thing that I'm a part of right now.
00:40:10,890 --> 00:40:11,640
00:40:14,050 --> 00:40:21,290
Do you have a breathing rhythm? Do you like go in through your nose, out through your mouth? Do you have any beat to it?
00:40:21,340 --> 00:40:36,762
Yeah. So this is something I've also been really focusing on since my injury is I try and do it like three times a day where I'm breathing in through my nose, 4 seconds, hold at the top and then breathe out for about six to 7 seconds.
00:40:36,846 --> 00:40:45,894
You do that on court?
00:40:45,942 --> 00:40:53,740
I try and do it on court because that's what really helps. I think just like calm yourself down and just get yourself settled in in like the moment and present.
00:40:54,550 --> 00:40:57,580
I think that's something that's helped a lot for sure.
00:40:58,270 --> 00:41:00,486
And it doesn't only help when you're in trouble.
00:41:00,678 --> 00:41:02,558
It helps when you're too fired up.
00:41:02,584 --> 00:41:11,622
Like in my case, occasionally I'll get too fired up and it's the time to slow myself down, get myself back to a normal regulation.
00:41:11,706 --> 00:41:16,730
And then if I'm getting too upset, it's like you can't get too mad either.
00:41:16,780 --> 00:41:21,290
So it works on both ends, I think to again regulate the heart rate.
00:41:21,400 --> 00:41:23,474
It's not to slow down your heart rate.
00:41:23,572 --> 00:41:27,530
It's regulate your heart rate, which is a great way to put it.
00:41:27,580 --> 00:41:28,010
00:41:28,120 --> 00:41:31,660
It could wake you up or it could slow you down, I guess.
00:41:31,990 --> 00:41:32,462
00:41:32,536 --> 00:41:34,960
Or if you're getting frustrated or something.
00:41:35,650 --> 00:41:38,080
Maybe things just aren't going your way.
00:41:38,770 --> 00:41:41,918
If you're breathing and really focusing on that, it's good.
00:41:42,064 --> 00:41:56,500
I also, like, learned this is something really interesting, but I learned focusing on the pulse in your fingertips is something that it's really interesting.
00:42:01,130 --> 00:42:12,814
I don't know if you're just sitting here, can you feel the pulse in your fingertips? Where would I put my finger? If there's somebody listening on a podcast and you can't see us, where would I put my finger? You wouldn't.
00:42:12,862 --> 00:42:15,898
You would just like, I don't know, just keep your hands normal.
00:42:15,934 --> 00:42:20,898
But if you can feel it, it just draws your attention to that.
00:42:20,984 --> 00:42:27,742
So you're not thinking of anything else and you're just like focusing on just the moment, something that's helpful.
00:42:27,766 --> 00:42:35,340
Am I doing it right?
00:42:36,510 --> 00:42:37,774
I mean, it's just like something that you can just feel. But that's helped too.
00:42:37,812 --> 00:42:40,486
And just feeling where your feet are too.
00:42:40,608 --> 00:42:43,320
That's something that's helped me stay present, too.
00:42:44,310 --> 00:42:45,742
That's kind of fun.
00:42:45,876 --> 00:42:46,560
00:42:47,130 --> 00:42:48,790
Something to get your mind.
00:42:48,900 --> 00:42:51,770
And I think this is what people don't understand about meditation.
00:42:51,890 --> 00:42:54,494
Meditation is not trying to go into a void.
00:42:54,602 --> 00:43:04,680
Meditation is focusing completely on one thing so that your mind doesn't attach itself to the many things that are flying into it and around you.
00:43:05,190 --> 00:43:14,820
So in ultra focus on one thing, it allows you to stop attaching to everything that's coming in and going out.
00:43:15,810 --> 00:43:16,570
00:43:16,740 --> 00:43:21,770
There are some people that say, like that meditation stance where you hold your middle finger to your middle thumb.
00:43:21,890 --> 00:43:24,094
Some people choose to press that as hard as you can.
00:43:24,132 --> 00:43:31,658
Some people focus only on getting your fingers as close as possible without touching.
00:43:31,754 --> 00:43:32,794
That's interesting, too.
00:43:32,832 --> 00:43:35,926
You can't think about anything else while that's happening.
00:43:35,988 --> 00:43:45,730
And that's one of the exercises of mental focus and not trying not to attach to anything, because at some point you're going to find yourself thinking about dinner and you're like, my fingers touched.
00:43:47,910 --> 00:43:48,274
00:43:48,312 --> 00:43:49,786
There's so many different ways.
00:43:49,908 --> 00:44:04,442
And I think it's different for everyone of different ways to just keep yourself present and not thinking of too many things when you're meditating or end game scenarios, just keeping yourself really present and focused.
00:44:04,526 --> 00:44:25,490
Do you have any warnings for any players who are trying to be in your position right now who want to play AVP, want to go to World Tour or just want to play in College? Are there any things that you would say, hey, this is a mistake I made in my career, or you should look out for X?
00:44:25,550 --> 00:44:42,010
I don't know if there's any particular warnings. I would say any advice I would give would be to just make sure that you are super driven, just intrinsically motivated, because that shift from College to professional is so challenging.
00:44:43,530 --> 00:44:49,258
In College, you're just pretty much given everything you're given a schedule to follow.
00:44:49,344 --> 00:44:54,960
You're given nutrition, mental coaches, a coach in general.
00:44:55,650 --> 00:44:58,334
You're just given everything coach.
00:44:58,502 --> 00:45:09,118
That's like probably 80% of your battle as going pro is like, how do I actively go out and recruit a coach to coach me when I was given coaches my whole life, right.
00:45:09,204 --> 00:45:14,794
So I think just making that shift is super challenging, but find ways to make it work.
00:45:14,832 --> 00:45:23,494
If you got to pick up a part time job, you have to whatever it might be, find ways to make it work and go for it.
00:45:23,652 --> 00:45:24,226
00:45:24,348 --> 00:45:25,006
I like those.
00:45:25,068 --> 00:45:26,042
These are good answers.
00:45:26,126 --> 00:45:42,814
I do want to know, aside from the passing, let's go like pre injury again and what weaknesses if you could think about your path along trying to correct one weakness, what was it like? For me, it was three years ago.
00:45:42,912 --> 00:45:46,202
And Evie Matthews said, Dude, you need a cut shot.
00:45:46,226 --> 00:45:53,126
And I literally think I went seven or eight years in AVPs and probably hit four cut shots.
00:45:53,318 --> 00:45:56,734
It was hard cross, hardshop, high line, hard line.
00:45:56,892 --> 00:46:03,840
And I didn't even know that the seam, the middle swing existed until I guess like four years ago.
00:46:04,590 --> 00:46:19,630
So to me, the exploration of just going every single day for 45 minutes, hitting cut shots and trying to establish that early in games so that I can open up my line, that was a big process that I had to go through.
00:46:19,680 --> 00:46:27,934
Did you go through any pre injury like weaknesses that you remember specifically padding up?
00:46:28,032 --> 00:46:32,040
Yeah, I definitely did. I would say a lot of those happened in College.
00:46:33,090 --> 00:46:37,450
In College was the first year that I had only just played beach.
00:46:38,430 --> 00:46:39,634
It's so different now.
00:46:39,672 --> 00:46:46,246
Like, you're playing in club for beach and some people are only playing beach only in high school.
00:46:46,308 --> 00:46:54,842
But for me it was just like I was playing indoor, playing beach on the side, but I had to remain indoor in order for me to get enough touches.
00:46:54,926 --> 00:47:01,870
So I would say, like those four years in College were really, really big, gross years for me.
00:47:01,980 --> 00:47:05,390
And I would say, like, I mean, a lot of it was like offense.
00:47:17,110 --> 00:47:31,960
know the techniques specifically until my freshman year when I was really taught by Anna on how to specifically hit those, especially the cut shot too similar to you.
00:47:33,790 --> 00:47:34,754
What was your best?
00:47:34,792 --> 00:47:39,410
Yeah. So I would say, like tip that you got during that time your freshman year, you're learning a cut shot.
00:47:40,150 --> 00:47:48,906
What made the difference to giving you some confidence in that shot to be able to finally use it in a match?
00:47:48,978 --> 00:47:50,918
I wouldn't say it was so much tips. I would say just like repping it out.
00:47:51,004 --> 00:47:52,840
We just repeat it out so much.
00:47:53,830 --> 00:47:57,630
And for me, the way I gain confidence is through repetition.
00:47:57,750 --> 00:48:04,010
And so I would say we just repeated out so much that it was just ingrained in my head.
00:48:04,060 --> 00:48:17,726
And Anna was such an amazing coach that she would just say over and over again, like, got to get that thumb down or got to keep Pinky down, whichever side I was on.
00:48:17,788 --> 00:48:22,394
But she always called it like a shot hit.
00:48:22,492 --> 00:48:25,478
Like it's not a shot, but it's not a hit.
00:48:25,624 --> 00:48:26,620
I love it.
00:48:27,430 --> 00:48:30,470
She called it a shit and it was pretty funny.
00:48:31,090 --> 00:48:32,980
It's always stuck with me.
00:48:34,870 --> 00:48:36,950
It's not a curse, it's an abbreviation.
00:48:37,750 --> 00:48:39,520
00:48:46,550 --> 00:48:48,114
I completely agree with that.
00:48:48,212 --> 00:48:48,898
The cut shot.
00:48:48,934 --> 00:49:08,434
I think so many players think about it as this Arky spinny loopy thing that falls prettily and daintily close to the net, where if you have the ability to be higher than the top of the net and hit a cut shot straight down off of your hand, all it is is a sharper angle.
00:49:08,482 --> 00:49:14,694
And you take off only as much speed as you need to take off from your hard cross to make that angle happen.
00:49:14,792 --> 00:49:15,306
00:49:15,428 --> 00:49:22,198
So that shot hit is a really good piece of feedback, and you can definitely hit that when you're wide on the court.
00:49:22,294 --> 00:49:27,298
And I think a lot of people try to hit it with the same pace when they're like in the middle of the court.
00:49:27,394 --> 00:49:33,380
And you have to take so much more off of the ball once you're in the middle and people can feel that out.
00:49:34,490 --> 00:49:35,240
00:49:35,810 --> 00:49:41,540
So that was the biggest feedback that you got, was hitting quicker, faster, more down.
00:49:42,710 --> 00:49:50,466
Yeah, I would say just like keeping the biggest part of it is just keeping your approach the same.
00:49:50,588 --> 00:49:52,230
You want it to look the same.
00:49:52,400 --> 00:49:56,338
And yeah, just like making it faster.
00:49:56,374 --> 00:50:01,530
You don't have to drop your elbow and try and really get it over the net.
00:50:01,580 --> 00:50:04,470
Like you just want to keep your arms super fluid still.
00:50:04,520 --> 00:50:09,846
And it's just like the angle of when you're contacting the ball on your hand.
00:50:09,968 --> 00:50:10,640
00:50:11,630 --> 00:50:13,906
Like I said, it's not like that shot.
00:50:14,098 --> 00:50:18,898
And what you were saying just like really has to be nice and over and loopy.
00:50:19,054 --> 00:50:21,870
You want it to be a bit faster pace.
00:50:22,910 --> 00:50:32,060
I think the best piece of advice that I got for my cat shot, maybe into two, but it was maybe for shots in general was controlling the timing of it.
00:50:32,390 --> 00:50:39,738
I think a lot early in my career I would jump, feel the top of my jump, make sure I was still seeing where the defender was, and then hit.
00:50:39,764 --> 00:50:44,900
So by the time I ended up actually contacting ball, I was on my way down, I was lower.
00:50:45,410 --> 00:50:57,610
And that most defenders, they find that rhythm where they try to match their footstep or their split step to the contact of your jump.
00:50:57,790 --> 00:51:10,602
And if you hit before the height of your jump, you can get them while their feet are still in the air, about to be settled so that they don't have the time to take that first step.
00:51:10,736 --> 00:51:16,986
And so when Evie was really working on it with me, he said, you got to get on it quick, get on it quick, get on it quick.
00:51:17,048 --> 00:51:20,660
And I didn't quite know what he meant until we finally.
00:51:21,470 --> 00:51:22,220
00:51:22,850 --> 00:51:33,090
First of all, to learn how to hit on your way up, to learn how to hit at your peak, and then to learn how to hit on your way down, and then how to intentionally control them based on your shots.
00:51:34,130 --> 00:51:34,530
00:51:34,580 --> 00:51:38,566
Is huge because it's not jump hit at the top of your jump.
00:51:38,638 --> 00:51:41,118
Like people have to stop doing that.
00:51:41,144 --> 00:51:46,258
And then when they get their brain mixed up is when they jump, they say, I have to hit the top of my jump.
00:51:46,294 --> 00:51:51,106
So their brain goes, okay, feel the top of your jump, then swing.
00:51:51,298 --> 00:51:53,886
When now in actuality, you're hitting on your way down.
00:51:53,948 --> 00:52:02,360
So your swing has to start generating almost for most people, almost as soon as they take off from the range, start going through that swing quick.
00:52:03,050 --> 00:52:03,738
00:52:03,884 --> 00:52:04,880
00:52:05,570 --> 00:52:23,970
Do you wish at this point, especially as a mentor for young athletes with AW recruiting, do you wish you made any different choices at any point in your athletic career? I know you said that you kind of wanted to play other sports in school but also put you on the path that you're on.
00:52:24,140 --> 00:52:35,734
Were there any choices in volleyball or just your sports career in general that you're like? I wish this
00:52:35,782 --> 00:52:42,066
I mean, I wouldn't take anything back because I wouldn't be where I am today without those decisions.But I do wish I was able to play more sports in high school.
00:52:42,128 --> 00:52:48,342
And I honestly encourage athletes to play more sports in high school just because it's such great cross training.
00:52:48,416 --> 00:52:54,630
And I think it's important to just keep yourself athletic.
00:52:56,210 --> 00:53:00,486
So I would say that's something that I wish I was able to do.
00:53:00,668 --> 00:53:05,170
I think it was just really tough with indoor, though, and had to make those decisions.
00:53:05,230 --> 00:53:16,482
But I think now if you're playing beach only and you have your club practices, I think it's manageable to play multiple sports in high school, for sure.
00:53:16,676 --> 00:53:17,106
00:53:17,168 --> 00:53:19,374
At least be open to it one or two years.
00:53:19,472 --> 00:53:20,120
00:53:21,710 --> 00:53:27,810
I know that that's a crucial time for College recruitment for everybody, but I don't know.
00:53:27,920 --> 00:53:53,202
And also maybe it's very different from guys attempting to go into like a collegiate volleyball or maybe I was just clueless during my high school period because I was like, yeah, I can play volleyball and in two years get on a College team or there are a lot of tough decisions at that time that I don't envy the emotional state that a lot of the young kids go through.
00:53:53,276 --> 00:54:00,042
I just wish that you can make it clear to them that this isn't the end.
00:54:00,236 --> 00:54:03,906
This does not determine where you end up.
00:54:04,088 --> 00:54:09,186
This just determines where you go next and if they could hear that and understand it.
00:54:09,248 --> 00:54:09,618
00:54:09,704 --> 00:54:18,980
And that's the part that kids get so stressed out over making these decisions because it is a very tough decision at that age.
00:54:19,790 --> 00:54:20,154
00:54:20,192 --> 00:54:20,394
00:54:20,432 --> 00:54:21,560
And it's so important.
00:54:21,950 --> 00:54:25,640
Like, when I'm communicating to them, it's not an end all be all.
00:54:26,630 --> 00:54:28,160
It's not the end of the world.
00:54:29,570 --> 00:54:30,870
You can make changes.
00:54:30,980 --> 00:54:32,806
You don't have to continue down this path.
00:54:32,878 --> 00:54:41,470
And I think kids sometimes have that tunnel vision, and it's just really important to just have them keep that open mind when they're making this decision.
00:54:41,590 --> 00:54:41,874
00:54:41,912 --> 00:54:58,218
So just for your as a player, number one, are there any tools or equipment or must haves that you need either in the gym, at a tournament, at a practice, or at home when you're traveling? Maybe.
00:54:58,244 --> 00:54:58,820
00:54:59,870 --> 00:55:05,420
Oh, gosh, there's so many diving into gympieg right now.
00:55:05,930 --> 00:55:06,680
00:55:08,210 --> 00:55:19,760
I pretty much set up the whole court at practices, but definitely must have if there's already a court set up with lines, antennas, balls, whatever.
00:55:20,090 --> 00:55:20,814
00:55:20,972 --> 00:55:30,878
Pull downs are so important, especially for women's nets, because I'm constantly pulling it down, adjusting.
00:55:31,034 --> 00:55:39,718
So those are definitely a must have for equipment for the net, for me attached to the crank that you can like.
00:55:39,864 --> 00:55:41,940
00:55:42,270 --> 00:55:44,940
Very California specific.
00:55:47,650 --> 00:55:48,400
00:55:49,390 --> 00:55:51,314
I would say those are super important.
00:55:51,412 --> 00:55:57,062
And then having bands for warm up is really important for me.
00:55:57,136 --> 00:56:05,450
Just makes it a lot more of an efficient warm up and gets my legs much warmer and prepped for practice.
00:56:06,790 --> 00:56:15,086
Do you have the circle bands, like the hip bands? Do you have the bandwidth, any like of the stick resistance bands? What do you got?
00:56:15,148 --> 00:56:24,138
Yeah. So I have like the thick circle bands, I guess, for just getting my glutes warmed and legs warmed.
00:56:24,294 --> 00:56:30,770
And then I have bands for my shoulder to get my shoulder warmed up and prepped and.
00:56:30,940 --> 00:56:31,274
00:56:31,312 --> 00:56:33,566
So I'd say those are the only bands that I have.
00:56:33,628 --> 00:56:39,246
But for travel, super great equipment to have is like the Hypervolt.
00:56:39,318 --> 00:56:41,140
Those are great on the road.
00:56:42,370 --> 00:56:44,800
You have it right now, be sponsored by it.
00:56:45,730 --> 00:56:49,070
I prevaled if you're listening, we'll promote you on the show next time.
00:56:49,120 --> 00:56:49,778
It's going to cost you.
00:56:49,804 --> 00:56:50,860
00:56:52,690 --> 00:56:53,474
Those are great.
00:56:53,512 --> 00:57:00,990
And like, they also have this thing called a venom, which goes on your back and it heats up and massages.
00:57:01,110 --> 00:57:13,478
And that has been such a game changer on the road for me because I just put it on when I'm on the plane and it keeps my back super loose and it's super nice.
00:57:13,624 --> 00:57:14,894
I like it a lot.
00:57:15,052 --> 00:57:15,686
00:57:15,748 --> 00:57:16,360
00:57:17,050 --> 00:57:19,840
Adam Roberts, give me let me wear it.
00:57:20,170 --> 00:57:21,362
Matt, we're playing together.
00:57:21,436 --> 00:57:24,630
And I was like, this is a game changer.
00:57:24,810 --> 00:57:26,054
It's so nice.
00:57:26,152 --> 00:57:26,738
00:57:26,884 --> 00:57:27,602
00:57:27,676 --> 00:57:28,634
These are great.
00:57:28,792 --> 00:57:29,402
00:57:29,536 --> 00:57:34,566
So I'd say those are my must haves when I'm traveling.
00:57:34,698 --> 00:57:35,246
00:57:35,368 --> 00:57:37,910
Your bands, your Hypervolt, your Venom.
00:57:38,710 --> 00:57:39,434
00:57:39,592 --> 00:57:41,906
And pull downs, which is incredibly important.
00:57:42,028 --> 00:57:42,582
00:57:42,606 --> 00:57:45,482
I wouldn't say like traveling, but for practice, for sure.
00:57:45,616 --> 00:57:53,680
I mean, if you're going to like a Norseca or a one star, you might have to set up their desk this is true.
00:57:55,750 --> 00:58:00,878
Although I was just at the Norseca in Mexico and it was awesome.
00:58:01,024 --> 00:58:06,710
It was such a great second in that I did.
00:58:06,760 --> 00:58:07,046
00:58:07,108 --> 00:58:08,166
Nice job, Silver.
00:58:08,238 --> 00:58:08,930
00:58:09,040 --> 00:58:09,940
00:58:10,510 --> 00:58:10,838
00:58:10,864 --> 00:58:13,166
And it was a really great event.
00:58:13,228 --> 00:58:14,030
00:58:14,710 --> 00:58:15,074
00:58:15,112 --> 00:58:16,720
00:58:18,250 --> 00:58:21,134
The Norsecas are unfortunately more missed than hit.
00:58:21,232 --> 00:58:26,198
Some of the events are so cool, fun, awesome to be a part of some of them.
00:58:26,224 --> 00:58:40,540
You're looking around going, how did anybody allow this? And Where's the oversight? Where is somebody getting yelled at for what's happening right now? He showed me somebody getting yelled at, right? Yeah.
00:58:41,110 --> 00:58:43,130
For me, that was last year.
00:58:43,180 --> 00:58:47,898
I played in Rwanda, and that was pretty gnarly.
00:58:48,054 --> 00:58:52,538
My partner and I, we both got pretty sick, man.
00:58:52,624 --> 00:58:55,490
The courts weren't really set up.
00:58:55,600 --> 00:58:55,838
00:58:55,864 --> 00:58:57,618
There was just a number of scenarios.
00:58:57,654 --> 00:59:01,898
I missed my flight because I didn't get my covid test in time.
00:59:01,984 --> 00:59:03,160
There was just a lot.
00:59:04,210 --> 00:59:07,790
So some events are really throw you through a loop.
00:59:08,170 --> 00:59:10,874
That's where that mental toughness thing comes in.
00:59:11,032 --> 00:59:35,922
Exactly what crap can you put yourself through, exactly? If you remember Eric Zon, a good buddy of mine, he put himself he would go to McDonald's, and a couple of times he did this 45 minutes or a half hour before a practice, he would consume as much McDonald's as he possibly could and then practice.
00:59:36,006 --> 00:59:40,094
And he said, it's adversity training.
00:59:40,252 --> 00:59:51,618
He goes, you have to be able to perform when there's crap in your body and that you haven't eaten the right things, just like you would on tour or at a crazy world tour.
00:59:51,654 --> 01:00:00,258
And I was like, your insanity has so much like, knowledge that needs to be Dove into that's.
01:00:00,294 --> 01:00:00,930
01:00:01,050 --> 01:00:03,520
So smart, though, because it's so true.
01:00:04,030 --> 01:00:31,110
Can you play? Can you still win when you're puking your guts out? Yeah, there's some tournaments where you're just, I try and bring good food on the road, but there's some tournaments where you're just not going to find good food and you have to figure it out in China and me and Ian went and paid in Cambodia, and they're like literally serving stuff you're not used to seeing, like chicken feet.
01:00:31,290 --> 01:00:33,446
There's just chicken feet in boiled water.
01:00:33,508 --> 01:00:39,990
And you're like, I'll have one of these, but the thought of it is going to make me throw up and then I won't be able to have the rest of my meal.
01:00:40,110 --> 01:00:47,006
And so you have to learn how to pack your own food and then you have to learn how to just let that stuff go.
01:00:47,068 --> 01:00:51,674
And instead of being on the court and saying, well, I ate crap, well, I didn't do this.
01:00:51,832 --> 01:00:53,726
Guess what? It's time to win now.
01:00:53,848 --> 01:00:56,522
So whatever is in your body, whatever is going on with it.
01:00:56,536 --> 01:01:11,390
Like, I saw Jake Gibb take over a semi final match, literally doing a two step walk in between side switches where he would just absolutely house the guys he's playing with.
01:01:11,500 --> 01:01:22,538
Billy Allen and Staffords, like, we get like, three blocks in a row, wouldn't pick his head up, wouldn't look at anybody, stepped under the net and turned the other way and just waited, like, tired for the next point to start.
01:01:22,684 --> 01:01:29,234
And that's a guy who's world champion, right? Somebody who can put their body through whatever it needs to go through.
01:01:29,272 --> 01:01:44,342
And at the moment when they have to win, no matter how they're feeling, what happened to them before, what they ate, you get it done in that moment, and then you recover afterwards, right? For sure.
01:01:44,476 --> 01:01:47,070
Make sure you tell that to your recruits.
01:01:47,250 --> 01:01:52,480
Hey, at least once this week, go get yourself some Jack in the box.
01:01:53,050 --> 01:01:53,450
01:01:53,500 --> 01:01:54,340
There you go.
01:01:55,330 --> 01:01:55,754
01:01:55,792 --> 01:02:00,350
Well, I do want you to for sure, talk about your company.
01:02:00,400 --> 01:02:13,862
But before we get to that last little part, are there any projects other than your recruiting company that you're currently working on outside of beach volleyball or any interests or passions that you're pursuing right now?
01:02:13,996 --> 01:02:19,698
Outside of beach volleyball, my business. Honestly, I've been pretty busy with those two other passions of mine.
01:02:19,854 --> 01:02:25,360
I just love being outside and hiking and doing all that.
01:02:26,050 --> 01:02:33,158
So I would say those are other passions of mine, but right now, I've just been so, so busy about it.
01:02:33,184 --> 01:02:39,482
But luckily, those two things are my passion, so it's been awesome.
01:02:39,616 --> 01:02:56,842
I feel you trying to run a business and play volleyball at the same time is another level of busy and then relationships than any other endeavors you might even attempt to think about pursuing.
01:02:56,866 --> 01:03:10,770
It's like, Where's this going to fit? If you're playing as a professional athlete, your day should be an hour and a half to 2 hours in the gym, a two hour practice, which should literally take like, three and a half hours because of travel.
01:03:10,880 --> 01:03:17,074
Set up some mental tests or mental training before and after some journaling.
01:03:17,182 --> 01:03:20,120
If you're doing it for real, it's a full time job.
01:03:20,690 --> 01:03:26,742
Unfortunately, it doesn't always pay that way, so you got to make it work.
01:03:26,816 --> 01:03:38,600
And it's cool that I think you and me both have found jobs and found a situation where we still get to hang out around the sport that we love and make it easier for other people.
01:03:39,770 --> 01:03:40,458
01:03:40,604 --> 01:03:41,130
01:03:41,240 --> 01:03:42,774
So just talk to us.
01:03:42,872 --> 01:03:50,840
Give us a two to three minute summary of what AW recruiting is, how somebody signs up and when they should come and find you.
01:03:51,590 --> 01:03:52,170
01:03:52,280 --> 01:03:54,498
So just a little background on it.
01:03:54,524 --> 01:04:03,678
I started it in 2020 when Covid hit, everything was shut down, and it was something that I was super passionate about.
01:04:03,764 --> 01:04:11,790
I had seen the College game as a player and a coach, and it was something I was super passionate about.
01:04:11,960 --> 01:04:29,600
Helping young kids further their education and be able to play in College and chase their dreams is something that I was really passionate about and wanted to help these kids have that guidance to be able to play at the next level.
01:04:30,230 --> 01:04:42,498
Sometimes parents are able to help them, but it's a really tough process and I wanted to be their mentor to guide them through it and through the ups and downs of it.
01:04:42,524 --> 01:04:52,830
So I would say if you're a freshman or sophomore out there or junior and want to get recruited, come and find me my Instagram AW recruits.
01:04:53,870 --> 01:05:03,814
You can slide into the DMs or whatever you want to do, but yeah, doors always open and I'm more than happy to do any consultation calls.
01:05:03,982 --> 01:05:04,698
01:05:04,784 --> 01:05:05,142
01:05:05,216 --> 01:05:11,338
I would also say that people think that just a side note, like an example of calling a lawyer.
01:05:11,494 --> 01:05:14,874
Just because you call them doesn't mean they're immediately going to start charging you.
01:05:14,912 --> 01:05:17,922
You don't have to be ready at that moment to spend your money.
01:05:17,996 --> 01:05:25,378
If you just have questions about recruiting and you're just trying to get them answered, at least reach out to Allie.
01:05:25,414 --> 01:05:32,230
That doesn't mean by texting her that you're going to be spending all this money and that you're definitely going down the recruiting trail.
01:05:32,350 --> 01:05:34,702
But at least get some easy questions answered.
01:05:34,786 --> 01:05:46,770
Because as somebody who's been through it, she is going to save you the three, four, five, 6 hours of Googling and looking at a bunch of different sites and blogs with a ten second answer.
01:05:46,940 --> 01:05:55,362
And that's why you hire experts, because they get you the answers faster so that you don't have to invest all of your time and energy into finding them.
01:05:55,436 --> 01:05:57,174
Can you figure out on your own? Yes.
01:05:57,212 --> 01:06:16,914
Is it going to take you literally 15 times as long and be that much more expensive? So go to an expert, somebody knows what they're doing, and go to AW recruits and at least start asking the questions so that if you decide it's time to work with Ally, she's there, then it's an easy step if you need it.
01:06:17,012 --> 01:06:17,418
01:06:17,504 --> 01:06:18,190
01:06:18,250 --> 01:06:20,046
I'm always open to questions.
01:06:20,228 --> 01:06:20,960
01:06:21,350 --> 01:06:23,478
Ali, thank you so much for your time.
01:06:23,564 --> 01:06:24,270
01:06:24,320 --> 01:06:24,786
01:06:24,848 --> 01:06:25,460
01:06:26,090 --> 01:06:27,174
Thank you so much, Mark.
01:06:27,212 --> 01:06:28,098
I really appreciate it.
01:06:28,124 --> 01:06:29,238
It's fun talking to you.
01:06:29,324 --> 01:06:29,910
01:06:29,960 --> 01:06:31,122
Let's have you on again.
01:06:31,316 --> 01:06:32,960
I'll get more into it.
01:06:34,070 --> 01:06:38,262
Maybe we could run a little like Q and A if I can shoot out to the email list.
01:06:38,396 --> 01:06:55,434
And you know what, guys? If you're at home and you're watching and you're a parent or a kid who is talking about recruiting, go ahead in the comments, wherever you're seeing this on podcast, on YouTube, on our Instagram, and throw into the comments any recruiting questions that you have.
01:06:55,472 --> 01:07:00,534
We'll make sure we'll tag Allie and she can just jump in there and she can start answering that.
01:07:00,572 --> 01:07:05,002
But if you have more recruiting questions and you want to see more of this, go ahead and Chuck it into the comments.
01:07:05,146 --> 01:07:07,338
And then we can start the conversation that way.
01:07:07,364 --> 01:07:18,270
And then maybe we'll discover 50 new questions to give you an interview for and we can help grow your business and help some people find some easier answers.
01:07:18,830 --> 01:07:19,554
I love it.
01:07:19,592 --> 01:07:20,562
That sounds great.
01:07:20,696 --> 01:07:21,462
01:07:21,656 --> 01:07:22,350
01:07:22,460 --> 01:07:22,770
01:07:22,820 --> 01:07:23,420
01:07:23,870 --> 01:07:24,826
Good luck this season.
01:07:24,898 --> 01:07:26,350
Looking forward to seeing you kick some butt.
01:07:26,410 --> 01:07:26,958
01:07:27,044 --> 01:07:28,362
You're fill up that foot.
01:07:28,496 --> 01:07:28,938
01:07:29,024 --> 01:07:29,840
01:07:31,250 --> 01:07:32,166
All right, girl.
01:07:32,288 --> 01:07:33,162
I'll see you soon.
01:07:33,236 --> 01:07:34,098
Thank you, Mark.
01:07:34,244 --> 01:07:35,290
Sounds good bye.