Mark Burik (00:00:00):
What keeps you going in those moments when you're like, yeah, everybody's better than me and I don't know if I'm gonna get better. Some people just drive. Yeah, they just keep going. Yeah. Some people want to be there just cuz they wanna be there. But what kept you going in sports?
Kristopher Johnson (00:00:12):
Yeah, I definitely agree with what you're saying 100%. I don't think most people do like wanna stay in something that they don't prove to be good at early. Yeah. And I don't know, I think it was my, probably my parents, like my parents always pushed and they always were motivating of me and like if I wanted to do anything they were always behind me. And for me it was, it was strictly like we say football for sure, football was love. Like I grew up loving football since I was probably like, I don't know, seven years old. My parents always watch NFL and was always a fan of basketball as well. So for football for sure it was just drive for volleyball. It like kind of that second, that second sport that I also enjoyed doing. But it wasn't anything other than just liking to play like there was nothing else to it. And I was like, if I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna do it. So I'm gonna stay in it. And I know for you, you played football too. You know how hard it is to play football. Football is an absolute grind and just that motivation to just keep playing no matter what. I didn't care about being a good player. I just cared about playing.
Mark Burik (00:01:15):
What's up everybody? Welcome to the Better at Beach Volleyball Podcast. My name is Mark Burik and today we are going to talk to somebody who has played indoor at the highest level and has had little tastes of beach volleyball along the way. Uh, he has his own coaching company it seems, if you look at his Instagram, it seems like he's coaching almost nonstop and he's one of our nation's top athletes. And it's gonna be interesting to talk, I think, about what it's like to try to get into beach as a high level indoor player to, to hear about the differences and his experience in going both routes because he's got height, he's got jump, he's got ball control, he's got all the tools you need to be a great indoor or beach player. And he has also done all of his, I guess we'll say, you know, he's done his rounds in the coaching world as well.
So this is going to be somewhere that we can talk to and we can learn a lot from, from the beach side, from the indoor side, from the experience side, from the coaching side, from the club side, from the international side. I'm actually really excited about this talk. So our guest today, he's got an experience playing overseas. He's played in over 10 different countries. He's coached with multiple club teams and he's earned top five finishes in the junior Olympics js. And we're gonna have some real rare experience that I can't wait to pull from. So I would love for you guys to take a deep dive with us and listen to this conversation and get a lot out of it. Let's welcome our guest, KJ Kristopher Johnson. What's going on man?
Kristopher Johnson (00:02:53):
What's going on Mark? How's it going? Better at Beach fam. How you guys doing? And thanks for having me
Mark Burik (00:02:58):
Man. Yeah, definitely do. I wanna dive kind of right into where you started when you started volleyball and what were you playing first? Were you playing indoor? Were you playing beach?
Kristopher Johnson (00:03:07):
That's a good question. I actually started playing indoor. I probably picked up a volleyball first time in uh, eighth grade. There was like open jam volleyball and I didn't actually even play. I literally just walked in the gym, kind of picked up a volleyball and I was like, oh this is cool. Ended up going into ninth grade and trying out for the ninth grade team in high school and ended up making the team. And I guess the rest is history. I kept playing for 15, 16 years. Right. ,
Mark Burik (00:03:36):
What do you think? So for me, I played one one year of high school, my junior of high school. And I think one of the, this, this might sound weird, but one of the main reasons that I got into volleyball was the coach, the high school coach. First of all, he was a gym teacher, he was one of the cool teachers. We got along really well before that. But he, he played music in the gym. None of the other teams played like music, but he had music going nonstop. So it looks like practices were fun, you know? And I was like, man, I kind of wanna be in that vibe. So ended up trying out and making it. But for you, what was the first attraction to
Kristopher Johnson (00:04:07):
Volleyball? Personally, I just, I was still searching for, I guess how you could say at my sport. So I had grown up, I had tried baseball, I had tried a little bit basketball, I had played football, I had done track, I had done a bunch of sports when I was in middle school before I had even gotten to high school. And I was like, I'm just gonna do something that I'm kind of interested in and then I'm gonna see where that takes me, you know? So that was basically it. I was like, this is my next sport. And it was just something that I really wanted to try and see what happens. And ended up volleyball during high school almost the entire four
Mark Burik (00:04:44):
Years. There wasn't like any, any moment or any feeling. I mean like I played baseball and football, so compared to a bunch of other high school athletes, I probably had a good arm, right? Yeah. And I went into the gym and I messed around with the volleyball guys and I hit a few and I mashed the back wall like I detonated and it just boom, and all the kids on the team were like, sick dude, you hit so hard. And my coach's like, this kid's an idiot. Like it's gotta go in, you know? It
Kristopher Johnson (00:05:11):
Doesn't matter man, you can't just hit the ball to the wall .
Mark Burik (00:05:14):
But like all the guys on the team, they were telling me like, you know, so that gave me confidence cuz they're like, yo, you can hit. And I, I said all right, cool. You know, I, and so I think that gave me confidence to keep going. But Did you ever have a feeling in the sport or like an interaction with an individual that pulled you?
Kristopher Johnson (00:05:30):
To be honest, like I was somebody who was never really good at sports. And so the only reason like I was in sports was because I love sports overall. Like I really like going to practice, I like training. Um, I like trying to get better and there wasn't like a turning point. Like I didn't, I didn't really start to get those turning points that you're talking about until I got in college. I was late bloomer to somebody. Yeah, I was super, I am probably one of the latest boomers that you've ever met. And like I didn't have those like turning points until I got to college. So everything in high school was just like, just playing because I really enjoyed playing sports. Like there wasn't anything else to it. I wasn not extraordinary anything. I wasn't good at anything. Like I wasn't a good player.
Mark Burik (00:06:18):
Were you the not good player that, that pro athletes talk about when they say not good player? Like were you still above average? You know, instead of just excellent because you know, I consider when I tell the story, I'm like, yeah, I, you know, I wasn't a great athlete. I, I didn't jump high, but when I compared myself to almost everybody else, yeah, there were like four athletes on each team that were probably better than me. Yeah. You know, so I consider myself now like, nah, I wasn't one of the best, but I was one of the above average guys. Were you one of the above average guys or were you down
Kristopher Johnson (00:06:53):
There? No, I was down. So I'm telling you right now. So like volleyball as a freshman I played when I was the worst player. I didn't have any skill. I was probably one of the worst players. Even going through jv, even being in varsity like I was, I was told I wasn't gonna be a starter. I was one of the worst guys on the team. I would always work hard, I would never quit. And it was the same on the football team. Like I wasn't, I wasn't the starter. Like I was coming in off the bench. I was like the sixth or seventh receiver on the roster. Like truthfully, I was either the worst player or I was just above the worst player like my entire high school career. And that's why most of the time people like have no idea of who I am or who I was as I came out through high school. Like I was literally like the bottom
Mark Burik (00:07:38):
Player. What made you keep going? You know, a lot of people when they don't, when they're, they're getting dogged or it's not, I don't know, you don't feel that confidence. What keeps you going in those moments when you're like, yeah, everybody's better than me and I don't know if I'm gonna get better. Some people just drive. Yeah, they just keep going. Yeah, some people want to be there just cuz they wanna be there, but what kept you going in sport?
Kristopher Johnson (00:07:58):
And I, yeah, I definitely agree with what you're saying. 100%. I don't think most people do like wanna stay in something that they don't prove to be good at early. Yeah. And I don't know, I think it was my, probably my parents, like my parents always pushed and they always were motivating of me and like if I wanted to do anything they were always behind me. And for me it was, it was strictly like we say football for sure, football was love. Like I grew up loving football since I was probably like, I don't know, seven years old. My parents always watched NFL and was always a fan of basketball as well. So for football for sure it was drive for volleyball. It like kind of that second, that second sport that I also enjoyed doing. But it wasn't, it wasn't anything other than just liking to play. Like there was nothing else to it. And I was like, if I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna do it. So I'm gonna stay in it. And I know for you, you played football too, you know how hard it is to play football. Football's an an absolute grind and just that motivation to just keep playing no matter what. I didn't care about being a good player. I just cared about playing.
Mark Burik (00:09:02):
Isn't that, don't you find that like, cuz you coach a lot, right? You run a lot of of private lessons. Uh, your website's, it's chris johnson.com
Kristopher Johnson (00:09:09):
Right? Yeah. Christopher A. Johnson dot com with everything in. But cool. Yeah, I do a lot of lessons
Mark Burik (00:09:15):
Kristopher Johnson (00:09:15):
So on coaching now,
Mark Burik (00:09:17):
Doesn't it kind of blow your mind? Cuz I, I feel like I'm the same way where I didn't play, I played sports to play sports. Like it was just yeah, fun. It was just what you wanna do. And then once you're in it, you're like, well, if I want to get good I gotta, I gotta work hard. But I volunteered for every single one. And my parents, they were always just okay, you know, like my, I'm blessed with great parents. They, they drove me wherever I wanted to drive. I pick up a new sport and they're like, all right, hop in the minivan. You know, like, let's go, let's do it . But I feel like so many players, I don't, maybe I'm being too tough on juniors, but they're not playing just because they raised their hand and said, please let me go to this. Let me join this. What are you finding in, in the juniors world and in your private lessons, are you finding that they're placed there by parents or are they the ones that are showing up and saying like, I want to be here just because I wanna be
Kristopher Johnson (00:10:04):
Here? I would say it's split, maybe it's, I don't know, 40, 60, 60 40 or something like that of like kids 100% want to be there and then others are kind of pushed by their parents to be excellent or to just be in sports in general. And like you said, we just played cuz we really wanted to play. And then if we wanted to get better, we knew we had to work harder in order to do that. Now I think it's um, the athletes are probably more just involved in social media and they kind of just do sports as like a side thing. And so you don't, I haven't really seen a bunch of athletes who kind of have that grit that's like, no, I'm gonna stay in it and I'm gonna push hard and I'm gonna continue to improve even though I'm not the best athlete on the court. And then I think the other side is like a lot of athletes want to just give it to 'em. They're like, I just, I want to be the starter so the coaches start me.
Mark Burik (00:10:57):
You know, I always wonder if like, here here's one of my theories. I think a lot of the higher level athletes stick with the sport longer. They develop a, a passionate relationship with it and they end up being coaches because they love it so much. But that love was like lifelong, you know? So they were the guys who were the guys and girls who were working hard and who were, you know, spending the extra hours. And because of that they did develop a closeness with the, with the sport. And I wonder cuz you always hear coaches talking about like athletes these days, you know, were maybe all the coaches, all the ones saying that were the, you know, 5% of athletes that were always passionate, always pushing themselves. So maybe it always existed but the people who are who have the microphone are the ones that were always the ones given it all anyway.
Kristopher Johnson (00:11:44):
I think also, I think there's two sides of that as well. There's the, there's the side where you had the naturally, uh, gifted athletes who were the, the early athletes. They were usually better than most. And then it makes it very easy to kind of fuel the drive to be better. Oh. And then on the other side of the athletes that weren't as good, but they decided to grind to see how far they could push not being naturally as talented in the sport, you know? That's
Mark Burik (00:12:11):
Interesting. Yeah. Cuz if you're good at it right away, you're just gonna be kind of attracted to it. Yeah.
Kristopher Johnson (00:12:15):
You know, it's easy to stay,
Mark Burik (00:12:16):
It's easy to stay when you got a starting role off the bat
Kristopher Johnson (00:12:19):
Athlete. Yeah, exactly. I train a lot of athletes like that who were, who were already good or they were, they're on the cusp, but like right before, they're about to be really good. And I remember not being that athlete for five or six years, like most of my life I wasn't that guy. , . So I see both sides, you know.
Mark Burik (00:12:38):
Do you think any one of them works harder? Like do, if you had to put a a stat on it, do you think that the ones who are gifted early and recognize that they're gifted early or everybody else's, do you think that they're putting in more work? Or do you see that the guys who are are riding the edge, like the middle athletes who could be good if they pushed extra? Are they working harder or showing up more? Do you notice any differences like that?
Kristopher Johnson (00:13:03):
I think that there's a lower percentage of athletes who are actually gifted and good who are trying to put in that extra time. I usually see the athletes who on the cusp putting in more work. Dang. So, I mean that's just the way that I see it. I can't, I can't quantify it in, in like percentages, but I definitely think that if you're already gifted, I don't think you're putting in as much work. But I do have a few athletes who are doing that though. Like more gifted and are also grinding hard. You know,
Mark Burik (00:13:34):
That's a tough flying a ride and trying to figure out how to, well, because it's a good coach, right? You gotta motivate, you gotta motivate people in different ways. You the great coaches, I was just watching some movie last night, I, I forget what movie, but they talked about, you know, oh, you always have to find an angle. So sometimes a great coach has to be completely silent to get through to somebody. Sometimes they have to scream to get through to somebody. But the word was that there's always, oh it's that, that Uber docudrama the one with the coach on Friday Night Lights and uh, Joseph, Joseph Gordon. But as a CEO he says there's always an angle not, hey, you gotta yell at people. Not, you have to be silent with people and let them do their thing. But the angle. Yeah. And it's, it's always interesting to find the different angles that you need for every different, not even different type of athlete, but every different athlete.
Kristopher Johnson (00:14:20):
Everyone , every athlete is completely different. That's one of the things that I've noticed, either about coaching teams or about coaching one-on-one. Some athletes like you actually gotta get down on them in order for them to, to actually push. There are other athletes that you can't say that much to 'em. You just need to say a few things and then they'll turn. But every single athlete on your team is different and you gotta find a way to communicate to get the best out of 'em For sure. More individual.
Mark Burik (00:14:50):
As a club coach, did you, here's what I went through. I don't know if you went through the same thing, but I went through this probably confident, arrogance, whatever you wanna call it, where I was like, I know a lot more than them. This is going to be my system. If you don't fit into my system, it's not gonna work. Later I stopped that. I stopped the Bobby Knight nonsense, uh, you know, of like, you gotta subscribe to my to my stuff. And I was like, listen, if I'm gonna get through to to to, to maximize, I'm going to have certain things that I allow, certain things that I don't allow, but I can't just act my way all the time If I'm gonna be a true leader, I, I have to figure out what each segment on my team needs. Did you go through that mental process? Cuz I went through it and it was, it was weird, but I don't know if everybody goes through
Kristopher Johnson (00:15:34):
It. Yeah, I think I've mostly, I've mostly been assisting, but I've been, I've been head coaches at times and I don't think my one way was always the one way I saw so many different athletes and also the way that they, and so I think that's what like helps me with private coaching is I'm actually coaching you from literally where you are and the way that, so if we're talking about a certain skill, I'm always looking at, okay, well do you do this thing that I may not like with that skill, but does it work? And if it works, there's a low chance that I'm gonna try to fix it or critique it that much. But if you do something in a certain way and it's your way, it's different than my way and it doesn't work, then I'm probably gonna push more to make a change so we can get a better result.
Mark Burik (00:16:24):
Got it. So it's kind of like, uh, Trey talks about this with the Brazilian coaches where he's just Yeah. Brazilian is reps and feeling mm-hmm. and feeling, and a, a few of the Brazilian coaches have have said like, we don't change something until it stops working or it presents like a cap, you know? Yeah. Like once it's limiting, that's when we'll discuss it. But until then, if you can feel the right thing and make it go to the right place, yeah. They say that they don't comment on it. And that's why we get like people who like with their forearm grip, you know, they'll open one hand and keep, keep the other one. That's why like APR Ross has that giant stomp approach and, and people have all different weird, Phil's got a goofy foot approach, right? And you say like, Hey, we should change that, but the dude's siding out at 800, so why you
Kristopher Johnson (00:17:07):
Don't touch it. Yeah.
Mark Burik (00:17:08):
Kristopher Johnson (00:17:08):
You don't freaking touch it, man. And that's, and that, I totally agree with that. I've, I've seen a bunch of different things I've seen, I've seen people stand up like when they pass or people finish weird with their hands when they set, but the ball isn't spinning and it's going to the right place, you know. So I don't really try to touch too much of what's working, even if it's not textbook. Because you can look at any sport and see a lot of people do a lot of weird techniques. I don't know if you watch basketball, but the way Sean Marion used to shoot or the way other basketball players shoot, it's so weird. But they get the ball to go on the basket. So you're like, you're gonna change their shot release even though they're shooting 40% from beyond the arc. Like, I don't like to change what works. I will change it if it's not working to make it more traditional, like each player, I'm always watching that
Mark Burik (00:18:00):
Stuff. Did you have anything, any like, kinks like that in your game? Wh where people were like, Hey man, you should change this and, and either you fought against it or you did change it?
Kristopher Johnson (00:18:09):
I think I changed like the way that I was approaching to the ball. So like there were times I didn't use my arms enough when I had approached the ball. And so I did actually need to make that adjustment because it did like allow me to jump higher. It allowed me to be di more dynamic when I would hit the ball. So like my approach when I'm throwing my arms back, I actually did a lot of work in changing that. Hmm. Um, and then changing the way that I served as well, I just wanted to have a more consistent serve and the, the critiques that the coaches gave me did actually work. I pushed against a lot of my coaches. Cause I'm very
Mark Burik (00:18:43):
Kristopher Johnson (00:18:44):
I'm very, I'm naturally individual in the way that like, I, like I see things in the way that I work, but mm-hmm. , it's very hard personally for me to change if there's not enough evidence or explanation behind why the change needs
Mark Burik (00:18:59):
To happen. Uhhuh, you're that type, you're like the cerebral athlete, like gimme the why and I'll go and do it instead of some, some athletes are just like straight up soldiers where it's like, what do I need to do? Yeah. Done. Okay. And they'll go bang their head against the wall for 10 minutes and they're just like, , am I, am I good yet? Want 10 more minutes? Like
Kristopher Johnson (00:19:16):
. So yeah. I mean, were you guys same way or was it, was it different for you?
Mark Burik (00:19:21):
Uh, I, I needed a lot of why, but I, I was always kind of interested in learning. So yeah. Any, I feel like for me, any time a coach gave me a correction, I was like, thank you. You know, I craved it. I don't know. Yeah. Why? But I, I never thought I was doing anything right. You know? I was like, I do feel slower. I do feel like I should jump higher or hit harder or be better. I always felt like my game was lacking. So I was like, dude, if you're gonna pay attention to me enough to fix something, that's me getting a private lesson. I never You
Kristopher Johnson (00:19:50):
Mark Burik (00:19:50):
It. Yeah. Had a private lesson as a kid. I'm trying to think if I ever got a private lesson , you know, be before being like before individuals in college and individuals is not even a private lesson. You're still there with three or four people. I'm pretty sure. I have never, as a kid under 18, never had a private lesson, which is kind of boning. See,
Kristopher Johnson (00:20:08):
Be completely honest. Like, I didn't either, like I didn't get my first five lesson until I was like 19, 20 years old. Legit. So I completely agree with you there. I did not get one. But also I, I didn't play club sports either, so I think that's part of the reason why
Mark Burik (00:20:21):
Same, I I played like one travel team in baseball from little league. But that's, I mean, you're not calling that the club sports of today. There was a very different no different thing about club sports. It's, it's changed into something that I kind of think is a little dangerous and maybe not dangerous, but overboard. Like way
Kristopher Johnson (00:20:38):
Too much sports is different this year. It's, yeah, it's different. It's definitely year round. Like that was one of the things where it wasn't like that for us. Like, I don't don't remember ever playing a sport year round. I always played multiple sports, so I never played one sport like a full year. I don't remember ever doing that. So now it's like, you'll play, you'll play volleyball or basketball, whatever it is, like 11 months outta the year. You just keep going.
Mark Burik (00:21:03):
That's wild. Like I would, okay, so I would play basketball year round, but not on a team. You know, I had three months in the fall, winter somewhere around there and then that was it. But like I was going in my backyard, I was still going to all my parks and, and playing. So I just played whatever sport I could whenever I could. And it it, and if it turned into like, yeah, hey, we're playing basketball today or no, we're gonna go break into the little league park today so we can play football. Like, all right, yeah. That's what we're doing. . All
Kristopher Johnson (00:21:29):
Right, cool, cool. Whatever, whatever you wanna do. Like, and I, I feel like that's an important part that I, I think is missing more. I feel like a lot of athletes and maybe even their parents wanna specialize so quickly. They wanna specialize so early. And I usually tell 'em like, no, like go play multiple sports. Like you want to figure out what you like, but also you want to get the cross training, you want to train in different skills so then you can use those in, in the sport that you finally decide to stick with full-time.
Mark Burik (00:21:57):
And that's some liberty to be creative. Yeah. Like that's, that's my big thing is if somebody, you know, so, so let's say you get stuck with, or not stuck, maybe sometimes it could be a blessing, but you get a coach who is, Hey, it's my way. Hey you have to drive this technique. Sure. Okay. They might make you have perfect technique. Yeah. But when are you permitted to just explore different things? Be creative, be stupid. Yeah. Practice your half court, like a buzzer, beater shots. Yeah. You know, I I I think that's without any stats or science behind it, I, that's gotta be important to allow creativity and exploration.
Kristopher Johnson (00:22:31):
Yeah. And I, I think I would say that happens more now as uh, players start to play beach volleyball more. Cuz you don't see a lot of that indoor because a lot of indoor volleyball is very controlled, um, by the coaches and staff and stuff like that. And I think you notice it obviously the most in, in basketball cuz most basketball players grow up playing like street ball and stuff. Yeah. So there's no coach there. They get to be as creative as they want. They get to take the half court shot like you're saying and there's no repercussion for it. They just like get to figure out if they could do it or not or if it's cool, you know? Right.
Mark Burik (00:23:06):
Like would the professor still have a YouTube channel if he, like, if he had like all standard moves and he wasn't able to teach people what he was doing, he, it was literally all creativity making stuff
Kristopher Johnson (00:23:16):
Up. No way. He makes stuff up at the park and there's nobody to tell you that you can't do it. You just go do whatever the heck you want. You know?
Mark Burik (00:23:22):
I don't know. I'm worried beach. I think there are some beach coaches and, and club directors worried. Uh, we had Phil, uh, on an episode a couple episodes ago. Yeah. And he was like, we are not a club, it's a Phil Dalhausser beach volleyball academy. He goes, yeah, we teach people to play beach volleyball, we create leagues, we create classes, but we're not, we're not a club. He goes, I do not like or want the indoor club environment infiltrating beach volleyball. And it is starting to, in a lot of places where it's parents are getting more involved, they're getting chatty, they're trying to ref, they're complaining to the refs and it's just like, man, this is what made beach so good because it was an escape and you could be individual, you could be unique. I'm a little stressed about, about that, but it is turning out ridiculously good female beach volleyball players, guys. We, we, we still got it's man
Kristopher Johnson (00:24:14):
. It's great volleyball man. I don't know if it is whatever they call it. The, the Title IX where you gotta like have, I guess equality. Um, I guess it's, I don't know exactly if it's equality in numbers in sports or whatever you
Mark Burik (00:24:29):
Equal funding dollars.
Kristopher Johnson (00:24:30):
Yeah. Yeah. So I guess because of it's, it's hard to get like a men's beach program off the ground. I mean it's hard enough to get men's indoor programs off the ground, which they're way more than there were like 10 years ago, which is really nice. But as far as girls volleyball, it's huge. You have girls volleyball like at every high school, every college in the country. So there's a bunch of opportunities. And now that you got Beach man, you got girls playing beach since they're like eight or nine years old and they're coming into your C B V A A tournament beating the adults. It's stupid now. Oh man, man. So it's gonna be, it's gonna be crazy once we start talking about like who's really gonna be going to the Olympics. Cuz they're coming all the way from nine years old all the way through high school and the Club Beach and College Beach. They get to go all the way through until you get to avp. You know? Yeah. So it's gonna be crazy. I'm excited to see it. I
Mark Burik (00:25:24):
Know. It's like there's so many good ones and so many unique games, like unique styles of, of play. Cuz you got NUS who's five six and then her partner who's six four close massive, right? Yeah. And, and they're playing a completely different game than like, uh, Kelly Clays, uh, who's playing a, a completely different game than, than like Jay's pardon was playing. And you got all these girls who can just win in a v p with completely different styles of play and sizes and shapes and everything. It's
Kristopher Johnson (00:25:58):
Sick. There's no one way anymore.
Mark Burik (00:25:59):
I'm hoping that that comes from one way, maybe our generation of coaches that are like, nah, we should still explore. We should still let people be individual because that's what beach is about. I wonder like if in 15 years all coaches will be so systemized and hardcore like indoor hazard had become Yeah. That's, that's, that's gonna be interesting to see if that freedom of expression still stays in beach. I hope it does. I think it should.
Kristopher Johnson (00:26:24):
I I want, yeah, I definitely want there to be, to be more freedom because I've already like just to see now beach evolve, like everybody is now jump hand setting, which is completely changing the game. You know, that's a completely different thing that wasn't even on the table before. It was hard enough to step in and handset. Now they're like, no, we're gonna jump handset. We can hit it, we can set it, we open up the net for everybody. Just that type of creativity has changed the game massively. And I'm excited to see more of it. I think that's gonna change the international game, but also it makes us super competitive as a country. Oh
Mark Burik (00:26:59):
Yeah. And I wonder what rules are gonna end up changing or being altered. You know, like, like now you like we'll see the hand setting, which has been a little ridiculous, especially since they don't involve Oh yeah. The players in any of the discussions. Like no, hey, should we change the hand setting rules? At least ask the players, Hey, do you think we should change the hand setting rules? Like, who are you? Why are we making all these decisions without any involvement of the player committee and and saying, yeah, nobody's saying like, no, we have to completely revolutionize the way we call handsets. No player Yeah. That I've talked to has ever said that. So why did it happen
Kristopher Johnson (00:27:32):
This year? Yeah. And I feel like it's, I don't know, I just feel like it's, it's completely subjective the way that they call hands and yeah, I feel like you get, if you go and talk to reps, she'll just get completely different answers, which is always like one of the most frustrating parts for me when it came to trying to learn how to answer it. I'm like, okay, what, what exactly are you looking for? Are you looking for multiple things? And I got multiple answers from different reps, which is highly frustrating.
Mark Burik (00:27:57):
That's a weird, weird subjective
Kristopher Johnson (00:27:59):
Way. Yeah. Super subjective. I
Mark Burik (00:28:01):
Wonder if basketball went through that with, with dribbling. Like for sure it did. You know, the first time somebody kind of like, got it, Palm palmed the side of the ball. Everybody's like, what was that? Yeah. You know? And now it's like they're holding it for three steps and then bouncing it. But yeah,
Kristopher Johnson (00:28:15):
Do whatever you want it'll, you do whatever you want. Now. Pretty much the your, your caliber a player decides what they'll call, right? Yeah. So that's, that's the most interesting. That's also very subjective as well. It's like your regular player will get called for everything and your really amazing player won't get called very much.
Mark Burik (00:28:35):
That's the funny part about playing amateur and pro tournaments. Like we're playing on the A V P and then we'll go to w Packa or Potstown. Yeah. And everybody's like, God, that's a double. That's crazy. And you're like, I haven't been called for a set in, in five tournaments. Like that is, you guys are calling a, a way different game than the national tourists calling Hundred percent. And it's like tougher to set in local tournaments than it is on the AVP .
Kristopher Johnson (00:29:02):
100%. And that, I mean that's the tough part. It's like, I think, I think with the, with the beach game, where're mostly, mostly you get reffed by your peers, which means they can kind of call anything. And then obviously once you get to higher level, you get to higher level avp, um, or international ball. I don't know if P 1440 is still doing their thing, but you get into the stuff where there's actual rests the higher level Yeah. You get more consistency, but for the most part you get rested by the people that you play against. So they call a lot of random
Mark Burik (00:29:33):
Things, man. Even at like, we
Kristopher Johnson (00:29:34):
Have a, the only self ref sports,
Mark Burik (00:29:36):
We, we run, uh, online classes for our camp. So we have a complete player program. Yeah. And we have two film meetings a week. So all the players, they show me what they did that weekend, their tournaments, their practices, or any drills that I gave them. If we do with these film reviews and we're still talking, no matter how many videos I make on Instagram or on YouTube, people are still talking about like, are you allowed to overset? Like how long can you hold a set? And it, it drives me insane. I'm like, how many videos do I need to make to, to explain these rules and to get tournament directors all on the same page. Like why can't we all be playing by the same rule book? Ugh. Because it is,
Kristopher Johnson (00:30:14):
Everybody sees differently. Yeah.
Mark Burik (00:30:16):
And then a tournament director or a facility owner, they're gonna make a different rule set because it'll just be easier for everybody. And it's like, well now yeah, you're just changing the rules to the sport and sure it might be easier, but everybody's just grossly confused.
Kristopher Johnson (00:30:31):
Yeah. I don't, I don't know anybody who's 100% sure about the hand setting rules and then it's Yeah. And then it's completely, yeah. So, you know, and then it's completely subjective based on the way that you actually set the ball. So everybody, the way everybody sets is different. So the way you call their hands is different from somebody else's. And then, I mean we're talking about hold, we're talking about finish and we're talking about spin, which is like a completely different conversation. You know, worst
Mark Burik (00:31:00):
Part of our sport and my Exactly. For everybody out there, if you are reffing, if you don't have a miniature vomit in your mouth because of the handset that you saw, just don't call it. Yeah. Like it has to make you so like, ooh and immediately wanna say that was bad. If you have to like tip your head from side to side and think about it, stay out of it. It's better to be the one that doesn't call everybody than deciding these little marginal lines of, of where you're going to call. And then now as a ref, as a player ref, you're involved in the outcome of the game. And yeah. So as a rule, everybody just, if it doesn't make you throw up in your mouth, just don't do it. Don't blow the whistle, stay out of it. Don't do it. Oh, it's not worth it. Especially if you're ing behind games . Cause I'll let you know exactly that
Kristopher Johnson (00:31:53):
Less is always more like when I remember playing a lot of beach and I'm like, man, I'm not really calling that much hands. Like it's gotta be really bad for me to be like, yeah, that was for sure a double or a lift. I'm like, I, I don't remember calling more than a few a match or something like that. I just didn't, didn't want to, didn't need to, you know,
Mark Burik (00:32:14):
I put my brim so low, I'm just like, yeah, . Unless I hear like four people shout, like, ugh, then I'll be like, probably a double. I don't know. I wasn't
Kristopher Johnson (00:32:23):
Watching that. Yeah. I'm not sure. Yeah. Yeah. And I want like, I want like from your point of view, like is there for sure a number on that? Like, hey, how many times the ball rotates? Like does, no, can't,
Mark Burik (00:32:34):
Can't call on that. Like
Kristopher Johnson (00:32:36):
That's what I mean.
Mark Burik (00:32:37):
You can't look at the ball after it comes out. Yeah. You have to be watching the hand contact. So like you shouldn't be following the ball as a ref. You should be looking at the person's hands who are about to set. And if you don't see them hit it two different times or completely separately, then you don't call it, but like the spin afterwards be like, oh, it had three and a half spins. You know, so obviously no, you cannot and should not call it on
Kristopher Johnson (00:33:01):
That. And that's the funny part I actually play, I don't know if you've been to the Vancouver open up in Canada,
Mark Burik (00:33:08):
Still haven't. It's
Kristopher Johnson (00:33:09):
Kinda Oh, you list there. That was one of the fun funnest tournaments I went to. But that was probably the most consistent roughing I've ever received on Plain Beach. Super consistent. Like when I spoke to most of the reps, all of them were like, we just want to see your hands come out clean. And they were not worried about the spin. And most of the reps that I've actually dealt with would definitely call the spin even if it came out. So yeah, that was the frustrating part. But in that Vancouver Open, like those reps are super consistent. When I
Mark Burik (00:33:39):
Played I got just a a little kinda ad for something. We're not even selling it. But guys, if you're interested in seeing how well you know the rules, uh, and you're listening or you're watching, it's on the screen right now. But if you're listening, if you head on over to better at beach.com/rules quiz better at beach.com/rules quiz. There's a bunch of questions that we've taken sort of from the rule book, but we make it so that you, it's like you're talking in conversation and you can test your knowledge. Beach volleyball rules, go to better at beach.com/rules quiz. It's a free quiz. I made it so that we can help people and stop these like absurd discussions and stop all the requests for videos that we've already made. So go ahead, barry beach.com/rules quiz and test your knowledge of some pretty intricate, uh, volleyball rules and actually how to call and refa game. So rules [email protected]. Check it out. Uh, kj, I wanna switch from a, from a setting discussion, which I didn't know we'd get into to . I wanna hear about your path coming out of high school into college, then the various national teams and the various, uh, indoor pro team. So coming out of high school, okay, let, let, let's start there. You played a couple years in college. How, how did that go? How'd that come about?
Kristopher Johnson (00:34:56):
Okay, so I'll run through high school real quick. So it's like understandable on my path. Um, just like I said before, I played football and volleyball, played three years, football, four years of volleyball. Played freshman team, uh, two years jv one year varsity didn't actually end up starting.
Mark Burik (00:35:12):
Oh, you really weren't good. Yeah,
Kristopher Johnson (00:35:14):
, I wasn't good. I told you
Mark Burik (00:35:15):
You're not lying a joke.
Kristopher Johnson (00:35:17):
Yeah. Like this isn't a joke. Like not at all. Like I wasn't, I was like one of the worst players or I, maybe I was just above, um, one of the worst players. So I got a lot of opportunities from my coach in high school and he, he kept plugging away. Let me stay in it. Like I said, I never played club volleyball ever. So I wasn't club and then high school. But yeah, I didn't play. I didn't, didn't start until towards the end of my, um, year in varsity. I played a lot on JV and freshman and I was not recruited out of high school, um, by anybody. I just, my high school coach knew the head coach at Long Beach City College. I'm born and raised in Long Beach. So.
Mark Burik (00:35:53):
So you're six 11 right now, is that right?
Kristopher Johnson (00:35:56):
I'm six nine. They
Mark Burik (00:35:57):
Like 6 9, 6 11 on a, on a college. On a college or a pro roster. I got it. Yeah. .
Kristopher Johnson (00:36:02):
Yeah, six 11. They like to scoop
Mark Burik (00:36:04):
Some ball. It's funny, like, uh, when I started playing beach, I started making myself shorter, you know, like on my college I was like, yeah, I might be six four. Like every time I beat somebody new on the beach, I'm like 6 1, 6 foot and a half, five 11
Kristopher Johnson (00:36:17):
Mark Burik (00:36:18):
Defender style. That's right. Just rub it in their face. Like I don't, yeah. I'd love to be smaller than you and still win. How tall were you, your high school coming out of high school? Because if you're six 11 coming outta high school, like shouldn't everybody just be jumping over the bleachers to get you on their team?
Kristopher Johnson (00:36:31):
Yeah, and so, and like I said before, I was the late bloomer. I probably walked into high school around 5 8, 5 9 and I grew about an inch, inch and a half a year. And I graduated at like 6 2 63. Whoa.
Mark Burik (00:36:45):
Yeah. Oh you're like Matt Anderson. Matt Anderson was the same way. He came into college at like six four, maybe six five when he graduated or Yeah, went to Korea. He was like six 10.
Kristopher Johnson (00:36:53):
Exactly. He's, and he's uh, he's taller than me. I play the national team with him long enough. He's actually taller than me, him and uh, max taller than me by like an inch or two. They're legit like six 10 guys. But yeah, I grew like inch, inch and a half a year. Five eight to six three over my high school career.
Mark Burik (00:37:11):
Okay. So yeah, that's not like amazing for a coach. They're like yeah, everybody's six three. Okay.
Kristopher Johnson (00:37:15):
Yeah I was, I was a normal guy. Like I was average so everybody said they can't do it, like go work hard but came outta high school. 6 2, 6 3. That was actually when I had my spurt during my freshman year at Long Beach City College. I grew from about six three to six eight.
Mark Burik (00:37:31):
Whoa. Did everything hurt? So like were your knees just killing you?
Kristopher Johnson (00:37:35):
Yeah, my knees felt like absolute crap. Like my knees felt horrible, feet were all sudden off the bed. Like all that stuff my body was going through so many growing pains like five inches in a year. But that was when I hit my spurt and then everything else kind of came with it and my vertical came with it. I was able to grow into my body. I was like 19 years old, almost 20. And that was when I started kind of figuring things out and things started to get better. Super late growth spurt. But all
Mark Burik (00:38:04):
Right. So okay, you got a spot at at Long Beach City College playing and then coach. Yeah. All of a sudden thinks he gets a jackpot after a few months of seeing you grow three, four
Kristopher Johnson (00:38:13):
Inches. I hit the jackpot with my coach who's super excited. Uh, the basketball coach from Long Beach City College also reached out, wanted me to come over. I was like, there's no way. Um, I quit football. I was like, I'm not conditioning anymore, I'm done with running . And so ended up red shirting my first year. I played my second year and during my red shirt year we won a championship, which was cool. My second year that I, I actually started playing, we ended up I think losing in the semi-finals and also the same in my third year we lost in the semi-finals. I was I think western state Conference, like one of the best players those two years that I played. And then during that time I played uh, U 21 for U s A beach for two of those summers.
Mark Burik (00:38:53):
How did that happen?
Kristopher Johnson (00:38:53):
Having a lot of fun with that. You know Chris, so Chris Austin, he was the guy who like ended up pushing me in the beach, was like, Hey man, hey let's go play. And I was like, alright, why not? Like I don't have anything to lose. I got the time to do it. Chris was like huge in the beach at the time and I was like, we could play together. Let's see what hap. And so we both actually did the USA Beach. I think he was under whatever nineteens or something like that, under twenties, whatever it was. And I was U 21. That was when I ended up meeting a lot of the guys who were really good in college. And Connor Hughes at uc, Irvine and Tony Crell at Long Beach, not Long Beach at uh, usc. I met so
Mark Burik (00:39:27):
Many people don't know that Sarah Hughes has a brother who's also legit at volleyball. Like
Kristopher Johnson (00:39:31):
Yeah, Connor Hughes the real deal.
Mark Burik (00:39:33):
Legit. Yeah. That's freaking athletic family right
Kristopher Johnson (00:39:36):
There. Yeah. So no, their whole family is huge. I know 'em well. And that was where I kind of met those players. We were already like high level um, indoor college players and that was before I even left Lomb Beach City College. So I got that experience. Did C B V A, we won, we got the triple A which was, which was super fun. And I think we actually got that triple A against Ian Satterfield your partner when we were younger and in college and we, I think we beat him in a double A to get the triple. So I don't think he was too happy about that. Yeah, that was when we were young, we were like 20 years old. And so I did that and then I ended up getting recruited after my third year by Hawaii, long Beach State, uc, Irvine and uh, California Baptist University ended up not wanting to go to Long Beach or Hawaii.
Long Beach was home. I didn't wanna stay home. Hawaii was on an island, didn't wanna stay on an island. Uc, Irvine ended up not being able to make the grade to get up like a 4.0 to get into there. You gotta be super smart. Ended up going to Cal Baptist cuz I knew I'd be able to play and I really liked the school so I went there and then ended up playing that year. Um, was one of the best players in the country. One of the best middles. I think I had probably one of the highest percentage top five hitting percentages in the country that year. Damn as a middle. And that was really fun. And uh, I ended up getting injured my red shirt senior year. So that's my fifth year in college. I got injured, injured my back really badly and couldn't play for nine months. Dude,
Mark Burik (00:41:03):
We have the same similar story. I was out for three quarters of my season, my, my super senior year and it was nothing hurt more. I was like, this is not supposed to happen this year. Like come on.
Kristopher Johnson (00:41:13):
That's terrible. You're like, I'm supposed to go out like playing my best ball so I can do whatever I want afterwards. It was a rough year, I was contemplating retiring cuz my back was really bad And um, I ended up being able to kind of deal with it and get my back better. Um, and I got lucky. They gave me a medical hardship year. I wasn't expecting to get that year back but they gave me a six year. So I had a red shirt year and a medical hardship year. Came back, came back my senior, my super, so super duper senior year, super duper senior . Six years in college.
Mark Burik (00:41:46):
It's tough to leave college man. I mean I'll stay six, seven years honestly like when I was in college I didn't wanna stay anymore but now if I had one more year, yeah, yeah it would be fine. But I was ready to be done with college when I, when I was
Kristopher Johnson (00:41:58):
Done. I definitely get that. I wasn't really in a rush cuz like I was always paying attention to like what the situation was after college and I was like, am I in a rush to get to a office job? I do like, I have no problem staying in college longer, you know? Yeah. So ended up playing that sixth year, that medical hardship year and we probably had one of our worst years that I ever played in college. We only won a few games and I was super disappointed. I still played good. I think I was like top 10 hitting percentage, probably top 15, top 20 in block. And after my senior year I got invited to the US national team. For
Mark Burik (00:42:32):
The people who don't know how that works, like could, could you explain the two things when you say that you just went to the U 19 or U 21 Beach National team tryouts and then somebody invited you to be on the national team. Can you explain for somebody who had never experienced anything like that, what, how that happened? Is it a phone call or text message? An email. Yeah.
Kristopher Johnson (00:42:52):
Okay. As far as the U 21, U 19, they actually had tryouts, me and Christians went to the tryouts. They were like, yeah we have u s A beach tryouts go tryout. And then they ended up, I ended up making the team from the tryouts, the training team. So I was only on the training team for U S A U 21 for those two years. And then they would take two or four players for an international competition, the best players of those, of that training group. And you would go overseas or wherever you go to compete in that turn. Mm-hmm. . So that was a tryout. As far as the national team, I feel like you usually just get invited. So you go and, and it has a lot to do with where you play and your coach as well. So I had some coaches who had played high level and they were helpful with kind of like plugging me in like with the national team coaches. Okay.
Mark Burik (00:43:47):
So they're, the college coaches are kind of talking closely with national team coaches and it should be that's, that's like the, the males yeah in u are are breeding ground for national team players. So they're talking like, hey this guy's next level or can be or will be.
Kristopher Johnson (00:44:01):
Yeah. And so also you gotta prove it on the court. Like I also stepped on the court and was one of the best, one of the best offensive middles in the country. I was okay with my blocking a little bit better than Okay. But as far as offensively I felt like I was, I felt like I was almost unstoppable as a middle coming outta college. And my numbers proved it so people like knew who I was. And so I actually received, I think I was supposed to go after my senior year, but I ended up getting injured that year. So I ended up playing that next year. But I just received an email from the assistant coach, I think, I think it was from Matt. Yeah, Matt Fe Ringer who's who, uh, also the national team, assistant coach right now. And he's uh, he runs Moo Long Beach Volleyball Club.
Mark Burik (00:44:43):
That's right. I thought he had Rockstar for some reason. I don't know why I thought that. It's,
Kristopher Johnson (00:44:47):
He's got a coach. Team Rockstar is Moo. Oh, okay. I started using Mao. So Moo is the girls club and Rockstar is the boys branch off of Moo.
Mark Burik (00:44:55):
Kristopher Johnson (00:44:55):
It, okay. So they're the same thing. But um, and the funny part is I actually worked with Mao when I was in college too. I was coaching like their little kids, so he already knew who I was. Perfect. So it worked out perfect. But yeah, I just received literally a, an email that had went to my spam. So I actually received it like a few days before and I just so happened to go with my spa and the email was in my spam and I was like, are you kidding me? I was so mad. Like, and it came like two days, one or two days prior and like I reach out to them immediately, I'm like, yes. Like I can come. And so they're like, yeah, come down .
Mark Burik (00:45:32):
Yeah. He imagined finding that like weeks later.
Kristopher Johnson (00:45:34):
Oh my God man. I was like freaking out man. I literally just finished my season too, probably like two days prior. But yeah, that's basically the way the process goes. You usually get invited if you're a junior player, I think you'll get invited or you can go to a tryout cuz you can check like the USA website and they usually have tryouts for junior national teams and it helps to get you into the system at a younger age. I wasn't really in the system for the indoor side, but I was on the beach side. But yeah, I got, I got invited
Mark Burik (00:46:07):
Phone call, email, and it helps if your coaches are, I mean I feel like almost every college coach for, for the men's team, whatever it is, the national team coaches have to be connected with the NCAA coaches and have to have that, that open conversation. And I think we're one of the few, if not only country that we, we source so many of our national teams or pro teams directly out of college. Like if you look at football, it's like, yeah that is the minor league. N F L you know, there's, there's no other thing. Canadian Football League. Nah, sorry, like European football League playing for pizza.
Kristopher Johnson (00:46:40):
No, it's college. It's college. Your coaches, your coaches know your coaches see you in practice, your coaches see you in the matches and they're like, yeah, this players is better than, than most players that are on our team. And that we play against. You want to bring them? So yeah, that, that basically ended up happening. And I got invited to the national team, but I was just training. I had a lot of stuff that I needed to work on. I was a really raw player, just very athletic and basically just went through train that summer and uh, like pushing through. I ended up playing professionally, um, for four years. So I played pro volleyball for four years. Two of those years were in Finland. So my first two years in Finland, ah,
Mark Burik (00:47:21):
Joiner played in Finland.
Kristopher Johnson (00:47:22):
Nice. Did he?
Mark Burik (00:47:24):
Yeah. Yeah. I have no idea what, I played two years in Sweden, two years in Norway. Um, yeah, joiner, joiner played in Finland. I, I think I know somebody else who played in Finland. But yeah, there, there's some decent clubs, Norway, there's like one or two clubs in each of those countries that can compete, like not with the rest of Europe, but with some of the other top European teams. And then when you get to the top team, Italy's, Polands, France, it's like, forget about it.
Kristopher Johnson (00:47:47):
No way. No way. They were the top teams. The two top teams in Finland were either, uh, like Tiki VOA and hurricane. Those are like the three top teams in Finland every year. And they usually play in like a, a challenge cup or a c V cup. I don't know if you know about the Cups.
Mark Burik (00:48:04):
Yeah. But yeah, I played in European Cup when I played in Croatia. Uh, we went to to Vienna. That was, that was fun. 19 hour road trips was a little insane. Especially one of your coaches, like from Italy, we went from to Vienna, Austria. Uh, from Croatia. Okay. And we had some, we had to go to sve. We had uh, Slovakia, we had Bosnia. Herko went
Kristopher Johnson (00:48:27):
Mark Burik (00:48:28):
Went up to Asia and it's just like these trips. And then we had a crazy coach who I brought my guitar because it's 19 hours each way. And he's like, what are you doing? You can't bring that. You have to focus. We're here for competition. And I was like, God, you want me to focus for the next 19 hours and do what I get along with him too. Well,
Kristopher Johnson (00:48:50):
I had. Yeah, no, I totally agree with that. I had some, I had some crazy coaches. My craziest coaches were definitely in Romania. My other two coaches in Finland and Portugal were pretty chill. My, one of my favorite coaches was actually in Portugal, but yeah, ended up, ended up playing Finland those two years. And I played on a brand new team. We actually, I think we finished like seventh the first year and then we finished like fourth the second year, which was completely unbelievable for a brand new like pro team to come into the league, you know? And then I went to Portugal and uh, and then we finished like third that year. And then I went to Romania. We also finished third that year. But we, like you said, like played in a bunch of different countries. Played, I don't know, Slovakia, Norway, Turkey. There was just, I think we ended up going like six or seven countries. We went to so many countries just playing international. We played a, I played challenge club in Portugal and Romania. Okay. So we ended up traveling around. I think we went to Bulgaria and we were all, we were always flying to a different place. I went to visit Spain, so we ended up all over the place like you did.
Mark Burik (00:49:58):
When you think back to competing at that level for completely different cultures, completely different countries, completely different personalities, what was one thing that you took from that experience that you absolutely say no to? Like my team or when I'm a coach, I will never do this. That you found out there that you like absolutely hated about a culture, a personality or a coach.
Kristopher Johnson (00:50:22):
. I hated, I absolutely hated how emotional my coaches were. , it was so annoying. My foreign coaches were so emotional and the emotional part would actually hurt our team because they would blow our time out so fast. It drove me insane. I had this coach in Finland and he was a cool guy. He was like, he was generally very calm, but in the match, very emotional. And so he would literally blow. And here's the thing. You had, did you have the timeout, commercial timeout? Did you have
Mark Burik (00:50:59):
Like the, the technical, I
Kristopher Johnson (00:51:01):
Think the technical timeout.
Mark Burik (00:51:02):
I think sometimes we did, I'm trying to think back now. We had to, yeah
Kristopher Johnson (00:51:07):
Man, most of the time you have a technical time out.
Mark Burik (00:51:09):
Are you old when you came? So
Kristopher Johnson (00:51:11):
That's like a . Hey, it's what? It's dad. I, I know that I feel like most teams had a technical time out and they would call it time out. Probably like, I don't know, maybe at 15 or something like that. Yeah. Whenever they call it. But my coach would consistently call both of our timeouts before we hit the technical timeout. And that drove me insane. Insane. I was like, stop. I would go to the coach and be like, stop calling timeouts, . I was like, we need these for the end of the set. And he would like, he would get so frustrated because maybe we would lose like three, four points in a row. And I was like, this is volleyball man. It's ebbs and flows. Like this is how it goes. And like we would, we would like come back, like we'd come back going five point run or whatever and I'm just like, he would just blow the time out. So that was one huge thing that I was like, once I'm coaching, that's not happening. Like I'm keeping my time out for as long as I can. I'm making my players push through those tough times where the team scores a lot of points in a row, but I'm not blowing the time
Mark Burik (00:52:13):
Out. Who's it? John Wooden always said that he like guaranteed that he would never be the first team to call a time out. Cuz he was like, I will always condition my teams to the point where they never need a break before the other. And he always wanted to put the pressure or the belief, but when I read his book, he said he was, he would never call the rule of his, he would never call the first time out, uh, in a game. And I was like,
Kristopher Johnson (00:52:34):
Mark Burik (00:52:34):
Love that. Interesting.
Kristopher Johnson (00:52:35):
I love that Parents would've conversations with me about that. They'd be like, you're not gonna call time out or you wouldn't call time out in this situation. I was like, no. I was like, the players always play wonky in the first 10 points.
Mark Burik (00:52:46):
. Right? You're feeling each other out
Kristopher Johnson (00:52:47):
Run in the first 10 points. Yeah.
Mark Burik (00:52:49):
You're not throwing any punches. You're like seeing how people move.
Kristopher Johnson (00:52:52):
Yeah. Yeah. You're trying to figure it out. I was like, it's really gotta be like, like seven out six. Oh mm-hmm. to be like, all right, I'm the call time out. But otherwise I'm like, if they went on a little four or five point run, the first 10 points, I'm like, you watch a lot of like junior volleyball, you'll see like some team is down like two to eight in the first 10 and they come back and win. Mm-hmm. , they go on big service runs. So like, it's very rare that I call timeout early.
Mark Burik (00:53:18):
All right. So blowing timeouts, what was one thing from, from culture or from personalities, teammates, team club, organization that you absolutely want to take to your teams, your clubs, your coaching style, you as a player.
Kristopher Johnson (00:53:33):
Consistency. Like just staying consistent with your training. And also, if I could bring in the weight training aspect, that was huge for me. I never consistently weight trained during a season until I went pro. What? And that would be one thing that I for sure want to bring in. Yeah. Didn't do it. Whoa. Didn't do it. Like, even when we played football, we would probably weight train like maybe once or twice a week in season. And volleyball, we only lifted like one time during season. In the pro season, we'd lift like two, three times in a week. Every week. Some, most of the time, like it'd be three times. Yeah. And that was like really good for my body. Like physically I felt amazing. I was like, I've never done this before. So that would be one thing that I liked and I'd want to take over, you
Mark Burik (00:54:18):
Know? How did you balance for, for the best teams or your best year, how was the weight training balanced with practices? Was it, did it matter what day you were practicing? What day you were lifting? Did it, did you always say, how's your body feeling? And then change your lifting for that? Or were you like, Kobe, where it's like, no. Yeah, like I made a promise to myself, this is what I'm gonna do no matter what. No matter how tired, how hurt I am.
Kristopher Johnson (00:54:40):
Yeah. I personally did. Yeah. I personally wasn't on the Kobe. How like if my body felt absolutely terrible, like I really wouldn't go and lift. And if I did, it'd be really light. But most of the time we'd have like, we'd have two a day in our pro season. So in the morning you go lift and then maybe you go in the gym and do a servant pass for an hour. Yeah. Or maybe you would just lift and then in the afternoon you'd have your evening, like evening practice. There was usually time to actually do both. Like you could get your lift and recover and then go and practice at night. Yeah. So I go two, three days a week. Sometimes I'd go four. Like I was really trying to get like more strength. Cause I've always been a skinny guy, so I wanted to get a little bigger. So I
Mark Burik (00:55:18):
There's nothing else to do when you're over there. No,
Kristopher Johnson (00:55:20):
No. Do, yeah. You're bored. You're pretty
Mark Burik (00:55:22):
Bored over there. I didn't have a smartphone, you know, I had like the little like flip phone that they gave you in the country with the, with the sim card and you're just like, Susan, I think it was downloaded movies. Yeah. So that's when I learned to love coffee. Like Sweden, , all you do is sit around all day and drink coffee,
Kristopher Johnson (00:55:38):
Known for coffee all day. They drink coffee. So like five times a day, man. When I was in Finland, man, they always were trying to get coffee. I was like, holy, holy. I was like, I drank like maybe a cup every other day. They were like, we gotta get three, four cups of this coffee in, man. I was like, do your thing.
Mark Burik (00:55:56):
I was like, and those are the guys with jobs. You're like, I'm playing volleyball three hours a day and then there's nothing else to do, so I might as well stay here and have a fourth cup.
Kristopher Johnson (00:56:04):
Yeah. I'm not, I'm not doing anything else until practice. Like why not? You know? Yeah.
Mark Burik (00:56:09):
It's wild. I, but you're in some, you're interested learn to love coffee outta boredom. I did. I I was pretty lucky with, uh, where I had, you know, like in Sweden, I was kind of in the middle of nowhere in Ving Moka, uh, it's literally called, uh, Wingfield is is the name of of it. And the 70% of the, of the town's power came from windmills. Uh, and people were like, wait, where do you, because when I say like, yeah, I play in Sweden, you know, I play in the, in the pro league and half of Sweden doesn't know that there's a pro volleyball league. And then they're like, oh, well, okay, what city are you in? And I was like, okay. And it always got the same ving. Okay. Like, why are you, they literally said, why are you there by saying the name?
Kristopher Johnson (00:56:49):
Mark Burik (00:56:49):
Kristopher Johnson (00:56:50):
Why are you in the middle of nowhere, any of the locals, they always know the location. They're like, why would you go there? They're like, you came from America, why would you do that? They'd be so mad.
Mark Burik (00:57:00):
, they're paying me to be here. What do you want
Kristopher Johnson (00:57:03):
? Yeah. And
Mark Burik (00:57:04):
I get to play volleyball all day and lift,
Kristopher Johnson (00:57:06):
Like, it's great. How'd you like Norway though? Because I went to play a team there and it
Mark Burik (00:57:10):
Was really, I really love Norway. You know, Norway.
Kristopher Johnson (00:57:12):
Mark Burik (00:57:12):
The, the, the months that we're there, it's like you don't get to experience their spring or summer. So it's, there's five hours of daylight the entire time you're there so that it takes a toll on you. You know, it's cold, it's snowy. Um, but as a city, I loved Oslo. I I thought Oslo was just an awesome city to be a part of. Their public transportation system was easy. And I had a car, so it was amazing. A choice. And it was really cool.
Kristopher Johnson (00:57:38):
Mark Burik (00:57:38):
Is amazing and everyone there was happy. They're they're good. They, while I was there, they had an emergency surplus of money. So their government literally said, Hey guys, we have too much money. We have to have an emergency meeting to figure out what to do with it. I was like, you don't hear about that in the US .
Kristopher Johnson (00:57:54):
Yeah. No way. No way. They were always running outta money. We're outta deficit. Always. That's so, that's crazy.
Mark Burik (00:58:01):
Yeah. And I did snowboarding, I did skiing and stuff, so it was That's sweet. Yeah. Um, pretty easy life. It, it's not a hardcore professional league. Like there are a few teams that get to a level where they compete against the other, the other countries. But our team was always like four in Croatia. We are, we were like the top team in Croatia. Um, but Sweden and Norway we're hovering, hovering around like third to fifth or sixth, somewhere around there, depending.
Kristopher Johnson (00:58:24):
I love Norway. I went, I went on a trip, we went to play a team and called, I think it's for day, like, it's like for and then you have to eat. Yep. For yep. Fair. Yeah. So we went, yeah, fair day, however they say it. And we went to play against them and they were like, yeah, we actually don't get paid. Like we all work in the city. We don't get paid to play. I was like, what ? Yeah. Like I couldn't believe it. I was like, wait, y'all actually don't get paid. They're like, Nope. They're like, we don't get paid. And they were in the challenge club. They were in a European competition. Like we,
Mark Burik (00:58:54):
Yeah, they pride themselves so much on that, that club specifically. Um, and Nebo is also another club that's always, well this is 10 years ago I guess now, but they're always high up in the ranks and like they're ping themselves saying like, we do it without pro players. You know, every other team had somewhere between like one and four pro players. But they would recruit, they would take people, they're like, Nope, we got the hookup with jobs. We got the hookup with careers. So they would take players from other clubs and they'd say, we'll give you a good solid job and you can play volleyball. And they kind of like that better because they didn't see volleyball as like a endeavor to like make money in Norway. If they wanted to stay there. Yeah,
Kristopher Johnson (00:59:30):
Mark Burik (00:59:31):
Wanted to stay there. So yeah, it would be kinda like, you know, the pro league right now in the US like pro league, like they could do it that way. If somebody had a hookup with a company that had like easy cushy jobs and they're like, Hey, come play for my pro team, I'm not gonna play you for that, but I'll teach you finance or real estate and you'll have light hours and, and learn how to make money. So
Kristopher Johnson (00:59:49):
It's possible I definitely's do that. But yeah, I, I played those four years and overseas, which is amazing. Got go to over 10 countries and ended up having pretty good finishes. And then just to help people understand the way that it works with playing national team and pro as you know, you go overseas for about eight months, which is basically about the school year. So you go to overseas from fall all the way to like the end of spring, you come home for the summer. It was, was it like that for you two? Yep. So you play, basically you play a pro season, um, during a school year. And then you come home in the spring and you come home at the end of spring and then you play national team during the summer. So during those three or four months. So I spent five summers with the US national team from 2014 to 2018 and ended up playing in like training mostly.
But I played in U s a Vbb Cups, um, against Japan and Brazil played against, played in the Pan-American games in 2015 in Toronto, Canada. And we played a bunch of, played against a bunch of teams. Argentina and Cuba, Canada. Played against a bunch of teams there. Played in uh, the PanAm, I think I played in like two pan, one or two PanAm cups. Um, one of 'em for sure was in Mexico City. Played against Mexico and Canada and a few other teams there. So I played in a few like international competitions, but they were local. And then after that, after my season in Romania, I definitely decided that I was like, all right, I'm good. Like I'm done playing professionally. Like physically my body is like in a lot of pain. I'm definitely ready to shut it down and
Mark Burik (01:01:29):
I'll, I had kind of a similar conversation. Like I was on my fifth or sixth cortisone shot. I was like, my shoulder wouldn't swing itself anymore. I was like throwing my chest and my arm would follow like in a very limp kinda way . And I was like, man, I can't get any more juice. Like there's always like a different nagging injury. And at the same time I was kind of pushing the envelope for AVP during the summers and yeah, there were a few guys who had done already what I had done, like Ty Tramble, uh, Casey Patterson, Casey Patterson played in Sweden before me. And I messaged those guys before I knew their name well before they knew my name I guess. And mm-hmm . I was just like, you know what made you stop playing indoor? Am I making the right decision? And si Trabu was like, well I was tired of coming back every year and the guys who I was beating last year are now beating me. He's like, yeah, all these, I like beach better. And the people who are at the same level, they're getting more reps than me and I'm just getting like kind of a little tired and beat up from indoor and I'd rather be better at beach, you know? And mm-hmm , I'm just like, ah, that's better beach. See that
Kristopher Johnson (01:02:35):
Over there? Better beach
Mark Burik (01:02:38):
. But that was my kind of call. It was like, all right, you know, bodies, it's breaking down hard and I do love beach volleyball and if I were gonna have control over my future, which, which would I have control of more. And I felt like I could control my destiny more through beach. And that was why I made the choice to stop indoor, I guess
Kristopher Johnson (01:02:57):
You were, yeah. And you played beach every summer, so you actually had the experience, you knew what was going on. So it wasn't a guessing game. I definitely was kind of deciding which route I wanted to take. But yeah, I had, I had those same things. Like I still had the issue with my back that I dealt with in college and I jumped a lot as a middle. So knee problems rolled my ankles a lot. Like anything you can name, I shoulder tore the labrum while I was playing pro. Like I've done had a lot of different injuries while I've played, but I mean, I'm one of the few people I know who's actually played consecutively for 14, 15 years. Like ever since my freshman year of high school, I never actually took a year off. Good for you. Until, yeah. So,
Mark Burik (01:03:38):
But it's like pro athletes are healthy, right? Like we're supposed to be like the healthiest. It's like no we're, we're the most why beat
Kristopher Johnson (01:03:46):
Up you're 50 years old. Cripple . Yeah. Body's 50 years old right now while you're 25, you know, that was like my indoor and then a little bit of beach, just playing national team, five years pro playing pro four years overseas and then came out of it and decided I wasn't gonna go overseas again. And so decided to start playing beach again with Chris. It was like right on time. We were like, yeah, let's, let's commit to it again like we did in college and see what happens. Hmm. And that was like one of the hardest, one of the hardest years in transitioning for sure. From indoor into beach full-time. And uh, that what was the hardest part about that year was a grind. I'd say the hardest thing was one moving effectively in the sand cuz like balancing in the sand was probably one of the hardest things for me. And getting down, especially with my knees was like a headache. Ah, so like short, short balls and stuff like that? Yeah, like, like moving around, jumping, getting low on the block and then uh, like passing, passing was hands down probably the hardest skill to transition. And then making the little moves off the block was like a big thing for me. And that's, I mean, and hand setting is a completely different beast.
It super tough. But yeah, it was basically like learning how to play volleyball all over again to be completely honest. Like that was really how I could put in a nutshell.
Mark Burik (01:05:11):
If you had do it in like a year to redesign the training that you did and you like you, you had to give yourself a two month block of what drills you would do the absolute most because you know, you could design it full outright. You have any number of coaches and players that you want. Yeah. What would you focus on in a short, fast amount of time that would get you as, as close to your peak as you could get in a one or two month period? You know, would you just just do passing? Um, would you just do setting? Would you do sprints or agility?
Kristopher Johnson (01:05:43):
Yeah, as far as the conditioning aspect, I didn't, I didn't really like condition too much unless we kind of had it scheduled in because me and Chris stepped on the beach. You guys know we lived on the sand. So we'd step on the sand like 7:00 AM wouldn't walk off until 11 or 12 noon. We did that like four or five days a week. It was full commitment. It was like indoor style commitment. Like we played sometimes six, seven days a week just trying to get ourselves in better condition. And then also just trying to make sure that we got as much training and touches as possible. Mm-hmm. But if I create a system for me personally, because I know my skills are different than other people's, I would've probably spent a lion share of my time on passing and setting, serving was fine, blocking was a little bit rough, but it was serviceable. And then offense was actually the thing that I came in with like not having too much of a problem with. And I heard that a lot of beach players, the offense was the last thing to transition. And for me, offense was like the first thing to transition over. I could walk on the sand and score.
Mark Burik (01:06:46):
I think what you did well right off the bat that I think more people should probably do, coming from indoor, you didn't try to create a beach offense for yourself. Like I think some bigger guys or anybody who's hit, they're like, I'm on the beach now. Yeah. So it's all about shots and it's like, wait a second. You just spent the last 15 years pounding against pounding
Kristopher Johnson (01:07:07):
Mark Burik (01:07:08):
And three guys. Like why would you try to like create a beach offense? Like go like the guys from the Netherlands and just detonate, you know? And I, I think you did that super well and you were effective off the net, on the net getting over guys and you didn't need to do what so many people think they need. Oh I need a cut shot. Oh I, I need a consistent highline. Or even a jumbo like dude, if you're above six six don't hit a jumbo ever in your life. ,
Kristopher Johnson (01:07:38):
Oh hit man, go hit. I always tell people that I'm like, go hit if you're hitting your thing, like walking, hitting. And that's the thing, like I'm very, if anybody knows me, um, we play against each other. You see me play like I'm very terminal with my offense and I'm willing to, I'm willing to make, hes like trying to score. Mm-hmm . So that was the thing that I always did my entire career. Whether I played some metal or whether played opposite, I went to bang balls. If the block was in front of me, I was okay with getting block. If the block was in front of me, I'm trying to either hit around or I'm trying to hit off the block to score. That was the most important thing to me. I don't want there to be any questions about, about whether I went to try to score or not.
So that was the first thing that transferred over and I didn't worry about it. But to your plan for sure, passing and setting, those were the hardest things for me to transition because I didn't walk in as an outside hitter who got to work on my platform. Oh yeah. Or walk in. And the thing is like, I feel like personally as an outside hitter, it's hands down like the best indoor position because you have to do every single skill on the court. There's no skill that you miss. So working like, especially as a new player, like working on passing if you're not already a natural passer and working on hand setting because hand setting is like so important. You need to be able to put the ball where you want to with their hands. The girls can get away with bump setting. I've seen it and girls are hand setting more now, but, oh yeah, girls just have more, I feel like more natural platform control so they can get away with bump setting their entire career to be honest.
Mark Burik (01:09:07):
And I also think they kind of, they kind of had to like from indoor as well, you know, guys were able to use their fingers and I think that that sort of transition happened where you see females come out a little bit. I'm not saying that they're, they're worse at it. I'm saying they come outta college worse at it. Yeah. Because the ball is going straight at their belly buttons. For guys a flat float serve is coming across our eyes because of the height of the net. So we're used to like using our fingers, grabbing it and chucking it. So we might be slightly better at overhand hard driven defense cuz we've done it so much, you know, and they're better at platforms because man, they've been platform passing. You're not, I mean some coaches don't even like let their girls use their fingers in indoor cuz they're just like, use your feet, get your platform on it. Yeah. So they're so good at passing and holding their angles.
Kristopher Johnson (01:09:54):
Amazing, amazing. At passing, I trained so many girls and their platform passing is so much better than mine. They're just so very good control, understanding, placement, how they use their platforms. Very accurate. And I mean, I don't think at the younger age, most, most girls aren't usually strong enough to use their hands anyway. If if they do step up a lot of the balls go through their hands. It's not to be disrespectful, it's just how the game works. Hard. Flat serves go through hands if they're loose. So yeah, for me, passing and setting were the big things and then we got into like blocking. But that two month block for sure was a lot of passing and a lot of hand setting because those are, to me, those are the most important skills.
Mark Burik (01:10:36):
Can't do anything without them. Like, like without those. Exactly. Doesn't matter how good your defense is, doesn't matter how good your block is, doesn't matter. At some point you're gonna need to convert.
Kristopher Johnson (01:10:44):
Yeah, you gotta have that, that platform. And so like with my hitting, I came out, I was like, I'm gonna hit like I don't care. I'm gonna hit and I'm gonna deal with the consequences with successes of that later on. Like once I got a few months in and I understood what my hitting could do, I actually only would train shooting. So I'd only train highline, jumbo catchall, all the stuff that you said. I would actually only come into training and work on those things because I knew that I, I could step into the game and bank ball. So I
Mark Burik (01:11:15):
Would man, get rid of your jumbo highline. All right. But like I would call your highline just like slap over a block. I wouldn't even call it a highline. I would, I would never tell you to hit a high line, slap over a block and then I would just say you like hit sharp cross. Like I wouldn't even call it a cut. Like yeah, hit sharp cross or slap over 'em. You know, , if you're six two, you're six foot, that's whatever, five, five. All right. Now you need a high line ,
Kristopher Johnson (01:11:40):
You need all those things playing against you, playing againsts, bigger players. So I want to, I understood that as beach and as you know, you must be completely well-rounded because your opponent will eventually find your weakness. Whatever that weakness is, they will find it. So I would always go into training, trying to work on my weaknesses. I would go in and be like, I'm not hitting a ball today. I need to pass every ball. I need to, I need a handset off of all your paths. Stuff like that to where I was like, I need to sure up all my weaknesses, I need to learn how to do the turn off the block and still be able to make a dig on a roll shot right next to me. Stuff like that. I just, beach is a game of pushing to have zero weaknesses. That's just how it's
Mark Burik (01:12:23):
Kj man. This was a good talk. Good
Kristopher Johnson (01:12:25):
Talk no doubt man. No doubt. Good.
Mark Burik (01:12:27):
I wanna know how our people, how when and where our people can find you to, to take some lessons. Cuz I, I know you're doing a lot of lessons, a lot of coaching. You got a great Instagram, um, that, that, that coach is on its own. So how do we find you? Where do we follow
Kristopher Johnson (01:12:41):
You if you're, you're just looking for my regular personal account. It's Chris a j one. So it's just like my name, k r i s a j one, that's my personal account. And then if you're looking for my business account, you can go kj, volleyball coaching, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, all the same name, no guessing game, KJ volleyball coaching. And luckily since there's nobody who creates a name like that, I have it in Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. And then Nice. My website is generally attached to each one of those, but it's Christopher A. Johnson dot you wanna reach out or anything like that? Ah, that's my website where I book my lesson things.
Mark Burik (01:13:24):
Cool. And where are you coaching? Like when people fly into California, this is who they should find?
Kristopher Johnson (01:13:29):
Oh yeah, that's a good question. So I actually, we're global. I coach most, yeah, we're all over the place. I like I know you're all over the place too, mark, you're coaching everywhere. So I, I'm based in Orange County, so I coach in like Anaheim and uh, like Irvine area, but I also come down to, uh, to South Bay. So I come down to El Segundo and Redondo Beach and I coach indoor as well. So I coach indoor in South Bay and in Orange County. And then if you want to do beach as well, I coach in both of those places as well. I do both. I just get it by request. So I'm all over the place.
Mark Burik (01:14:05):
. Awesome. If you, if you think that you have a specialty, like something that, man, trust me, I will get you better at this. And I, and I, yeah, this is what I will hang my hat on for the rest of my coaching career. What would somebody go to you and, and what would you fix in, in my game that you would just knock out and that you actually love and enjoy to coach and, and teach and break down
Kristopher Johnson (01:14:29):
To be, to be completely honest, it's, it's definitely passing. I get so many liberos and outside hitters that it's absolutely insane and they all come to me to train. Passing and passing was the thing that I need to work on the most. So actually I studied passing the most, I taught the most people about passing, seen, passing the most. That's the thing where I'm like, all right, I'll hang my hat on teaching you how to pass. And then the side note is hitting cuz everybody knows that I freaking hit balls. So , you want to come to me? Yeah, like side the side note is hitting like, I get a decent amount of people for hitting, but I get a lot of phone calls from parents who are like, we need to do Theo outside passing. And I've made, I've helped a lot of people become a lot better at passing. So that's the thing I hang my hat on. Secondary is hitting, which is funny.
Mark Burik (01:15:18):
Kristopher Johnson (01:15:19):
Awesome. That's great.
Mark Burik (01:15:21):
So hey guys, if you're in la, if you're in Redondo, if you're in Orange County, California or you know, if you just wanna reach out and, and get some advice from him, you can uh, hit him up at KJ volleyball coaching on pretty much all social media and uh, he just gave you the open invite. So don't be shy about sending any messages. And dude, great talking to you. Thanks for
Kristopher Johnson (01:15:44):
The combo. No doubt man. Mark, thanks for having me on. Like really good show around here. Really good podcast Sand Cast, however you wanna call it. Um, I see all your videos, man, like better at Beaches Grow big man. You got like 50 plus thousand followers now and I think everybody likes what you're doing, so keep doing your thing. It looks big. I like it.
Mark Burik (01:16:05):
Appreciate that man. Well hopefully we'll get another 50,000 thanks to you being on the podcast now. ,
Kristopher Johnson (01:16:11):
, you got that. You did it for sure. Me on. Love it. All right. And tell Brandon I sell though too.
Mark Burik (01:16:19):
I will, I will. All We're well, we're, we've been plotting how to get you on our, on our next six band team. So , you'll, you'll be, you'll be getting a text
Kristopher Johnson (01:16:25):
Some early . You better, you better send it as early as possible and I'll see what I could do.
Mark Burik (01:16:32):
All right. All right. Put it, yeah, just keep us on the short
Kristopher Johnson (01:16:34):
List. Will do . All right, buddy. Kj.
Mark Burik (01:16:39):
Nice guys, what a cool episode that was. It's always, it's always fun to hear people's different paths, right? So me and Chris, we ended up, we both played indoor, we both played beach and we had completely different paths. And one of the things that I'm always telling everybody is you can learn from somebody who is at the same place as you. Because when in order to get to the same place, you can take an infinite number of paths, which means that you see, you experience, you learn different things along the way to get to that, that final destination. So even though you're looking across the aisle, it's somebody who may have played at the same level, similar level as you. They have different things that they can teach you, right? Because they've seen different things, they've had different coaches and they can use different keys.
And the more I, I kind of train leaders and coaches, the more I learn from my coaches, the people that I'm training, the people that I'm guiding, I wanna learn from them because I know that they've seen different things. And that's, that's a really cool part. I I think about these conversations and this podcast that we have is that we can learn from each other cause we've experienced different things and, and we've seen different part of the games or came into it at different points. So really great conversation with Chris. Yeah, I dunno what to say other than that. But, uh, guys, if you ever wanna find us four clinics or camps, just remember that we have about 20 spots left in each of our camps this fall and winter. So they might be sold out by the time this podcast gets released, but if you're listening live, uh, definitely head over there.
Uh, if you are looking for any skill courses, all you guys need to do is head on over to [email protected]. Click on that little button that says Online courses in coaching and know that if you want your game to be looked at, your strategy, your skills, your lifting technique, we're there. We meet twice a week with you and we actually work on your film. So you can choose to just get our membership, which has all of our skill and strategy courses, or you can choose the upgraded membership, the Complete Player Program where we literally work with you twice a week on Zoom calls and we are studying your film, your technique, your videos, and giving you guidance. And, uh, would love to have you as part of our group. If you're listening live on October 1st, our 21 Day Athletic Foundation's live course kicks off. So if you're looking to start lifting and getting in great shape this fall, uh, we're starting on October 1st.
We're doing a live group where we have a 21 day fitness and nutrition challenge. And you can learn all about that by checking out better beach.com/foundations. And if you, this is a popular course of our, we have 53 practice plans, all with videos and minute to minute laid out practice plans. And you can always go ahead and download that at better beach.com/practice plans. But aside from that, always reach out better at beach volleyball. You can find us on Instagram or you could just send an email to support at Better at Beach. And, uh, reach out. We'll be happy to hear from you and any questions. And if you think that there's anybody that we should have on the podcast or maybe you wanna be a guest yourself, go ahead and reach out. We would love to hear from you and, uh, make our scheduling lives easy. All right, hope you guys are having a great day. Thanks for listening, and we will see you on the.