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Eleven Tips for Becoming a Pro Beach Player

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans, USA Volleyball, 03/12/19, 12:00PM CDT

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“Believe in yourself. Have confidence. Go for your dreams. I’ve had ups and downs with that. I’ve had people in my life that have helped me believe."

You are a young volleyball player who hopes to play professional beach volleyball.

You have watched it on TV and played it in the sand.

You are OK with having sand in every crevice of your body and in most parts of your home.

You understand that you will have to play in burning-hot sun and in cool breezes, not to mention rain.

You are ready.

Well here is some advice from some of the U.S. pro beach volleyball players competing at the Las Vegas Open presented by p1440, a four-star tournament on the FIVB World Tour.

Kelley Larsen: “They have to be self-motivated. In collegiate sports, everything is organized for you. You’re told where to be, when and what to do. As long as they can stay self-disciplined and motivated, I think that’s going to get them far in their career.”

Emily Stockman: “I came out of Pepperdine playing beach volleyball. It’s such a huge difference. You come to the beach where you’re all on your own, finances schedule everything. You have to figure things out for yourself.”

Ryan Doherty: “I would recommend, when you’re young, play as many sports as you can, as many as you find interesting and fun. Don’t worry much about the structure and the lessons. Go out and play with your friends. You’ll learn a lot about how your body works and how sports work and what makes you win or lose just by going through the process of winning and losing a lot. Once you’re a grown, then you can start focusing on what sport you want to play and actual, technical skills that are required to be a professional.”

Billy Allen: “You’re going to play so many events, you’re going to have bad losses. Just bounce back and move on to the next one. I think the quicker you can get over it and move on to the next one, the better.”

Emily Day: “Play in everything; everything from CBVAs to qualifiers to NORCECA. Play, play, play.”

Betsi Flint: “Even in college, play in the pro tournaments. You get points. Then, when you’re ready and you’re developed, you’re going to have some points under your belt.”

Kelly Claes: “Move on from each play. You’re going to learn so much more from those mistakes and taking those risks. It’s what’s going to make you better. If you go in to play safe and tight, you’re not going to be smooth and you’re not going to learn from it. Also, watch film. Watch the pros. You can take pieces from everybody’s game and make it your own.”

Sarah Sponcil: “Learn to be your own coach. The faster you can learn as an individual, “Oh that felt great. Oh, that didn’t feel great.” You can have yourself as a coach and your partner, imagine how much better you are going to get.”

Miles Evans: “Believe in yourself. Have confidence. Go for your dreams. I’ve had ups and downs with that. I’ve had people in my life that have helped me believe. I am very happy I have stuck with what I love to do.  I really think other people can aspire to their dreams as well.”

Tri Bourne: “Just commit and don’t worry about the failures and all that. If that’s what you want to do, and you’re going to do it for a long time, it doesn’t matter if you win or lose. You’re going to lose at times, I will tell you that much. These are the best players in the world.”

Trevor Crabb: “Working smart is better than working hard”

USA Volleyball

About the USA Volleyball

USA Volleyball is the national governing body for volleyball in the US, beach, indoor and sitting.