Thursday, January 28, 2010

Morning Yoga

I just wanted to let everyone know that I have been doing a morning session of yoga for 20 minutes the second I wake up in the morning and I feel great!!!

It is quick, easy and well worth getting up a few minutes earlier for as your hips, hamstrings and shoulders will thank you for the rest of the day. I was searching for a good Yoga DVD and came across a link with Rodney Yee. It is a free routine and a simple one at that but a superb way to activate your body and brain before you set out to conquer your daily challenges.

Also, I will be meeting two top managers at the Canadian Sport Centre of Ontario as they are visiting our training facility. They will be getting an idea for our training as well as assessing our indoor training situation as there is talk of constructing something in preparation for the 2015 Pan American Games happening here in Toronto!

Apparently the article featured on the FIVB earlier this month made it to CSC Ontario and they were really excited about how I was looking forward to utilizing their services and establishing a far more professional program. Word has it they started an annual meeting highlighting the article! What an honour!

I am off to practice on what appears to the be coldest day yet here in TO. It is snowing lightly but apparently we are due for a massing snow storm. Bring it on!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

You can not predict, but you can prepare

A great weekend of rest here in Toronto before getting back on the grind. I didn't do much other than sleep, eat, freestyle yoga and watch football so I am limber and well restored for this week's sand battles.

The football games were a treat to watch and fellow national team athlete Rich Vonhuizen enjoyed the games with me. Amazing to watch the magnitude of football and its enormous athletic culture. I specifically love watching the quarterbacks in action reading the defence and their own receivers while avoiding getting killed. Truly an athletic position and for Brett Favre at age 40 to still be competing at the top level is incredible.

I had a few great conversations with my mother and she is enjoying the Australian Open from the comfort of Future Shop! Hilarious that my parents are watching tennis in an electronics store but I when you live in the boondocks with bunny ear television there aren't too many other options!! As some of my family and friends know, my mother is an incredible supporter of my quest for sporting excellence (as is my father) and I while on tour competing I receive daily messages of inspiration and uplifting quotes to prepare me for the trials and tribulations of my sport. Today my mother sent me something that I feel applies to my current situation. I am not sure where she got it or who the author is but it goes as follows

"You can not predict, but you can prepare."

It is completely true and being in my pre-season, all I can do is prepare myself to the best of my abilities and go from there.  I am a week into my sport specific pre-season training and our National Championship Gold Medal is being won as we speak. I am competing daily for something that will be won in eight months and that foresight and inspiration is giving me my edge.

To continue with the "P" words, my purpose is currently defining and pushing me. I am setting my own standard for success and I look forward to sharing my daily exercises, meals and expertise with you all in the coming weeks as I remedy my lack of camera situation and get my videos rolling daily.

Until then, I will keep my blog updated and wish you all smart and focused training.

Through purpose and desire you will push your limits; you are as strong as your drive.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Trust, harmony and desire

After a long week of excellent training the weekend is here and it is time to rest! We had an beauty practice Friday morning as I personally won everything and one of those matches was with Chaim. We have shown signs of magnificence and have also stunk up the show but one theme that has been demonstrated is that we are fighters. We have come from behind to win on multiple occasions and that is REALLY exiting to me. It is rare that a new team is able to battle from a deficit and come out victorious. It is this trait that gives me confidence; we will become a great team.

In my opinion there are a few traits overall that lead to an ideal partnership. Harmony, trust and desire are pivotal parts of a successful team. Chaim and I have an excellent chemistry that can be attested to these three (among many others) unifying attributes. To be in a tough situation and be able to look across at your partner and know they are on the same page as you, willing to do anything for victory, builds rock solid confidence.

We will build on our foundation and are looking forward to a diverse competition schedule across the world this summer! A highlight that I look forward to is my comeback to the west coast where I will compete to win my 3rd Corona Open tournament in Kitsilano, Vancouver. It is one of my favourite tournaments because my family and friends come out and bring the noise in support. Notably, my cousins back me up and make for a killer mood, elevating my game and presence on centre court. Can't wait to make that appearance!!!

Well I have had the first restful sleep of the weekend and I am now off to a full body injury screen with our national team doctor. I look forward to passing with flying colours and coming home to nap!

My body is sore but my mind is fresh; I can't wait to tackle another week cycle at full force.

Have a smart weekend.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


It is official; Chaim Shalk and I are going steady on the beach v-ball court! I spoke with Ahren Cadieux yesterday and ended our 9 month sand partnership as I felt I needed a partner who the National team envisions succeeding in the next Olympic cycle. With this decision I feel I have pleased Volleyball Canada and I look forward to being a champion in this new era of beach volleyball in Canada!!!

Today Chaim and I started our partnership with a few drill victories and when we didn't win, we were competing for match point. We are a very athletic team and Chaim brings an amazing amount of desire, raw malleable energy, love for sport and competition as well as the beginnings of a fantastic eye for the sport. I am really looking forward to growing with him with sights set on Olympic glory.

Here is something I read before training and it hit me deep. WARNING you may find yourself unbearably excited and eager to compete or win at anything! Release your inner champion!

I will conquer what has not been conquered, defeat will not be in my creed
I will believe what others have doubted
I will always endeavor the prestige, honor and respect of those who have earned it from me
I have trained my mind and my body will follow
I will acknowledge the fact that my opponents do not expect me to win and I will and never surrender and I will win in the face of contempt
Weakness will not be in my heart
I will look to my comrades and to those who have brought me to this place and to those who have trained me and I will draw strength from them
I will gladly go out into the field of battle and do all I can do
I will reach my field of battle by any means at my disposal
And when I get there I will arrive violently in the eyes of my opponent but have the peace of knowing I am the best within
No one will deny me
No one will define me
And no one will tell me who and what I am and can be
Belief will change my world
It has moved continents and countries and put man on the moon
And it will carry me through battle
“Defeat”, “retreat”, these words are not in my vocabulary
I do not accept these things nor do I accept when things go wrong
I do not understand mistakes but I do understand this:
“Victory”,” Never surrender” no matter what is before me
My heart and my mind will carry my body when my limbs are too weak
History will remember me, I will not have to worry about it being kind
I will define my world
I will write my own praises
And no one will tell me what I can and cannot be
I will never go home without giving all I have….and more

I am a CHAMPION!!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Toronto Storm Volleyball clinic

Had a great little Saturday yesterday in Toronto and I am excited to say that opportunities to help with the sport development community have already presented themselves. A friend and affiliate of Beach Blast here in Toronto has created Storm Volleyball Club which is apparently setting out to create camps, clinics and leagues across Toronto for youth! Daniel Shermer has done a fantastic job of setting up a 40 kid deep weekend league and I had the pleasure of going out to help and run developmental drill progressions for these kids.

The vibe was great, the kids were super keen and they were all very coachable and quick learners. I really enjoyed being a part of the event and am hoping I can make it work for the next 7 weekend progressions.

Giving back to the volleyball community is truly a pleasure and I don't realize how much my international and elite experience has makes me a knowledgeable coach even though I don't have the "paper" credentials. Watching a child develop and succeed under your direction is so fulfilling for you and them and I hope I can be a part of different clubs and camps here in Toronto over the next few months.

If you are a head of a club or play for a club in Toronto and you are reading this, send me a message to to see if we can organize a guest coaching clinic or even just a drop by where I can share an experience or two as well as some tips.

Here is a photo with all the kids from the camp giving a Thumbs up for Sport Funding in BC!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Two thumbs up for Funding Sport!

A few friends of mine throughout Team Canada and BC have asked me to be a part of this BC movement and I comply!

Two thumbs up for funding sport is a wonderful initiative asking Premier Campbell to continue funding sport post Vancouver Olympics. The 2008/2009 provincial sport funding was fantastic and allowed for many athletes to compete locally and internationally but that level of funding is expected to drop at the end of the fiscal year.

With our support, we can influence that funding decision and push for the continuation of sport funding in BC.

Follow the link and send an e-card to Premier Campbell to show your support of the movement. Also, join the group on facebook and post your two thumbs up pic to the group or even as your status!!

Get into it cause tomorrow I will be getting all the Team Canada beach volleyball team to raise a few thumbs up in support!

Help make a difference.

"You are only as strong as your drive"

First day of Training 2010

After a tragic red eye flight to Toronto I have managed to gather myself and adjust to the minimal three hour time difference. Not sleeping on the flight really thew me out to lunch but after a few naps and a restless night I have combated and am ready to roll.

Yesterday was my first session in the sand and luckily for me, it wasn't heavy. I am really looking to get my "sand legs" back which is a term for to describe your muscle fibers (predominantly in the legs) ability to move in sand. It is a depressing process which leaves you exhausted and demoralized as your vert and lateral movement is that of a sloth during your first week! Luckily the adaptation is relatively quick so vertical and lateral explosiveness usually returns by the second week.

Lennard Krapp who is our head coach ran some developmental drills to re-form technique as he wants to overhaul a lot of our tendencies. I am open to the challenge of reconfiguring movement pathways that have been set over the last 8 years of playing beach volleyball as his vision is focused on developing Olympic caliber athletes. The practices have been stretching to 3 hours so I bowed out after 2 to stretch and recover.

After training we headed out to the gym facility to work with Chris Dalcin who is in charge of our strength programming. He has some great ideas and a masterful grasp on athletic training so I am looking forward to learning from him and elevating my physical prowess. The facility itself is way out in the middle of nowhere but I have never trained in a more athletically inspired gym. There isn't an inch waisted in the entire building and they have managed to create a multi-lain sprint track, artificial grass training ground along with a brand new strength section of "Hammer Strength" squat racks and machines which just happen to be my faves! Also, there is a chiropractic and athletic therapy business that operates out of the same office so it is pretty much an athletes dream facility. I am super excited to sweat it out in their complex and re-define my physical game.

I am sore from this first day of training and I still have a bit of Jet lag in the system; time for a nap.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

First day in Toronto and an International affair

A sleepless night on the red eye and I find myself in -8 weather in eastern Canada! I was pretty tuckered but couldn't sleep like a little boy before christmas as the possibilities here in Toronto are great for my athletic and sport marketing development.  I look forward to advancing my life on many different paths but to start, I need to purchase some bedding.

Once I have set up my essentials I will be featuring the production on my ninja room, home training essentials and the exercises I perform with them. I really look forward to pushing myself at home and sharing that progression with all of you.

Speaking of sharing, the article I just did with the local Comox Valley Record News paper has reached the FIVB!! I woke this morning to an onslaught of emails congratulating me and wishing me luck as they read my story on the international site! Shocked, and hoping I didn't mess anything up and, the article was solid and I appreciate the FIVB for giving me the tickle.  Swing by the FIVB beach volleyball site and learn something new about our sport, the athletes and the magnitude of the sport in Asia, South America and Europe.

I am off to get some necessities and training starts tomorrow. Game on, life starts now.

You are as strong as your drive.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Local paper ditty

Here is a local news paper article about me from last Friday's Comox Valley Record paper.

Thanks to Coup at the Record for keeping in touch!

Comox Valley Training and then Toronto bound

It has been a beauty last few months here in the Valley but I am starting to get cabin fever as beach volleyball season draws near. It was excellent to spend time back home, training with friends and being a part of the local community once again. Thanks to those who inspired me and pushed me forward during this wonderful time at home.

Thanks to Marc St.Jules and his Stabilizer training methods as well as his Athletes United movement. For those of you who know him, Marc is an incredibly dialled in trainer with thousands of hours of "under the bar" experience as well as cutting edge perspectives and methods that tweak everything during the workout. His neuromuscular pathway driven exercises are based on stability training and are definitely something to be experienced! Thanks for letting me use your custom gym and I look forward to coming back and propelling the next generation whenever I can. Also, it was great to be the cover model for the Stability Xboard poster as Marc is making a push to expose this innovative product to Whistler/Blackcomb during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Secondly a great thanks goes out to Jonny Mac at the Comox Valley Boxing Club. He let me roll into his character club to train any time and he taught me a great deal in the ring. It was such a blast that I will be looking to train with retired beach volleyball super stud Mark "The Funk" Roberts in Toronto at TKMT.  Jonny progressed me through about 12 lessons in about 4 days and it was a great workout.

I truly believe martial arts to be a great training method for any sport (provided you aren't getting brutally beat down!) for a few reasons:

1) Martial arts teaches you to be balanced, focused and relaxed during battle. This is especially tough to do when you are taking a beating but when you are able to control your breathing during activity, you control your recovery rate as well as the tension in your body. Recovery time and minimizing tension increases performance any day of the week and will allow you to play harder for longer!

2) It also teaches you to be spontaneous as you adjust to different situations. Situations are rarely the same (like any sport) and it creates a constant awareness to assess, adapt and counter on the fly. Once I got used to gloves coming at my face, I got the hang of seeing things happen and adjusting to the situation spontaneously. Much like my sport of beach volleyball where my offence is generally a last second adaptation to a weakness in my opponents defence, boxing forces the athlete to be constantly monitoring the opponent while staying neutral to utilize any weakness or opening. I am really excited to build on this concept and improve my "on the fly" thinking, reaction and action! Thanks Jonny for the beats and hopefully I can drop a few shots to your melon when I am around next time!!

Lastly I want to express my deep love for the Comox Valley and all it has to offer. I had some great runs, workouts, road trips, beach walks and some beauty snowboard runs on Mt.Washington our sizeable backyard hill. The locals are wonderful and it was a pleasure to entrench myself deeper into the community that has offered me so much throughout my life!!!

I will be writing more frequently as training starts in Toronto on Tuesday; can't wait to get my feet dirty!! The challenge is on for who will be the best in Canada and I am ready to do whatever it takes.

You can look forward to new game videos as well as workout and skill development videos which I will be producing. I aspire to feature other national team athletes and our new National team head coach so you can look forward to meeting your 2012 Olympic team!

Later ya'll,