A super serving practice day today followed by a video analysis session with my partner Chaim, but I have something else on my mind.
Our National team is unfortunately is divided into two groups: those who are on the team and those who are currently appealing their non-selection for the national team. This makes for an interesting situation because in the appeal process it is the coach/Volleyball Canada against the athlete in the hearing. Clearly sensitive issues are brought up and the training environment has consequently been disturbed by this unpleasant process. On top of that, there are athletes who don't quite believe in the current goals of our program and feel they should be doing other things. I am not here to say who is right and who is wrong but it is difficult in a program to attain unity when people want to do their own thing while receiving funding and support from the federation. The bottom line is that Volleyball Canada has restructured coaching and athletes to build a program from the base up to WIN gold at the 2015 Pan American games in Toronto and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. With this long term goal in mind, it will take sacrifice and trust from all athletes to maximize this golden opportunity.
With our recently instated head coach, our program is young and all of us need to improve our foundation of skills in order to compete at the peak level of international sport. We have a solid group of athletes in Canada and should everyone buy into the current program, we will all come out highly improved competitive athletes since our coach is bringing a level of coaching none of us have ever experienced before. It may be humbling and painfully slow now, however, with dedication and hard work our program WILL build to achieve international results, thus increasing our sports financial backing and investment in developmental programs.
For the athletes who weren't selected to be a part of this long term program, you are talented and I am not knocking your abilities, suggesting you pack in it or judging you for not participating 100% in the program. I am just stating that it is a shame we have a divided training group where some athletes will be funded but won't train with the coach/team or commit fully for whatever reason.
It is the start of a new generation of beach volleyball in Canada and whoever commits to it will profit in the end. With the federation backing us (there will be money sometime in the future) and the support of coaching staff and cutting edge technology we have the chance to build a program that will compete for medals at the international level.
It is exciting and I am proud to be a firm believer in Volleyball Canada's pathway to the 2015 Pan American and 2016 Olympic Golds.
See you in the sand!