Happy March everyone!! I am Kayo Kimizono, a first-year student from PEARL. I remember mentioning in my previous blog a few months ago about how fast time is passing but once again, I am astonished by the fact that it is already March. Perhaps it is because of the irregular training schedules we had due to the declared state of emergency in January and February yet things are really passing by in a blink of an eye.
Today marks the first week of us being able to go back to the gym to train in-person and personally, this week’s training was overall the best! Maybe it is because of the anticipation built-up during quarantine, the joy of not having to do online trainings and outdoor runs, or because we were excited to see the effects of the workouts we did during quarantine on court, to see our hard work being paid off. Nonetheless, I think the most important factor that made the first week back so special was the opportunity we were lucky enough to receive to get coached by and train together with the professionals.
On March 6-7, Yukiko-san a former beach volleyball Olympian became our coach for the weekend along with Riko-san, Haruka-san, and Maho-san who were the assistant coaches that trained together with us. When first seeing them from far away, I felt a strong aura from them that made me feel intimidated and scared to talk to them. However, as soon as they introduced their selves, their sense of humor and how down to earth they are immediately shifted my mindset.
One of the many things that made me admire them so much was how they were able to pinpoint my exact mistake by just looking at it once, and on top of that, they were able to give an accurate suggestion on what I should do differently to improve. Through these two days, I have received so so much valuable advice that I wish to just tattoo it on my brain so that I would never forget about it and be able to constantly review it while playing.
We were also introduced to a lot of new trainings that we can do in the future and received suggestions on how we can upgrade our current “menu” to make it more challenging. We still have yet to get the hang of many drills, however, when we see the professionals doing it perfectly right in front of us effortlessly, we were less “embarrassed” or self-conscious but more motivated to passionately work hard to get closer to the level that they are at. Not only do they have spectacular skills, their character and personality were also admirable which made them even more respectable. While being strict with different volleyball forms and positions, they are patient when teaching, allowing us to make mistakes and do it again and again until we get it right.
I would really want to take this chance to show gratitude towards Yukiko-san, Maho-san, Riko-san, and Haruka-san who devoted their time these two days to guide us and show us a level of volleyball which we have not reached yet. Thank you so much!
Currently, it is our spring break so many trainings are early in the morning. I am never a morning person but surprisingly I am loving it despite having to climb out of my bed in the morning. However, I have nothing to complain because some of the other freshmen have to wake up so much earlier than I do. They are actually my source of motivation to wake up in the morning! As a team, we are all working hard every day to achieve the small goals we have set for each day and the encouragement and smiles from my teammates makes every training even better!
Hope everyone has a wonderful March just like the cherry blossoms that will bloom soon!