Meet the Volleyball newcomers: Kat Brooks
July 26, 2012
Brooks joins the Longhorns with an impressive prep career. She attended the 2009 U.S. Girls' Youth National Training Team Camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center and helped the U.S. Girls' Select A1 White Team to the silver medal at the USAV High Performance Championships.
She has played club volleyball for Asics Rainbow under coach Luis Ramirez and helped Asics Rainbows to the 2009 SCVA SoCal Qualifier gold medal in the 16 National Division. Brooks helped her club team to a fifth-place finish in 2008 at the USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championship in the 15 National Division. She was a member of the gold-medal squad in the 14 National Division at the Junior Nationals.
While at Punahou High in Honolulu, she was a member of the 2011 state and ILH championship squads and was ranked 10th on the Honolulu Star Advertiser's Fab 15. As a junior in 2010, her squad finished second at the state championship and won the ILH title while earning ILH DI All-Stars second team honors.
Brooks recently visited with TexasSports.com as she prepares for her first season with the Longhorns.
How does your competitive playing experience help you now as you transition to college? Through those programs I got to play with the top players in the country, and that definitely helped my skill level in that it raised it. I feel like that will help me transition into the college game, because it's so fast and people hit so hard that your fundamentals need to be really sound. USA helped me develop my fundamentals.
Along with ball control skills, it takes a certain personality to play in the back row. How would you describe yours? I'm naturally outgoing, so I think that helps me on the court. But as a libero, the mindset is that you have to run the back row and developing that mindset took time. It also takes confidence in yourself and your teammates.
What was the environment like in the practice gym this summer with the team? The captains definitely took charge, in terms of what drills we were going to do and all of that. Everyone is really a leader in their own right, because everyone contributes to the open gym and made it high-level and intense. It was a good atmosphere.
In general, it was good to get a taste of what college life will be like. The biggest thing I took away from it is how much work this is going to be. I know that all the freshmen miss Austin right now, and that's crazy because we were getting up at 6 a.m. and having two workouts a day, going to class. It was exhausting but so fun.
How has your short experience on the Forty Acres made you feel like a Texas Longhorn? I loved my time there this summer, and I can't wait to go back. Actually being with the team, working out, playing and going to class, it made it that much more special, because it reinforced the decision I made to come to Texas.