Sessions at 'The Springs': Michelle Moriarty
A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege to train in Colorado Springs at the Olympic Training Center with the USA Volleyball A2 Junior National Team. I've always had an awesome experience with the great coaches and players I get to play with there. It was also a great opportunity for me to work with one of our assistant coaches here at Texas, Brian Hosfeld, and an incoming freshman, Lauren Paolini, who were both with the A2 team. It was so fun to be able to train with both of them for an extra week!
I got to Colorado Springs on the 13th and had enough time before our work out that night to eat lunch, take a nap and get ready for practice. By that time, I was ready to get started and it looked like all of the other players were too.
We had a good first session, but it was easy to tell that some of the girls were uneasy about playing with new people because everybody was pretty quiet. This was weird for me since I'm used to all my UT teammates who are always so loud ... in a good way, of course! It got better over the course of the week when everybody got used to each other, though. We had a little bit of free time in between and after sessions so we took trips to get pizza and hung out in each others' rooms when we were off.
We ended up having a great time together on and off the court! I was especially glad I got to spend time with Lauren before our season because it gave us time to get to know eachother before we really get started this year. I also had tons of fun with the coaches! It will be cool when we travel to Notre Dame this year because one of our assistants at the USA camp is a coach there.
The whole training camp was geared toward learning strategy instead of skill development like most USA camps. Our practices usually consisted of different games to make us think and use skills we don't usually use or aren't comfortable with. We played a lot of scrimmage type games and did a lot of wash drills throughout the camp. That's my favorite kind of stuff to do and I think it's tons of fun so it worked out well for me! Coach Hosfeld threw in plenty of skill work too because it's never bad to go back to the basics.
We had a couple sessions throughout the camp when we got to scrimmage the USA Youth National team and a Canadian team that came in to train for a little while. That was an awesome experience because at that point I was playing with and against all elite athletes from across the country. We ended the camp with the first annual USA Women's JNT A2 World Cup. It's kind of an inside joke with all the girls and coaches but basically it was a little competition between the two teams that were made from all the girls at the training camp.
Lauren and I were on the same team and won it becoming the first champions of the USA JNT World Cup!