Off the Beach: COVID-19 Update #1

This is a unique time that nobody has experienced before and everyone is coping differently. Learn some insight from AVP pro’s Zana Muno, Karissa Cook, and Carly Wopat about how they’re dealing with quarantine. 

How are you maintaining your fitness during quarantine?

Zana: I was able to borrow some weights from my old high school. With the help of my trainer, we have adapted lifts using the equipment I have and have had great success.

Karissa: Mostly I'm trying to heal some lingering injuries and get better movement patterns down during quarantine. This looks like a lot of band work in my garage, kettlebell circuits in my tiny backyard, and some yoga and stretching with my dog on our living room floor.

Carly: Backyard workouts and trail running up in the beautiful mountains of Santa Barbara.

Any fun "stay at home" ball control drills you've mastered?

Zana: Luckily I was able to put up a makeshift court at my parents’ property in Santa Barbra. The land is uneven but I’ve been working on my shots from the ground.

Karissa: Teaching my fiance how to pepper has been the most fun by far, though we've had to leave a few notes on our neighbors’ doors to throw balls back over the fence. I was also doing a fun one inside the other day where it's right-left-pancake-left-right-pancake on the floor. A pancake is where you lay your hand flat on the ground and let the ball bounce off, more of an indoor move than a beach move, but whatever, it's fun.

Carly: Peppering with my house 😉

How has your daily routine changed? What have been some challenges?    

Zana: I have lost the structure that I love to have in my life. This has lead me to try and create my own structure to keep me motivated and not feel overwhelmed. I have been using a notebook with 15-20 tasks I try and check off every day. I find this super helpful!

Karissa: Considering that I was spending almost all of my days at the beach before this, it's changed completely. I used to wake up and head straight to practice, then maybe work out a little or just lay on my floor if I was tired, and then head back to the beach for coaching all afternoon. Now it's a lot less structured and a lot less sandy, but I'm trying to embrace the slowdown and let myself take the time to de-volleyball. It's essential to take breaks - I think it would be silly to waste this opportunity to step back, reflect, and come back to the game with fresh eyes.

Carly: Going to the beach and practicing was previously a daily thing for me, so that has been the biggest adjustment. But I’ve found ways to continue getting reps and touching the ball. It’s been fun for me to get creative and think outside of the box. I think this time has expanded my mind in many ways, and given me the freedom to hone in on details. Life is generally so fast-paced that we don’t have the time (or at least think we don’t) to slow down and focus on depth of thought or skill rather than scope. So I’ve been digging deep and challenging myself on the daily.

Now that all training is off the beach, is there anything new you've implemented during "stay at home" to improve your game?

Zana: I have been watching a bunch of film of international players. I have also been trying to enhance other areas of my life that make me happy. I feel that when I am well rounded with multiple sources of positivity and light in my life I perform the best.

Karissa: Not really, and I think that's okay. There is a lot of uncertainty in the beach world right now, and life as we had planned it just got turned on its head for the foreseeable future. So in the face of so much uncertainty, I'm prioritizing my mental health most of all. Instead of stressing about how many times I can rep out everything I can during the day, I'm trying to enjoy the touches that I am getting by being mindful of the way my hands contact the ball, seeing if it's simple and repeatable, or if there's room for refinement. It's been a "quality over quantity" focus for me so far, but I'm sure that as we approach the planned tournaments I'll transition back into game-planning mode with film and strategy.

Carly: Watching some of the old archived AVP matches.

What inspires you? 

Zana: Right now I am inspired by health and wellness. I am cooking my way from start to finish through The Malibu Farm cookbook. It inspires me to live healthily and simply off of the land, to enjoy small things and live the world around me. 

Karissa: I'm inspired by the people who work at the grocery stores right now. Be extra nice to them, please. And I've recently been watching a lot of capoeira videos online with the goal of one day being able to move my body halfway as fluid as them, but mostly I just roll around on my floor for now. It's something.

Carly: Other professional athletes inspire me. People who serve our country. Anyone working hard for a dream. And all kinds of books.

Check in next Tuesday for another COVID-19 insight blog from our pro beach athletes.

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