Monday, October 10, 2011

It's (almost) time for the main event!!!

In America, college volleyball preseason is condensed into 2-3 weeks of 2 practices per day - 6 days a week, lifting 3 times per week, with 2-3 scrimmage dates. If I’ve done my math correctly, that would be about 36 practices, 9 weight trainings, and at least 6 scrimmage matches. And that is all just until school starts, where you would cut down to 1 practice per day - still 6 times a week, lifting 3 times per week, and then matches start around Labor Day, adding in possibly an extra 5 practices, and 3 weights all before your first match. Grand total: 41 practices, 12 weight trainings in under 4 weeks.

Here, we practice 4 times per week and lift twice (3 times per week if we have a free weekend). We’ve had 25 team practices, 11 mandatory weight trainings, 1 stretching/spa practice, 1 tournament in Borås - where we went 2-3, and 5 scrimmages. Due to everyone on our team working a full-time job, we are much more limited to quantity of daily trainings and must be willing to work around the team’s real life demands. Thus our preseason, much like our regular season, is drawn out at a slower, more relaxed pace. We’re starting on week 6.

Did I mention that the collegiate volleyball season begins around mid-August (preseason), matches officially starting after Labor Day and ending, for most teams, the last week of November/first week of December? That’s only 4 months of competition, where teams play 25-30 matches. Meanwhile, the European volleyball season begins with preseason in late August-early September, matches begin over a month later and will continue until March. 

In Sweden, we have 10 teams in the Elit Serie division, which we will play each team home and away - a total of 18 matches. Our first match is October 15, and our last is March 4. But that’s just regular season. The top 8 teams make it into the Swedish championship, while the bottom 2 teams must fight to stay in the division. For the teams in the top 8, they will play similarly to NBA playoffs, where you must win 3 of 5 matches to advance, and the matches alternate between home and away. I believe that teams play for every placement, so if you lose in the 1st round, you go on to the consolation bracket playing for places 5-8.

My dad has made up an excel spreadsheet with our schedule so you can follow along. I’m not sure if the matches will be streamed online or not, but as soon as I figure that out, I can post something. Check out the “Team Schedule” page to see when we play next!

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