BALTIMORE, Md. — Bump, set, spike... social distance.
"It’s definitely proved to be a challenge," said Chelsea Mead.
She is the Co-Owner of Masters Volleyball Academy in Baltimore County, a premier club volleyball organization that fields 18 teams with players ages 9-18. Mead coaches the oldest ones.
"Volleyball is a unique sport," she said. "It’s not one that you can train virtually very easily just because you generally need another person, if not multiple people, a net."
You also need another very important piece of equipment.
"I’ve recently learned that half of my own players don’t even have a volleyball," said Mead.
With practices and games put on hold, because of the coronavirus pandemic, she has her players getting creative to stay sharp. They are sending video to their coaches for analysis.
"They’re just serving over the garage, against the side of the house," said Mead. "They’ve got targets that are on the side of the house and they’re just trying to hit consistency."
For the college-bound seniors they are focusing more on their next school’s conditioning program. For the juniors who are missing this prime time to impress college scouts, staying off the court is devastating.
"You’ve completely wiped that out and that’s a huge thing because video, it’s not seeing you in a game-like setting," added Mead.
Her message to her players and all athletes during this time: there’s no excuse to let anyone work harder than you, no matter what you do or don’t have at home.
"If it’s what you want, and you are willing to put in the work, you have this huge opportunity to come out on the other side of this ahead of most people," she said. "Because most people aren’t doing the work."
That’s an approach everyone can follow.