Saturday, February 11, 2012

Volleyball Injuries......

Well as we all know injuries happen in every sport. The amazing thing about injuries...... you recover. I know a few teammates that have had knee surgeries, shoulder surgeries, torn ligaments, torn tendons, sprained ankles, broken fingers, and I mean the list goes on and on. I admire the drive of those to get back on the court.

I took the time to interview a few athletes. You may know them.....

I asked these five questions:

1. What happened?
2. What did you injure?
3. How long was your recovery
4. What made you want to get back on the court?
5. What did you achieve after your injury?

1. Dariam Acevedo
(Played for the University of Texas at Austin as an OH. There she earned two time All Conference All Academic First Team in 2004 and 2005 and All Conference All Academic Second Team in 2006. Dariam is currently playing beach volleyball where she won the gold in NORCECA Beach volleyball circuit in 2009)

Her Response:

1. I had a collision between the net and the pole..... I jumped to hit the ball and fell in an awkward position by the pole.
2. I tore my ACL
3.My recovery lasted about 8 months
4. First, I wanted to go back because I truly love volleyball. It's what I've always done. I saw it as a challenge as well as a test from God. I knew then that I had to get back. First I had to overcome the obstacle that God presented to me, second, to prove to myself that I was capable of overcoming adversity and thirdly because I knew that I had more to accomplish in my career. I felt there was so much more to achieve. More volleyball to play. I played volleyball professionally after my injury. Three years indoor and then moved to the sand three years ago. There I traveled the world. played head to head against top ranked opponents and I earned respect.
5. I  received a historic silver medal for Puerto Rico at the central american games and a first ever bronze medal at the Pan American games last year.

2. Stacy Sykora
(She was a two time All American at Texas A&M University and she competed in three Olympics 2000, 2004, and 2008 where she helped the USA team win the silver medal. She won the gold medal with her team at the 2001 and 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix)

Her Response:

1. Bus Accident
2. My Brain
3. I am still recovering ( Accident was April 12, 2011)
4. I love volleyball
5. Satisfaction everyday that I can still play the sport of volleyball

3. Joshua Walker
(Second Team All American at the University of Hawaii, Second and Third Team All- Mountain Pacific Sport, MVP of Outrigger Invitational Tournament, and Most Outstanding Hitter in the UBC Thunderball Tournament)

His Response:

1. Dove for a ball
2. Dislocated my pinky
3. 3 weeks
4. Didn't want to let my teammates, coaches, and fans down
5. Helped turn the UH program around that season. Finished fourth in the nation and got Second Team All American)

4. Tayyiba Haneef-Park
(AVCA First Team All American in 2001 at Long Beach State, She played in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics (where she won a silver medal))

Her Response:

1. We played a four set match and it wasn't until afterwards that I noticed my pain. The morning it was really swollen and I couldn't straighten my knee. I went and got an MRI.
2. Sprained MCL and a minor tear in meniscus.
3. 1 month
4. I felt like I was playing my best volleyball ever prior to the injury and I was eager to rehab and get back on the court.
5. We haven't had many matches since then, but everyday is a journey to get in better shape than the day before.

Figured I would ask a few players to see what they had to say about their own injuries. At the end of it all they returned to the sport because they either loved it or didn't want to let anyone down. I too had surgery. Last year March 17, 2011. My first surgery ever in life. I was really scared and top of that nervous. The rehab was the worst part of it all in my opinion. You are up every day trying to get back to where you were before. At the same time you are watching your teammates practice and do the things you can't do yet.

I had a fan ask me "What did you do to get back on the court so fast?" The answer to that is rehab, rehab, and rehab. I was dedicated to getting back on the court because of the love for the game and being with my teammates. Another fan told me "I tore my ACL, MCL, and meniscus. I honestly feel volleyball for me is over. I had to tell her that nothing is over unless you want it to be. This blog to get those to see that everyone goes through challenges and injuries are one of the hardest ones. Stay committed to rehab because that is the most important thing you can do.

Stacy Sykora is an amazing athlete. As you read up top she was in a bus accident and she is still recovering, but because her love for the game she hasn't stopped fighting. I believe everyone should take after that example. It truly is amazing to see Stacy here in Brazil playing volleyball. She is so much better then she was this past Summer. I told her the other day that I am in awe watching her "pancake" balls and set the back row. Gives me goosebumps.  I can't wait to see her March 2nd when we play them.

I hope this blog helps those who have/had injuries. We know how it feels and if you need to talk to me about it personally feel free to email me at

Here are a few photos of my knee after my surgery.......

My Response:

1. Landed on an opponent's foot
2. Torn Meniscus
3. 4-6 weeks
4. Saw it as a challenge and I have love for volleyball. One thing on my mind win the Olympic Gold.
5. After my surgery I was on the court playing in the 2011 World Grand Prix. Was crowned MVP and later on in November was the Best Spiker of the 2011 World Cup where we placed second to qualify for the Olympics!!