Editor, Volleyball magazine
This year marked my second pilgrimage to the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball; however, this time, I attended as a member of the ASICS Media Challenge, a group of writers and editors ASICS hosted at the event who worked out together, played volleyball together and got the full FIVB Grand Slam experience together. As one of the few (but not the only!) volleyball-focused writers in the group, I was most struck by the effort ASICS put into expanding the coverage of the event and sport as a whole. I hope that each editor who attended the event from as far as New York City or as close as LA went home with an appreciation for the sport and an interest that might now motivate them to cover beach volleyball more, on ESPN or CBS or the pages of Muscle and Fitness magazine. Any coverage is good coverage for our sport and ASICS certainly did its part to share the beach volleyball love. Oh, and I learned how to paddleboard, which was really cool (but, let's be serious, not going to upset volleyball on my list of favorite activities any time soon).
Freelance Writer, Muscle and Fitness magazine
New York, New York
I arrived at the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball in Long Beach not having played a game of volleyball since high school gym class. Suddenly, I found myself surrounded by the crème de la crème of beach volleyball players from all over the world so I couldn’t help but feel a bit intimidated. Thankfully for my sake, and the team of editors joining me, we had ASICS strength and conditioning coach Michelle Lovitt and beach volleyball pros Angie Akers and Kerri Pottharst to guide us through beach volleyball 101. Michelle led us through a series of drills, focusing on lateral movements during which I faced the challenge of overall stabilization in the sand. Coming from the concrete jungle, I rarely get to train in the sand. I felt how working in the sand demands the use of every muscle in your body. I gained a great deal of respect for the physical strength, power, and endurance demanded of beach volleyball athletes. Watching the matches live, I was mesmerized by the agility with which these athletes maneuvered their muscular bodies as well as their mental focus and stamina.
My favorite match to watch was Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross versus Germany’s Laura Ludwig and Julie Sude. The Germans put up a strong fight in this intense and riveting match, with Walsh Jennings and Ross winning the tie-breaking set, 17-15. I am extremely grateful to ASICS for leading me outside of my comfort zone, introducing me to this great sport, and giving me the opportunity to hone my skills with some of the world’s greatest volleyball professionals. I intend to visit the beach a lot more this summer to practice even if it is Long Beach, New York, and not Long Beach, California. I look forward to following some of the newcomers I saw play in the tournament this year and hopefully coming back next year to experience it all again!
Editor, Life by Daily Burn
New York, New York
I don't believe I'd ever been to a beach volleyball tournament before the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball in July, so I didn't have too many expectations. I was blown away by how friendly and open the volleyball community was to everyone, even a newbie like me. From high-level players stepping into a beyond amateur game, to seasoned players and fans explaining the rules and scoring, to pros taking pictures without any hesitations, the whole experience made me feel so welcomed and comfortable. Not only did I have a wonderful time working on my own volley skills and playing in some fun games, I also feel like I understand the sport better and know more about the top players. I can't wait to get myself to another beach volleyball tournament again soon!
Editor, Budget and the Beach
Los Angeles, California
My favorite thing about beach volleyball is that it's an incredibly accessible sport. There are very few professional sports where as an amateur or recreational player you can train on the court next to the best players in the world.
What's great about events like the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball is that they bring that accessibility to everyone. Not only was the WSOBV a free event, but because of the nature of beach volleyball, you have the opportunity to watch up close and personal the world's best players and try fun things like the Kerri Cannon—a giant machine that simulates a spike from Kerri, which you then have to try and dig.
ASICS also did an incredible job of making it more than just a pro beach volleyball tournament, with six-man and four-man amateur tournaments, as well as live music on a huge stage at the end of the main court. I think ASICS is setting the standard of what all pro volleyball tournaments should be like in the future.
Santa Clara, California
Thank you so much ASICS for an amazing weekend in Long Beach for the World Series of Beach Volleyball Event! Til next time and here's to more!
These are my top five moments from the WSOBV:
1. I had the opportunity to learn more about ASICS as an authentic brand that develops products for true athletes and those who aspire to become one. The company is very determined to help promote the sport of indoor and beach volleyball in the country. Having Kerri Walsh Jennings as part of their team proves how devoted ASICS is with their mission.
2. I’ll forever treasure the experience because it was my first time watching an FIVB beach volleyball event in person. Those athletes play hard! I was very impressed with the teams from Poland, the Netherlands, Brazil, Germany, and, of course, the USA—which took home gold in both the men’s (Dalhausser-Rosenthal) and women’s (Walsh-Ross) divisions.
3. As I roamed around the event site, I had the pleasure to meet and have a quick chat with 2012 Olympic silver medalist from Brazil Alison Cerutti, indoor national team player for Team USA Kristin Richards Hildebrand, and Olympic silver medalists Kim Glass and Lindsey Berg.
4. Throughout my stay, I was surrounded with amazing and wonderful people. The ASICS Crew and my team of editors spent so much time together working on our fitness, playing volleyball, paddle boarding, watching some matches, and I treasure every second of this once in a lifetime experience. I’ll forever cherish these folks!
5. After this experience, I want to spend more time playing beach volleyball. It’s pretty fun!