After helping the Pepperdine women's beach volleyball team attain a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships, rising junior Madalyn Roh is ready to take on her third year as a Wave. But first, she shares with us her plans for the summer. She also reflects on the past year as well as the year ahead:
Q: What is your transition like from being in-season to the offseason?
A: Very weird, the change of pace can be frustrating and relaxing at the same time. It is very strange going from training four hours day after day, traveling and competing, to just nothing after such an intense season.
Q: How do you spend your time off?
A: Training mostly on my own and focusing on the little things I can do by myself or with other players around me since coaches cannot coach us over summer.
Q: What is your schedule/plans like for the summer both on and off the court?
A: Most players compete over the weekends in semi-pro type tournaments. We use these competitions to keep our competitive edge and test the waters with new scenarios against people and pairs we don't usually see during the season.
Q: How is training in the summer different than in season?
A: Very laid-back. There isn't an obligation to do anything since our preseason is so long, but we can't help ourselves but continue staying in shape and mostly getting better or recovering from such an intense season.
Q: What kind of things does Coach Nina Matthies want you to work on in the summer?
A: Our coach is great because she understands balance. Yes, I'm sure she has a list of things for all of us to work on, but she understands the intensity and length of our preseason once school starts. Summer is for rest, rejuvenation and keeping your sand legs.
Q: What do you think you learned the most from your sophomore year that you'll take with you as you move forward?
A: I have learned more about the analytical and technical side of the game this year. My partner last year was very seasoned and wise when it came to strategy, so I learned a lot from her, but now I am a more seasoned player so I want to take that strategy sense into next year. Beach volleyball is like a chess match, you must go in with a plan but adjust to your opponent's moves.
Q: What are you goals going into your junior year?
A: Finish what we started last year: win a national championship.
Q: What have you changed about your training routine for this year to make sure that you are continually getting better?
A: Form. Form in how I swing, approach to the ball, serve, etc. Matt Young, our strength and conditioning coach, is very diligent when it comes to form. Last year we really focused on technique and it really carried over into our playing.
Q: What inspires you to play volleyball?
A: My team and our goals. The culture we establish from the very beginning forces us to train and compete for a higher purpose and cause. We aren't just doing these things for ourselves. We are doing it for each other, which draws us closer as we aim to reach that one goal.
Q: Tell us what motto you live your life by?
A: Don't waste your suffering: It's a saying by John Piper, a notable preacher. I link it to the Bible verse Romans 5:3-4: "Not only so, be we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." Basically, no matter what you go through, make it count, whether it's bad or good, easy or awful, it's going to build you as a person.
Q: I want to find out what your typical day looks like and how you keep yourself in such good shape ... It's morning, you've just woken up. What's next?
A: On an average day of training -- during the season -- I would take my vitamins and drink a glass of water straight when I wake up and start to get some water brewing for tea. Then, after I brush my hair, put on clothes, and wash my face, it's time to grub. Usually I would have quinoa, sweet potato hash, and some green veggies, sometimes with an egg. On conditioning days, I replace the quinoa with a thin strip of ribeye. After brushing my teeth I'm off to school then I come back for lunch which is some form of meat and veggies at least two hours before practice and then another snack 30 minutes pre-practice.
Q: What's your favorite way to fuel your body first thing in the morning?
Q: How important is breakfast to you?
A: Extremely, if I don't eat breakfast it throws off my whole body and I also don't get the sufficient amount of fuel I need to train.
Q: Do you snack during the day?
A: Oh yes. My snack range from almonds, dates, almond butter with celery and carrots, protein bar, sauerkraut, kimchi, fruit and dark chocolate.
Q: Can you talk to us about food supplements? What do you use? What do you think works well?
A: I love vitamin C, D, A, fish oils, and L-Glutamine. If I'm sick I take oregano, which kills the virus very quickly and the bad bacteria in my system. The basic vitamins I think are great immune boosters, especially for athletes, because we put a lot of pressure on our immune system with practices and stress.
Q: What are huge dietary no-no's?
A: I'm paleo, so I don't eat wheat, dairy or refined sugar. But paleo isn't for everybody. For me, a dietary no-no is eating sugary candies. Sugar is just straight up bad for the nervous system. So I like to stay away from stuff like Sour Patch Kids.
Q: Do you have another hobby that is part of your daily routine?
A: Cooking, I love to cook my own food but also experiment with flavors and ingredients.