The calendar says "Volleyball Physicals" on Wednesday, August 8. That's the day when the team reports to the Georgia State campus and is examined by the doctors to ensure they are ready to compete. But, really "Physical Volleyball" just starts then as over the next 10 grueling days, Volleyball Summer Camp takes place.
The summer camp the coaches have prepared for the 13 players, eight of whom are brand new to the program, is a lively three sessions a day from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. That's the basic package, some days will start even earlier and some may go later.
Camp consists of mostly morning individual and position teaching and drills in 15-minute segments. Afternoons can be used mainly for "skull sessions" of learning what is expected for game planning. The third session can focus more on teamwork, competition and implementing what they have been taught.
"It is demanding and it is a grind, but it is totally necessary to win at the Division I level," veteran head coach Tami Audia said. "They were given packets with summer workouts that they should have been following and we will put them through physical challenges when they get here," she noted. "But, we'll have to fight through body aches and pains to be mentally sharp to learn and apply the new play book. We have to basically go a mile wide and dig only an inch deep, then keep adding depth all season long."
"We have eight freshmen and this will all be a major shock to them, but they have to adjust and not hold back the rest of the team," Audia points out. "Everyone will be under the gun, but we don't have long to get ready for the season opener on August 24."
"Our strength and conditioning coordinator, Melissa Schmitz, does a fantastic job of working the team hard and smart and the ones who were here this summer have benefitted," Audia added. "But, the only way to get better is to work and work and work on conditioning. There are no short cuts."
"I am impressed with the quality of women we have, so I think they are going to be ready and willing, while we will then work on getting them able to compete and win at this level," the veteran coach concluded.
The Summer Camp concludes with the annual August 18 Alumni Day games, welcoming back former GSU players for friendly competition and a reunion. And, classes start on Monday, August 20, to add to the challenges of time management.