Famous beach volleyball player tells her story of growing up and
learning how to be passionate about volleyball.
I am not sure that I had any huge hurdles during my career in
volleyball, because of the time and era things have changed so much
and with four decades of being involved I am not sure where to start!
But here is a little piece of "My Story".
There were no organized sports for girls when I was growing up, no
volleyball, no soccer, no softball/baseball no nothing. My only options
were to be a cheerleader or work in the snack bar with my Mom while
supporting my older brother, Greg, in his athletic endeavors.
I thank my father for including me in every work out at home. We would
run pass patterns for hours, shoot hoops, throw baseballs, run sprints
and the mile in the soft sand at the beach.
Whatever it was, I tried to be better, faster, stronger. I competed with
my brother in everything that he did. I would race home from school, I
would race anyone.
I knew that I was faster than most of the boys, so we would race off
the bus, up the stairs anything!
Needless to say I was very competitive and enjoyed winning at a very
I started playing volleyball in the seventh grade. We had a great PE
teacher, Mrs. Morton who set up a girl's doubles ladder where we came
and played volleyball before school, during recess, after school, on the
asphalt courts with nets that were strung quite haphazardly.
It meant everything to win that ladder and I had fallen in love with
We lived at the beach so I played some doubles with my parents and
watched a young Kirk Kilgour and his friends play beach volleyball in
front of my house.
I was hooked. I started playing in USVBA and beach volleyball
tournaments when I was 13 and I am still coaching and playing at 48.
Volleyball for me has always been my outlet, release, what I do for pure
I love and respect the volleyball game, all aspects of it. The
teamwork that it takes, the hours and years that it has taken to perfect
volleyball skills. I have always loved to work out and I try to make
everyday fun, different and challenging.
I was the one at our volleyball workouts with a smile on my face yelling
"What else do you have? Is that all we're doing?". I was taught to
always give 100% and to never let on that I was tired or fatigued but
always be ready for the next play or ball.
Since I grew up with relatively little organized coaching I have had to be
very self motivated. I hold myself accountable for my actions at all
times, both on and off the volleyball court.
I truly believe that you practice volleyball how you play volleyball, so
how you practice must be very intense and have meaning everyday.
If I have any advice for young athletes, it is to follow your heart, enjoy
what you do, play because you love it, not for the money you think you
can make, college you can get into, or where you think it can take you.
After 35 years in this silly game I still love what I do.
I come to work everyday with a huge smile on my face, every morning I
run 3 miles at Zuma Beach in Malibu watching the dolphins and whales
cavort in the waves. I have a wonderful husband/best friend of 21 plus
years and two beautiful sons.
Life is good.
Get more info on famous beach volleyball players, Nina Matthies.
This story was written by one of America's famous beach volleyball
players Nina Matthies exclusively for the Volleyball Voices project
created and produced by April Chapple.
No reproduction is allowed.
All rights reserved. Volleyball Voices copyright 2013.
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The Volleyball Voices editorial project is an ongoing work in progress and I invite you and all Inspiring Female Volleyball Players readers to contribute their own personal stories of the obstacles they had to overcome in order to enjoy or excel at playing volleyball.
The purpose of this project is to empower, educate and inspire female volleyball players to become self-confident athletes with positive body images and through this collection of stories to provide ideas and inspiration to IFVP readers that will serve to help improve self-esteem.
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