Rise Up & Release Your Inner Strength
The WNBA's biggest stars talk shop about their on-court shoe choice
Volleyball standout Kelsey Robinson is one of the fiercest competitors on the U.S. Women’s National team. Her hard work, dedication, and training led her to compete on the world’s largest stage. What’s her training routine? What are her goals? What fuels her fire? Find out in our sit down interview with Kelsey below.
I was originally a full-time basketball player and I wanted to play in college. I came from a basketball family and just started volleyball as kind of cross-training. Learning both sports and being exposed to different body movements and a different dynamic of a game really helped me to develop skills I wouldn’t have if I’d stayed just with volleyball. I think the biggest things for athletes now and young girls now is they always want to hit, always want to score and they always want to play offense, but basketball was the game that taught me the importance of defense and how huge it is to winning and success, so that’s something I carried with me from basketball.
Yeah! I love basketball, it’s a huge release for me when I’m overseas and I’m constantly training or I’m in the gym playing volleyball. One thing I do when I’m overseas is I always bring a basketball with me. I go find a court and I’ll play ‘HORSE’ or one-on-one with my friends or even just kind of shoot around by myself and have that mental release.
Typically we go from about 8 to 11:30 in the morning training, practicing, or having full-time competition, then we’ll have a bit of a break — get some lunch, some rehab, recovery. Then we’ll go into some type of extra passing work, extra defense work, or we’ll do weights for about an hour to an hour and a half. The next 30 minutes are used for rehab or ice bath, then we’ll have video and do more rehab after. At this point it’s all about the rehab! Typically we are in the gym from like 8 to 4 every day which can make for long days but it’s really rewarding and fun.
I have a couple keys as far as volleyball goes; with passing I try to think about keeping my platform out in front of me and contacting the ball at an early point. For hitting, it’s really my footwork that matters most. When my feet are doing what they are supposed to do, slow to fast, explosive at the end, I’m hitting at a high point, I have every shot that I know I can hit. I’ve been starting to add yoga into my workout regimen and just really taking recovery seriously now that I’m into my second quad of the Olympics cycle. I’m getting a little bit older but my body is my job and I need to keep it as healthy as I can.
When I was younger it was always like ‘Okay I want to touch like 10-4’ or I had vertical goals or I had speed goals and I still have those things, but I think the most important focus for me right now is building up the little things in my body and I think yoga has really helped with that. I’m trying to focus on how my body moves instead of how much power I can lift or how many weights I can dumbbell and squat and press. I’m really, really focused and a firm believer of making sure that the little parts of my body and the little muscles and joints are all properly working and moving together because that’s what will keep my body going as long as it can.
A lot of it came from when I was growing up and my childhood. I was constantly in the yard and friends would come over to play and I would be like ‘We can’t go eat until we get all the way through this.’ I was just so determined. I had to win at everything, Monopoly, cards, whatever, and that actually hasn’t left me. I think the USA gym is a really awesome place because we all respect each other- we’ll talk smack and then there will be, like, yelling arguments in the gym because people want to win and they’re there to win. Then, when we walk off the court, everybody is best friends with each other. You know it’s not personal, which makes it a great place to be and you know you can compete as hard as you want.
If I had to give any advice it would be, and I know it sounds cliché, but to believe in yourself. I think a lot of girls get to point where they think ‘okay, I can’t do this’ and they give up. Whether or not you can do it, going through it is going to give you the opportunity you want. It may not be where you thought you were going, but I think allowing yourself to embrace adversity and be open to failure, be open to pain, and be open to suffering can kind of show you who are and how tough you really are. That mindset will open doors to so many different things whether its volleyball, life, or school. I think it’s a really powerful lesson to not walk away from challenges.
Being a professional volleyball player has its obstacles, but Robinson faces them head-on. Her hard work, dedication, and training have taken her to uncharted levels of play allowing her to make sure she never backs down from a challenge.
Hear from Kelsey directly: A Letter to Aspiring Athletes – Kelsey Robinson
The WNBA's biggest stars talk shop about their on-court shoe choice
Pro athletes Zach and Julie Ertz train together during the offseason in order to be stronger competitors and a stronger couple.
Dominate the court with the best volleyball gear of 2018. We have the latest shoes and equipment from your favorite brands.
Here are some of our favorite moments from the 45th AAU Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships:
A big part of playing better? Eating healthy! Get some nutrition tips from pro soccer player Jamia Fields.
Every week we’ll be featuring our top women’s pick and breaking down why it’s essential for your wardrobe. Check back for the hottest clothing and shoes in our Women's Must-Haves blog.
Jamia Fields hasn't become a pro soccer player overnight, it's taken years of hard work. Get some training tips from the rising star.
Want to make history on the global stage? Then you’ve got to out-train your competition. Just ask record-breaking sprinter and bobsledder Lauryn Williams. Read her story:
Eastbay cover star Sofia Huerta is more than a soccer player — she constantly strives to be her best, on and off the field.
It’s time for Valentine’s Day! Sure, chocolate and flowers are great, but we’ve got something more fun in mind. Why not be your own valentine, and treat yourself to a sweet new pair of kicks? Check out our top picks.
Softball season is just around the corner and we know you’re working hard to make this your best season yet. Upgrade your game with our Fastpitch Gear Guide.
It was a huge year in the world of sports and in the world of athletic gear, so it makes sense that it was a big year for the Eastbay Blog as well. Here is some of the Best of 2017.