When it comes to tournaments, I’m always trying to take the lead. Whether it’s gaining a two-point edge early in a set or establishing a blocks total that no other player can catch, I’d rather play from in front than behind. I feel the same way about the game off the court. I enjoy finding ways to help shape the direction of the sport and contribute my unique perspective as a player—ok, a player who just so happens to have a law degree. Here are two of the positions I hold/have held with the major international and national volleyball organizations.
I’m the FIVB Female Player Representative for all nations. In this role, I act as something of a Congresswoman for international pro beach players. Each year, I attend a Beach Commission meeting at the FIVB headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland along with my male counterpart, Martins Plavins, the 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist from Latvia. We meet with the other Commission members and discuss ways to grow and otherwise improve beach volleyball around the world. If a tour player has a question or concern for the FIVB, they can count on us to either address it ourselves or bring it up with the appropriate person on the FIVB leadership team. It’s an especially fascinating role when you consider the worldwide composition of the FIVB staff and tour with its many languages, cultures, and customs. To say nothing of the fact that these players are both friends and competitors.
I’m also a member of a 6-person Player Committee formed by our esteemed Player Representatives on the USAV Board, Todd Rogers and April Ross. The Committee is in charge of collecting feedback and disseminating information on a range of issues to a select group of national team members. In 2011, I was part of a USA Volleyball Player Committee dealing with issues regarding accident insurance, foreign player policy and regulation developments. Everyone loves watching the blocks, bikinis and medal ceremonies but, until you’ve sat in on meetings like these, you don’t realize just how many people and how much effort is required to keep our sport moving in the right direction. I’m proud of my time with USAV and hope I have future opportunities to work with our national governing body on often difficult and complex issues.