Skip to main content


Showing posts from April, 2020

Rally Together with Coach Brigitte Greywater - Part II

Last week, Brigitte Greywater, Head Volleyball Coach at Valley City State University shared with us her insightful article titled Volleyball, the Unknown and Mental Health.  Today we are following up with several helpful and extremely practical tools and worksheets that Coach Greywater and her staff have created for their players and are now graciously sharing with all of us.  Take a moment to look through these and more importantly, put them to use!

Who Am I Without Athletics?Athlete's Daily PlannerCreating a Daily RoutineHabit TrackerGratitude LetterFight or FlightStress ExplorationStress Management TipsStress ManagementSupporting Someone with Depression

#RallyTogether #BetterTogether

Rally Together with USAV High Performance - Deadline is TWO days away!

High Performance Video Submission Deadline is TWO days away! #Repost One of the most exciting yet highly unknown opportunities offered to volleyball players by USA Volleyball is their High Performance Program.  This is not a camp, although there are excellent High Performance Camps available as well; this is a development program for launching region players into the National Pipeline and on an advanced Path to the Podium.

North Country Region is in the process of growing High Performance here in our Region, with the long term goal of forming North Country Region High Performance Teams which will compete against High Performance Teams from other Regions across the nation - giving our region players the opportunity to be evaluated on a national level - so exciting!

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the majority of girls' High Performance tryouts across the nation had to be canceled for this year.  The GREAT NEWS is that USA Volleyball has created an avenue for players to still tryout f…

Rally Together and Train Skills at Home

Yesterday we provided links for five volleyball specific conditioning workouts to utilize while we #StayHome.  Today, let's look at some daily options for volleyball specific SKILLS training.  Taking time each day for a conditioning workout and adding a skills workout to that repertoire will prepare us in the best possible way for that moment when we get to step back on the volleyball court with out teammates!  Check out some of the following links for some at-home skills training workouts and ideas: 

Ball Control Movement with Coach Alfred Reft

Setting Drills at Home with Asics KIVA Volleyball

How to Better Your Volleyball Serve at Home with Storm Performance Volleyball

Blocking Transition Workout with Coach Alfred Reft

Volleyball Approach and Landing with Reid Hall

Pass on any other great skills training videos you are using and/or creating.  North Country Region would love to share them with our membership! 

#RallyTogether #BetterTogether

Rally Together on Move It Monday!

Move It Monday is here, and it's a beautiful day to be motivated and pressing forward!  North Country Region has an incredible playlist of volleyball specific condition workouts on our YouTube channel - enough to fill an entire week.  Start today and give this line-up a try this week:

Monday Motivation: Train with Dalianliz RosadoTuesday Training:  Workout with Kalei MauWednesday Workout:  Train with Sara MacekThursday Training:  Workout with Daly SantanaFriday Fitness:  Train with Milton Marrero
A direct link to the North Country Region At-Home Conditioning Workout playlist on our YouTube channel can be found here: North Country Region YouTube
Five challenging workouts created just for you - check them out and get moving today!
#RallyTogether #BetterTogether

Rally Together with Team USA

Set a reminder for 7 pm CST TONIGHT when Salima Rockwell (Junior Volleyball Recruiting Association) & Lindsey Berg (The Cuore Project) will be hosting another Women's National Team Athletes webinar!  This will be the second in this heartwarming series that you really do not want to miss.  

I tuned in last Friday night and was truly captivated listening to the Team USA line-up just being real and sharing from their hearts.  Viewers could really get a sense for who these individuals are and take away mountains of practical advice and insight.

Tonight's Team USA panel is packed with talent, experience and inspiration:

Lauren Carlini Megan CourtneyChiaka Ogbogu Kelsey Robinson Register prior to the event on the #VolleyOn Events page: USA Women's National Team Athletes Series.  
A video link for last week's panel which included Annie Drews, Micha Hancock, Jordan Larson and Haleigh Washington can be found at the above link as well.  Believe me - it's well worth the liste…

Rally Together with Coach Brigitte Greywater

Brigitte Greywater, Head Volleyball Coach at Valley City State University, shares excellent insight on Mental Health in today's Rally Together daily blog: 

Volleyball, The Unknown and Mental Health
Brigitte Greywater
April 21, 2020
Valley City State University
Head Volleyball Coach

As I write to you today, recognize I have been serving in a counselor role for the past eight years as well as head college volleyball coach. I just recently had the opportunity to change direction a little bit to only serve as a head college volleyball coach. That being said, mental health is important, and we should never “push it aside”.

Mental health should always be a priority; however, without our outlet of volleyball it may be haunting us more than ever. Volleyball is our positive coping mechanism. Volleyball was there on the bad days to distract us from emotional pain. And now, we were forced to take a break. It is not gone forever, but we need to figure out what we are going to do without it for awhil…

Rally Together with Sara Macek

Looking for a new Wednesday Workout?  An at-home training video created specifically for the North Country Region membership by Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bear standout middle blocker, Sara Macek, is the perfect fit.  Sara, a member of North Country Region all throughout her club playing days, has assembled a solid conditioning workout incorporating some volleyball specific reps ~ you definitely want to give this one a try!

Before joining the nine-time NCAA DII National Champion Concordia-St.Paul Golden Bear Volleyball program, Sara Macek graduated from Monticello High School (Monticello, MN), where she was a four year Varsity letter winner, named Mississippi 8 All Conference for four consecutive years, was a two year captain, and twice named Best Offensive Player and team MVP.  Sara competed with Minnesota Select during the club season. 

During Sara's career at Concordia-St. Paul, she played in a total of 100 matches, despite missing the majority of her sophomore season due to injur…

Rally Together and WIN with The Great American Takeout

The Great American Takeout has taken over Tuesdays in Quarantine as a way to rally together to support our local restaurants and their employees by ordering takeout for dinner.  

Today, Hidden Valley Ranch is adding a little spice to the mix by offering up $50 gift cards to 200 winners of the Great American Takeout - Picnic at Home challenge.  

Simply order takeout, have a picnic at home, and a post a picture of your home picnic and include the hashtags #TheGreatAmericanTakeout, #HVR and #Sweepstakes.  On Instagram, be sure to tag @thegreatamericantakeout and on Twitter @TheGATakeout for a chance to be one of the 200 winners!  Full rules of the competition can be found on The Great American Takeout website.  

To date, the Great American Takeout has raised $260,000 to support restaurant employees and their children during the COVID-19 shutdowns.  

FOOD - FAMILY - FUN = A great way to take care of dinner, support others, and participate in a little friendly competition with a solid prize fo…

Rally Together with Team USA's Dustin Watten

On TUESDAY, APRIL 21st, Team USA athlete, Dustin Watten (Dustin's Instagram) will take over North Country Region's Instagram account (NCR Instagram)!  

Dustin was an All-American Libero at Long Beach State.  He has gone on to play ten years as a professional in Finland, France, Germany, Poland and a year in Brazil. During his time competing with Team USA, he’s accrued over 8 medals and won the World Cup in 2015.

Dustin wasn’t always on a path to being a professional. The first two club teams he made were “B” teams, his first JO experience saw his team finishing dead last, and he wasn’t even a starter on his club team until his senior year of High School.

He will share 7 tips and ideas that he currently uses in his downtime as a professional to keep his body and mind sharp with the goal to help inspire you to get the most out of the quarantine and to help you build habits that will continue to benefit you once you get back on the court!

Dustin will speak a lot on the benefits of jo…

Rally Together with Olympic Volleyball

As disappointment surrounding the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games is inevitable, in an effort to help us remember all that we have to look forward to during the now Tokyo 2021 Olympics, NBC Sports is giving us the opportunity to relive some great moments from past Olympics, including some thrilling volleyball matches.  

The first volleyball match airing is the London 2012 Women's Beach Volleyball Final featuring two U.S. Women's Teams with Misty May-Treanor/Kerri Walsh Jenningsbattling April Ross/Jennifer Kessy.  You may want to whip up a batch of popcorn and prepare for a late night or set your DVRs for this one, as NBC Sports will be airing the match at 1 am CST TONIGHT.  

A listing of all the volleyball matches scheduled to be aired: 
USA vs. USA Women's Beach Volleyball Final (London 2012)May-Treanor/Walsh Jennings vs. Ross/KessySaturday, 4/18/2020 at 1 am CSTUSA vs. Brazil Men's Beach Volleyball Final (Beijing 2008)Phil Daulhauser/Todd RogersMonday, 4/20…

Rally Together with Cassidy Lichtman

The Art of Coaching volleyball is featuring a new GIVEAWAY with the opportunity to win a personal virtual meetup with former Stanford and U.S. National Team player, Cassidy Lichtman - and trust me, when you dive in to her inspiring story, you will understand why this is such a great prize - you WANT to hang out with Cassidy Lichtman!
Who is Cassidy Lichtman?No doubt, Cassidy Lichtman has an impressive volleyball resume, including being named a PrepVolleyball finalist; National High School Junior of the Year (2005); being indicted into the San Diego Athletic Hall of Fame (2005); playing for the U.S. Women's Junior National Team; completing a four-year career at Stanford and achieving AVCA All-America First Team in 2009 and 2010; and competing with the U.S. Women's National Team.  Showing the depth of her character, Cassidy has also created Play with a Purpose, her own volleyball clinic series; all money earned through this series is graciously donated to the Ronald McDonald Hous…

Rally Together with a Zoom Game Night

Looking for a fun way to keep that competitive spirit rolling in your athletes?  Organize a Zoom Game Night!  Zoom has become the go-to app for staying in contact while we all #StayHome, and all sorts of ingenious ideas have been borne in the last several weeks so that we don't all have to just stare at each other on Zoom - instead, we can play some games and compete - YES! 

While I'm certain the possibilities are endless, here are just a few of the games that work great with Zoom to get you started.

PICTIONARY: I'm certainly partial to this game, as this was a family favorite while growing up.  So fun and super simple to play on Zoom!  Divide the group into teams.  Everyone uses a website with a Word Generator, like this one from The Game Gal: The Game Gal Word GeneratorIn Zoom, the artist can simply click on Share Screen and then select the Whiteboard option, where they can draw and all other participants can view. Each team should have a timekeeper.  If a team guesses the…

Rally Together with Milton Marrero Performance

As I'm watching huge snowflakes swirl about outside my office window, I can't think of a better way to warm up and recenter my focus than a solid volleyball focused workout!  

North Country Region is excited to announce that strength and conditioning coach, Milton Marrero, has created a training video just for our NCR members.  This step-by-step video leads you through an entire workout designed specifically for volleyball players by a professional strength and conditioning coach - a generous gift to our North Country Region membership.  

Milton Marrero is the Founder and Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for Milton Marrero Performance (MMP) based in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico.  Milton has a degree in Exercise Sciences and Health Promotion from the Universidad del Sagrado Corazon in San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

Milton also has an extensive volleyball background including having competed in the professional volleyball league in Puerto Rico.  In 2017, he received his FIVB International Co…

Rally Together with USA Volleyball High Performance

Looking for Monday Motivation?  Check this opportunity out!
One of the most exciting yet highly unknown opportunities offered to volleyball players by USA Volleyball is their High Performance Program.  This is not a camp, although there are excellent High Performance Camps available as well; this is a development program for launching region players into the National Pipeline and on an advanced Path to the Podium.

North Country Region is in the process of growing High Performance here in our Region, with the long term goal of forming North Country Region High Performance Teams which will compete against High Performance Teams from other Regions across the nation - giving our region players the opportunity to be evaluated on a national level - so exciting!

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the majority of girls' High Performance tryouts across the nation had to be canceled for this year.  The GREAT NEWS is that USA Volleyball has created an avenue for players to still tryout for High …

Rally Together with the Team USA Kitchen

As we are all gathering around the table in our homes while we #StayHome for Easter dinner, delicious food is at the forefront of my mind.  So what do Apple Oatmeal Muffins, Pomegranate Smoothie, Blackened Chicken and Quinoa, Crock-Pot Braised Balsamic Chicken and Vegetables, Creamy Corn & Celery Leaf Soup, Autumn Apple Salad, and Coffee Buzz Bites all have in common?  The step-by-step instructions to create these delectable dishes comprise just a small sampling of recipes that can be found on Team USA's site dedicated to Cooking with Team USA!  

This informational gem is packed with nutritious and tasty recipes created for athletes by Team USA chef and former Top Chef winner, Richard Blais, as well as recipes from Olympic Gold Medalist Brian Boitano.  Recipes cover a variety of categories with multiple recipes in each of these genres: 
BreakfastSmoothies & JuicesLunch & DinnerSoupsSaladsDesserts, Bars & SnacksHop on over to the Cooking with Team USA site today and s…

Rally Together with an Olympic Athlete

The Importance of Mental Health The postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games brought with it a vast array of emotions from the nation's top athletes - from disappointment to relief to sadness and heartbreak.  One seasoned Olympian took time to speak with Hoda Kotb on the TODAY show about the effects that this decision stacked on the difficult circumstances everyone is experiencing will have on the mental well-being of athletes.  
Having accrued 23 Olympic Gold Medals and suffering from mental health struggles himself, Michael Phelps certainly has valuable insight to share on this topic, and the mental well-being of the prospective Olympians is a foremost concern of his at this time.  Visit the following link to listen to Michael's interview on this subject: Michael Phelps Interview
Touching on the subject of mental health is a timely reminder for each of us as well, jostling us to provide resources for and intentionally check in with those we are connected to through the gam…

Rally Together with Coach Alfred Reft: Part II

Video #2: Blocking Transition Alfred Reft, Associate Head Coach of the University of San Diego, brings us the second video in his series of At-Home Skills Training.  Coach Reft brings his years of high-level experience and competition to this series of training videos.  Each video is a total workout complete with instruction, demonstration, timed repetitions and even water breaks.  
This second skills training workout focuses on what is often considered to be one of the most under-taught skills in the game of volleyball - blocking.  Coach Reft breaks down BLOCKING TRANSITION, giving detailed insight and the opportunity for valuable reps including ball control specifically tailored to blockers.  
Players, you will want to add this video to part of your weekly #stayhome skills training regimen and share it with your teammates.  Coaches, do not miss the opportunity to pass this valuable training tool on to your players.  
Be sure to subscribe to the North Country Region YouTube channelwhere…

Rally Together with the AVCA

In partnership with the AVCA, North Country Region will be hosting an AVCA College Coach Recruiting Panel on Friday, April 10th @ 4 PM CST.  All coaches, players and parents are welcome and encouraged to participate in this free webinar!  

NCR had a lot of fun when we hosted this event last year!  The coach panel included seasoned coaches from all Divisions and Levels. Participating is a great way to connect and to learn more about the recruiting process, learn what life is like as a student-athlete, and enjoy an hour with fellow volleyball aficionados.  

Please register prior to the event (only name and email are required) to be able to join. The registration link for the seminar is found here: AVCA College Coach Recruiting Panel

The audience will be muted but will be able to type questions in real time to be answered by the panel.  Please share this great opportunity with your parents and players who are considering pursuing volleyball at the next level! 

#RallyTogether #BetterTogether

Rally Together with Lindsey Berg

TODAY'S THE DAY!!!  Three time Olympian Lindsey Berg is taking over the North Country Region Instagram account, giving you the opportunity to ask her questions and interact with her personally!
Lindsey Berg began her volleyball journey in her home state of Hawaii, where she graduated from Punahou High School.  Following high school, she became a beloved Minnesota Gopher, setting a record for career assists during her tenure as the Gopher setter and being named to the All-Big Ten team for three consecutive years.  
After graduation, Lindsey played professionally for the Minnesota Chill in the short-lived United States Professional Volleyball League before competing in the Italian Serie A League for seven years and then finishing up her professional career withFenerbah├že in Turkey. 
Lindsey joined the U.S. Women's National Team in January of 2003 and competed internationally for the U.S. for ten years, including winning two silver medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic games.  In 2011…

Rally Together with AOC Virtual Clinics

The Art of Coaching Volleyball is providing some exceptional training opportunities for coaches right now!  Having to cancel their in-person clinics, AOC has now moved to a virtual platform for coaches to experience live training and interact with the AOC elite coaching cadre while we #StayHome.  
Per the AOC website, these sessions will be streamed live at 2 pm CST every Tuesday and Thursday in April, and "each session will feature 2-3 elite coaches and players presenting live, plus video clips, digital presentations and interactive Q&A sessions with the presenters."  
Best of all, the Art of Coaching is offering these virtual interactive clinic sessions for FREE! 
Check out the power-packed line-up that has been announced so far:
Tuesday, April 7th The Keys to Building a Champion How to use limited practice time to develop high performers Jim Stone, U.S. Girls Youth National Team Head CoachTerry Liskevych, former U.S. WNT Head Coach ('85-'96)
Thursday, April 9th Trainin…

Rally Together with Dalianliz Rosado

Looking for some Monday Motivation?  A workout created just for our North Country Region members by former Gopher libero, Dalianliz Rosado, is just what you need!  Dalianliz has put together a challenging workout just for you ~ don't miss out on this one.  

Prior to becoming a four year starter for the Minnesota Golden Gophers, Dalianliz Rosado graduated from Carmen Sol in Puerto Rico, where she also played for Club Morovis and competed alongside Daly Santana on the Puerto Rico Youth National Team.  During her career at Minnesota, Dalianliz accumulated an impressive 1,870 digs, ranking her third in Gopher history for career digs.  
After graduating from the University of Minnesota, Dalianliz joined Gopher teammate Daly Santana on the Puerto Rico Women's National Team competing in the FIVB Challenger Cup in 2018.  In the spring of 2019 while studying for her Masters, Dalianliz was a part of the University of New Mexico Lobos beach team where she and her teammate, Lauren Twitty, f…

Rally Together with the U.S. Women's National Team

Just like every other volleyball player in the nation, the USA Volleyball Women's National Team players have been diligently working on ways to be productive and continually improve while they #stayhome.  To share some of their tips and tricks and what is working for each of them, they recently launched a short video series on the USA Volleyball YouTube channel titled The Quarenteam.  
Episode 1 - Parts 1 & 2: What do you do to get better without the ball? is loaded with familiar names - including several players who started off right here in North Country Region - and features insight from Megan Courtney, Karsta Lowe, Sarah Parsons, Morgan Hentz, Jordan Larson, Jordan Thompson, Haleigh Washington, Justine Wong-Orantes, Tori Dixon, Mikaela Foecke, Annie Drews, Jordyn Poulter, Kathryn Plummer, Micha Hancock, Chiaka, Ogbogu, Hannah Tapp, and Rachael Adams. 
Episode 2 is set to drop TODAY!  We highly recommend you check out The Quarenteamand share it with your friends and players, …

Rally Together with HomeCourt

It is no secret that cross-training brings added value to our athletes' strength and conditioning training.  One highly recommended mobile app that seasoned athletes from a wide variety of sports use and recommend is HomeCourt.  
Although initially designed as a basketball training app, this training gem features all sorts of fun and challenging timed and scored competitions that benefit athletes across all genres.  The likes of USA Volleyball Beach Olympian Lauren Fendrick, USA Soccer star Megan Rapinoe, and the king of high-fives, Steve Nash, have all used this app in their training regimens.  
Additionally, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, HomeCourt is unlocking all of their features for FREE through the end of April, so now is the perfect opportunity to check out this app here: HomeCourt!  
#RallyTogether #BetterTogether

Rally Together with Coach Alfred Reft

Video #1: Ball Control Movement University of San Diego Associate Head Coach Alfred Reft is creating a series of outstanding At-Home Skills Training videos, which he is graciously sharing with North Country Region and our members!  
Coach Reft has an impressive volleyball resume as both a player and a coach.  He was a standout libero for Hawai'i and earned AVCA First-Team All-American honors along with Asics/Volleyball Magazine Defensive Player of the Year in 2005.  Following college, Reft played professionally in Montenegro, Portugal and France.  Internationally, he was a valued member of the USA Volleyball Men's National Team, where he has represented the United States in multiple matches over the years.
On the coaching side of volleyball, Coach Reft has been a member of the coaching staff of both the USA Volleyball Men's and Women's National Teams, as well as multiple Division I programs including Minnesota, Illinois and most recently the University of San Diego.