I was reading a forum on volleyball and came across a thread regarding a US player in Italy and they were ripping her apart for honestly describing her experience overseas. She described everything from volleyball, coaches, living, being foreign, etc. Below I posted a response from someone which sums up perfectly life of a professional athlete overseas.
Life in overseas pro vball isn’t like being in the NFL where an army of people will throw googobs of money and resources at you as long as you’re creating Wins. In fact, sometimes pro vball isn’t even like having an unglamorous but dependable hourly job in the States.
Even if you’re just a sales clerk at a Verizon storefront, you never have to deal with hearing your supervisor say, “Yeah… about this week’s paychecks…. they haven’t come in yet. I haven’t been able to get in touch with anyone at Verizon Headquarters who can tell me when they’ll be here, sorry. Anyway, I still need everyone to pull double-shifts for the holiday sales period.”
Some people may not understand why we do what we do. Why the struggle and hard work with little material payoff is worth it to us athletes. ‘Why’ may not have logic, it is who we are and sometimes there is no concious choice but instead one clear path.
Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become, the hours of practice, the coaches who push you, and the fans who cheer for you, is the little girl who fell in love with the sport and never looked back. Play for her.