Time off for the Cougars is rare and cherished.
The BYU men’s volleyball team takes advantage of any break it can get. Getting only two weekends off per season, the players find any time off refreshing.
“It’s always nice to have a weekend off to rest, regroup and get your mind off volleyball for a little bit,” said Taylor Sander, the Cougars’ outside hitter. “It doesn’t happen often, so we like to take advantage of it.”
The players broke from action for 11 days in preparation for their Valentine’s Day showdown against Pacific.
Players found themselves playing catch-up in their time off.
“We take a lot of time to catch up in school,” said Phil Fuchs, opposite hitter. “It’s tough to miss every other weekend and every other Thursday especially when you have Thursday and Friday classes to keep up on.”
Volleyball is still on their minds, even when they’re given a break. Some players used their repose to work on specific parts of their game.
“Breaks are really good because I go and work on the skills that I need,” Fuchs said. “That helps me come back with a better mindset and more mental toughness, as well as some skills I didn’t have before.”
Relaxing their bodies is a key part of the athletes’ time off. They used their break to recuperate.
“We take a lot of time to rest up because the season is long and it’s a lot of wear and tear on your body,” Fuchs said. “Overall it’s a time to catch up and relax, but just a little bit.”
Getting out of the routine is what some players find refreshing. Some go snowboarding, a few spend time with their families, and others re-spark their social life.
“It’s nice to get out of the routine we get in from January till May,” said Jaylen Reyes, libero. “It’s nice to be able to be somewhere else at 4 p.m. instead of being at practice until 6 p.m.”
Players find comfort in knowing there’s a lot more volleyball to be played. They can truly enjoy their time off and don’t have to spend too much time missing volleyball.
“It’s really refreshing to have the time off because we know we have lots more practice and lots more games to play,” Fuchs said. “So, we use it as a time to recharge and we take full advantage of that time because we know we’re going to be going hard when we get going after it again.”
Breaks bring some mixed feelings.
“My favorite part of having a break is not having to get super, super, super weary,” Fuchs said. “Not having to feel like that all the time. That’s really nice. Then, you start wishing volleyball would start up again because you’re feeling so ready to go. But, when the season comes you get really tired and you want those times to come back, but at the same time you’re excited to be playing.”
Having time off allows players to relax their bodies, regroup and catch up. It’s a beneficial time.
“It helps us,” Sander said. “We’re a little bit sloppy right after break, but I think it’s good for our bodies. It takes a couple days to get back, but I think it’s good for us overall.”