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A year in the life of a dual sport student-athlete


Being a dual sport athlete certainly brings great satisfaction, but also an intense “sporting” calendar.

It starts with volleyball and generally starts at the beginning of August to do about 2-3 weeks of preparation. At this time the college is usually “still on vacation”, there are no classes and on campus there are only other student-athletes of autumn sports and maybe some cafeteria or dorm open.

Once the medical tests have been done, physical tests are usually also done for which the coaches have already sent the athletes the cards to follow during the holidays. Unlike what happens in Italy, the competitive season lasts only 3 and a half months so the athletes must present themselves in adequate physical shape and ready to jump and dunk as if the season had already begun.


At the end of these two or three intense weeks in which the athletes train morning, afternoon and evening almost non-stop, the tournaments that count as official competitions of the season begin, but are usually competitions outside the
of belonging. In these tournaments, teams compete against opponents of a higher or lower level, according to the schedule created by the coach himself.

After these first matches, the matches against the opponents of the same conference begin, which will decide the winner of the group and those who will have access to the National Finals. Generally there are 2 competitions a week and therefore at the end of the 3 and a half months of competitions, the athletes play approximately the same amount of matches as an Italian league championship which, however, lasts 8 months.


The competitive season ends in mid-to-late November (except for a few teams that make a long way in the NCAA DI playoffs) and during the first weeks of December there are final exams before you can enter winter vacation mode which usually run from December 20 to January 10-15, although these dates vary a lot based on the college and coach.


For those who practice both volleyball and beach volleyball there is no off-season semester. In fact, in the Spring, which is the off-season semester of volleyball, the beach volleyball season takes place and then after the Christmas break we return to college, classes resume and we begin a very intense preparation that lasts a few weeks.


From the second half of February, the first official tournaments outside the Conference to which they belong begin and then from the end of March enter the highlight of the season with the first tournaments against opponents from the same Conference.

Play continues until the end of April, when at the end of the Conference Championships the finalists will be determined who will compete for the national title at the beginning of May. The first half of May is also the period of the final exams that decree the end of the semester and the beginning of the holidays.

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