"There are many aspects about this country that strucks me. The one surprises me most is the importance given to meritocracy: if you give a lot, you receive a lot and this pushes me to give my best every day. In the academic field I like the professors' availability to help you whenever you need and the workload which is is divided up throughout the semester. The secret is that study and sport in the United States go at the same pace: they go hand in hand and this makes easier managing everything. "
Clear ideas, words and the concept of meritocracy as one of the aspects that most affected him. Luciano Bucci, Student-Athlete at Park University, begins by emphasizing one of the aspects that we find ourselves repeating more often: it is possible studying and playing sports at the same time, at least in America. Obviously, it requires passion, determination and sacrifice: “My typical day starts with the 7.30 am alarm clock. I prepare and go to class from 8 to 12, immediately after class I have lunch and then I have to study until 4 pm; when I start practice. After the training session, around 7.00 am, it is time for dinner and after that I have time to study again or finally relax with my roommates. This is from Monday to Friday, every day. " A busy week for sure, but often the sacrifice is rewarded by so many emotions: "My first year and a half in the United States has been very satisfying both at the academic and sports level. My most thrilling moments were in particular three: last year when I received the award during the Conference finals banquet as one of the conference's best setters; playing a Conference final during my first championship in the United States and at the academic level being named among the best college students at the end of my first year. ".
Different country, different volleyball. Even this comparison with different techniques and a methodology is for Luciano a further moment of growth: “In the United States volleyball is more physical while in Italy the teams in which I have played were more technical; as a setter, I had to change my way of playing, since I had to adapt myself to a much faster game than I was used to. As far as training is concerned, what I can say is that coaches prefer focusing more on game situations and less on technical skills; they also pay a lot of attention to physical workout: we spend 45/60 minutes before each practice in the weight room. All these differences with Italian volleyball made the first impact with tha American volleyball not so easy, but my coaches helped me a lot for a fast and smooth transition. As far as the academic side is concerned, I am managing to keep the average of 4.0 (the average grade - Grade Point Average (GPA) is calculated taking into account the credits of each course and the vote expressed in numbers). I was named for the third time in a row in the Dean List, a list of all the students with an average of 3.6 and up.
The sport side has more up and downs but in the end I managed to fulfill many of my goals. " Sports experience, life experience: "It was the first time far from my friends, relatives and it was not easy because I had to rebuild everything from scratch. Suddenly I found myself miles away from home without any points of reference. It wasn't easy at the beginning but my school and team mates helped me a lot! Now I'm definitely a much more serious and responsible guy than I was before. From the sport point of view I became a better teammate than I was when I was in Italy. Before I was more focused on individual performance rather than the team result. This adventure opens up new horizons, gives me the opportunity to visit many new places and meet people of different ethnicities and cultures: all this makes you grow as a person. "