Has it really been 3 weeks since my first blog post?! A fantastic 3 weeks: playing tourneys, building my vert and got my AAA rating (a huge accomplishment for me)!
I played the Long Beach Open with my best friend Dylan Hamilton; finished 9th place -- my highest open finish to date; and played against one of my favorite pros: Jason Lockhead!
I have a somewhat regular partner, a CBVA veteran. We have been having an awesome time: he's an experienced blocker and play lots of close games against very good teams. No major upsets yet, but we collected a 9th place finish in the Ocean Park Open with hopes of doing better as we play together more.
For years i've hounded my coach (Scottie Zucco) to improve my jump - he would convince me there were other places worthy of improvement. But before i left Maui in March, I challenged him to help me add 4 inches to my vertical and 10 mph to my swing while i was in california (he's in Maui). My first job was to hold a deep squat for 2 minutes to improve my vertical safely. Guess what I’ve been doing for 5 straight weeks?! Last week, I finally hit 2 minutes! Our training has barely begun and it's been challenging, yet I'm already moving faster and jumping higher.
And now for my most exciting bit of news...I have finally earned my AAA rating! The AAA rating is the highest you can get in the CBVA. It’s just 3 silly letters, but it is a reminder of how far I have come. My former Oahu practice partner, Abel Gustafson, and I earned our AAA rating at the Ocean Park AA in Santa Monica. It was a tough tournament full of mental challenges, the biggest of which was the heavy wind. The wind was blowing harder than anything I have ever played in. At one point Abel set me a ball that blew 5 feet out of bounds, leaving me swinging at air. Fortunately, my coach and i have been working on keeping me focused and competitive when I get frustrated and feel like giving up. It's working -- Abel and I won 28-26 in the finals with the wind at it's peak velocity.
After the tournament Abel and I sat down and reflected on how far we have come in the last two years. It is funny to think of how clueless I was two years ago. I knew I wanted to compete with the best -- but had no idea what that entailed. Today I am closer than ever, but still have a long way to go down the "path of mastery":
“I am not what I ought to be, not what I want to be, not what I am going to be, but thankful that I am not what I used to be” -- John Wooden
My name is Joshua Kulhavy-Sutherland and I am a 5’ 10” athlete who is trying to master the sport of beach volleyball. I believe that this road of mastery has many lessons hidden within it which help me to learn, grow, and be a better person in general. I live on Maui where I was born and raised, but currently spend a few months a year in California testing my skills.