Quarantine is an odd time for almost everyone, to be told to take a break from your everyday life and at the same time to find a way to break the cycles of boredom that develops over time. So, during the quarantine we caught up with some of our Stunners to see what they have been doing to keep themselves healthy, entertained, and in a good mental space while a pandemic ravaged around the country. The first person we caught up with Nick Amado, who was able to leave Spain in the middle of March to escape a serious government lockdown. The first question we asked him was what did you do to make sure you were able to stay in shape during the quarantine? He responded with “Well, when I got back from Spain it was right after everything was becoming locked down in the U.S, so essentially I went from one lockdown to another.” The next thing we wanted to know was, how does an aspiring professional athlete keep himself in the best shape possible, when everything was locked down? He responded with “When I got back, I realized one thing that was going to be locked down were the gyms, so I had to create an at home workout program to keep myself in shape. I was lucky enough to be in contact with some of my athletic trainers from when I played at Long Beach and Panos, our trainer and strength coach for the Stunners, and they were able to help me come up with a plan” That statement peaked our curiosity, we wondered without access to weights, did he only do bodyweight exercises or did he have another trick up his sleeve? He told us that the trick is bottles and gallons of water. One thing he said he would do is take bottles of water, put them in his backpack, and then use it as a weight. Whether he was putting it on his back and doing jumps, or holding it over his head for a shoulder workout, he just wanted to find ways to get better.
The next thing we wanted to talk to Nick Amado about was how to keep yourself in a good headspace, while being potentially locked in your house for a long period of time. We asked him what steps he took to keep his mind sharp and ready for when volleyball season started back up, he could come in better than when the quarantine started. Nick responded with “Well, I’m not going to lie, I did fall into the Netflix trap a little bit, especially with the Tiger King came out. Outside of that, I got to focus on reading a little bit and took some free online classes to broaden my horizons a little bit. The reading was the best part though because me and some friends started a book club and we read Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl which was an outstanding book.” Nick continues on with “It’s really easy to sit around a do nothing in quarantine, especially during those first few weeks, but it’s not healthy to have all that time, and do nothing with it. Instead of playing video games or plowing through Netflix series, I tried my best to take that time and better myself so I can come out of this pandemic a better person and better volleyball player”. This is a great example of what being a Stunner is all about, persevering through tough times to better themselves as a person and a volleyball player.
The next thing we wanted to talk to Nick about was how to find discipline in his quarantine life and how being part of the Stunners program helped him find that. Nick answered us with “So as a professional athlete, discipline is everything, but you already have your day scheduled for you. You have serving practice in the morning, then lifting, a break for lunch, and then practice. So, during the quarantine when you have no schedule, and no time commitments, you must create your own schedule. What worked for me was to devote a block of time to doing the workouts that Panos sent us, a block of time to online classes or reading, and then a block of time for family and other stuff. Doing this helped me learn a lot, and it was a similar feeling to being self-employed. I had to learn to become incredibly disciplined with my time, so when I got back to practicing with the Stunners, I can come in and be in the best shape mentally and physically. The great thing about being on the Stunners team is that we had Panos always checking in with us about our workouts, our recovery, and our improvements. Another great thing about being on the Stunners is that everyone checked in with each other to make sure that we were all doing okay physically and mentally during the initial lockdown.”
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