Billy Ketch Allen

A Mostly Volleyball Blog


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Partnerships

A friend of mine, we’ll call him AJ, was riding home with his beach partner from a disappointing tournament in San Diego when his phone vibrated. It was a text message from a higher ranked player asking to play in the next tournament. AJ texted “Let’s do it!” and then told his now ex-partner, the driver, that he would be playing the next tournament with someone else.

The car pulled off the 405 freeway and AJ was told, “Get out of my car.”

AJ had to call his wife for a ride the rest of the way home.

I’ve had a lot of partnerships over my career and I’ve enjoyed every one of them. None were left on non-speaking terms or found me stranded on the 405. Continue reading


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The Frugal Spiker

Starting out in this game is tough. Paying your way across the country to play single-elimination qualifiers in the hopes of earning enough points to one day make it straight into the main draw. It can be a big gut check to bet money on yourself, but it’s necessary. The ones who make it work, grinding through qualifier after qualifier, have at least one of these qualities: skill, money, or frugality.

Olympics Day 14 - Beach Volleyball

SKILL – The best strategy is to be better than everyone else. But because of the deep level of competition in the qualifier, it’s rare to see someone stroll to the top ranks unscathed. Even NCAA Players of the Year like Brad Keenan and Taylor Crabb fell in their first qualifier attempts. This year saw Olympians of both genders fail to qualify. But if you’re good enough you will qualify and earn a spot in the main draw. Or get picked up by a partner with enough points to carry you there. Continue reading