My Journey To The Beach: Chloe Reinig – Blog 2

  1 Wendy Mayer | February 26th, 2018 | College - Beach, News

Throughout the 2018 beach season, former Michigan State indoor star Chloe Reinig and a few other fifth-year players heading from the gym to the beach will walk through their transitions to the beach game.

Reinig was an Honorable Mention All-American in 2014, a two-time AVCA All-Region selection (2014, 2015) and two-time All-Big Ten honoree (first team 2014; honorable mention 2015) for the Spartans. The three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree registered 1,259 kills (3.05 per set) , while adding 301 blocks (0.73 per set) and 231 digs at MSU.

In this week’s edition, Chloe dives deep into the technical aspects of the transition and the differences between the indoor and beach games, while offering a quick glimpse into opening weekend for her Loyola Marymount Lions.

Hello All, it’s me again, back with my second installment to My Journey to the Beach.

As I alluded to in my first post, the transition to beach was not always so smooth. There are a few facets that are just vastly different than indoor, even if the two do have the same core skills in common. I think one of the hardest things, for me personally, is knowing when to be a blocker and knowing when to be a defensive player, and to do both effectively. In indoor, it was second nature to be at the net, make your read, and put up the biggest block possible. On the beach, there are a few more steps added to the mental processes of a blocker: 1. Watch the pass to see if it’s over 2. Watch the setter’s platform to see where they’re facing, or if they’re going over on two 3. Decide if the set is tight enough to stay on and block or if it’s off and you should pull 4. If you block, you must decide if you want to soft block so you can be ready to pull your arms down if you see signs of a shot or to fully press over is their arm is all the way cocked back (good hitters hide these cues well) 5. If you pull you must make an aggressive move off the net, and be ready to dig because newsflash, they’re probably going at you, you baby giraffe.

Another marked difference is the amount of involvement you have on each and every play. In the indoor game, you MIGHT touch a ball once or twice a rally, if you’re lucky, and sometimes you can go points without touching the ball. Unless you’re the setter of course then you’re bound to get a few more touches. On the beach, you’re almost guaranteed to get several contacts each rally. This calls for a certain mental focus and physical toughness that I just hadn’t experienced in indoor, even as an outside (who are used to getting everything but the kitchen sink thrown at them). It’s knowing and expecting that the ball is going to come to you, and being prepared for that reality. It’s being able to cover the expanse of the entire court not just your 1/6 of the indoor court. There are no plays off on the beach. Again, there are no subs. It’s just you, your partner, and the ball. 

Lastly, I would have to say the speed of the game is the other major disparity. I can clearly recall our head coach at Michigan State holding our T-shirts from the back so that we couldn’t take our approach until the very last second, so that we had to go as fast as possible. This is not the case in beach. You start your approach slow, which is surprisingly hard to adjust to!! Start slow, so that your next steps can be adjustment steps, and then your last two steps are a quick right-left! Our coach at LMU always says “walk into your approach” which just sounds so weird compared to indoor coaching! I don’t think I ever heard of “walking” into anything on the Sport Court!

There is also a lot to conserving your energy on the sand, so that you can use your full capacity as often as you need it. One thing that I really like is that you can honestly control the pace of the game. Many say this in indoor but that’s more of a team effort, and harder to make an impact as an individual. On the sand your touch, your attitude, and your breath are all within your control. We talk a lot about the Controllables vs. Uncontrollables and how focusing on uncontrollables such as the opponent, the refs, the weather, etc. is a waste of time and energy. Instead, to be in your best mindset, you must only focus on your controllables. When you and your partner are both doing this, and the more often you can both do this, the better team you will be. This goes for indoor as well obviously I just feel that there is a level of control in the beach game due to involvement you have. For me, one of the biggest things is focusing on my breathing, which helps calm me down before each play starts. For you, this might be something different, like positive self-talk, or the toss of your serve.

As many of you have probably seen, the first Beach Coaches Poll is out. With one week under our belts, teams are starting to get a feel for the sand under their toes. USC sits top dog, for now. I wouldn’t be shocked to see the rankings change quite a bit within the next few weeks…

Our first tournament was this past weekend vs. Vanguard and Bakersfield. My partner Kekai and I went 2-0 as well as our team overall swept both opponents! It was a good weekend for LMU! We look forward to traveling to Arizona next weekend.

Another difference- it was odd to stay in one place all fall and not travel much. It will be fun to get back into a travel routine again for this ole gal! I must say it is SO nice to be back in competition mode, I had dearly missed it. Competing against your own teammates for months has its own challenges and barriers, and I think we were all excited heading into this past weekend where we would see different faces across the net and be able to cheer each other on from the sidelines!

As season begins, I’m taking each day in and embracing my last collegiate season and all the blessings and challenges that come along with it. Off to the races!

Until Next Time,

Your Pal Chloe

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Valeri Kim Cousins-Shaffer
Valeri Kim Cousins-Shaffer

Love these writings. Wonderful to hear how youare adjustig to Southern Cali life. Keep up the great work Chloe.

About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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