Average to Savage
Average to Savage

Episode · 1 year ago

Kendra Dahlke | Average To Savage EP121

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This is the one hundred and twenty-first episode of the Average to Savage podcast featuring pro volleyball player Kendra Dahlke. Paul Guarino talked with Kendra Dahlke discussing her time at the University of Arizona, playing volleyball professionally overseas, and what she enjoys doing in her free time.Follow Kendra Dahlkehttps://www.instagram.com/KendraDahlkeThis podcast interview with Kendra Dahlke was originally recorded on April 1, 2021

This is the average to savage podcast with Paul Guerrino. Everyone in anyone, athletes, celebs and much more. What's up, everybody? I'm back for another episode of the average savage podcast. Our special guest today is Kendra Dokey. Kendra. How's it going? Good. How are you? I'm good. I appreciate you coming on your my first pro volleyball player I have ever interviewed. Oh, awesome. Well, thank you so much for having me. I'm really excited for that. Yeah. So let's just go back in time. How did you first get involved playing volleyball? It's kind of a funny story. Actually, it was The Taliban wasn't like my first for that I ever played. It was actually basketball was like my main main sport. Um, pretty much since I was like, I was probably was eight years old when I really was, like, starting out basketball. Um, and I recently moved from Minnesota to California, and, um, I was going through, like, a new middle school in sixth grade, and the volleyball coach saw me walking around campus and was like, Hey, are you coming about about tryouts? And I was like, Oh, no, like, I don't I don't play volleyball like I have no idea how to play. I don't know the sport at all. And you're like, Oh, I think it's really try. Thank you would be good. I was like, Okay, I guess we can give it a try. That was, like, super hesitant, you know? So I was like, my mind was always like on basketball. Um, but then I, like, went to try out whatever and all the girls are super welcoming. And even though I really suck, they put me on varsity because I was called, like, really tall for my age. Um, they put me on the varsity of human in middle school and I just had, like, the most fun, you know, on that team and just learning a bunch of new things about the sport and stuff. And right after that year that I played with that team, they wanted me to play on the club team, but my parents had said no because it was like a full time. You know, you're...

...a round thing with club, and I still have my back basketball season and stuff, So I played club my first year. Um, but then the following year, So I was 13 at the time. I ended up quitting basketball the next year and just doing full club ball ball. And since then I was just like I hit the ground running and I haven't hadn't stopped for, you know, the longest time. So that's kind of how I got, you know, my foot in the door with volleyball and everything. Yeah, it's crazy. Now. I always ask people, like, Did did playing like other sports like help you? You think like with volleyball for sure? If yeah, um, I also played a little bit of tennis, and I think in terms of like, hand eye coordination, you know, reading where the ball's going. Reacting to it, um for sure translated into my volleyball, my volleyball game also. So, yeah, I think that played a huge role. And just like into playing like the natural, you know, movement of sport and everything that really helped me in the long run, let's say yeah for sure. And then what about, Just like during high school when did, like recruitment offers start coming in? Um, recurring. It was okay, so it's a little weird for me. I in eighth grade So my second year playing club, I played up into the 18th division. Um, so I've played with a bunch of older girls. Most of the girls have either been signed or, you know, we're getting recruited by other, um, colleges and whatnot. Um, so my first time getting recruited was in eighth grade. Um, so it was really shocking to me, I would say, because I was so new at this sport and I was also playing a different position than I played. Now, um, I was a middle blocker when I first started, Um, so I was getting recruited at first as a middle blocker, and actually, the school that I end up chosing choosing ended up choosing, um, was Arizona and they actually first started recruiting...

...me as a middle blocker. And they were like, one of the first schools to recruit me. Um, but initially, the process started for me. I was, like, eighth grade, and then I ended up committing to Arizona junior year of high school. So I waited a little bit of time, you know, just to kind of really without my option to find a good fit for me. Um, you know I wasn't in a rush because I really didn't know what school that I wanted to go to, like at all. Um, so I just was really nice not having, like, any pressure from like, like, choose the school, choose a school. It was really all up to me all about how I felt about the campus and stuff. So the recruiting process for me was pretty smooth, I would say. Yeah. Yeah, sure. What about, like, Was there a final like three schools? Yeah, I don't work. So obviously Arizona, You know, they, um North Carolina and Kansas for my top three. All right. And where did you say you were originally? Where did you say you were originally from? I know you said you loved you removed in Minnesota. Mhm. Yeah. I originally was born in Minnesota. Um, and I lived there for about eight years before he moved to California. And then I did like most of my growing up in California before I left for college. Then I was, like, in Arizona. So how was it just going to Arizona? Just like school wise in, like, playing less. I loved it. Yeah. I mean, when I first got to the campus. I was like, Oh, my gosh, this place is amazing. Like the girls that were on the team while I was getting recruited were awesome. The coasting stuff. That was awesome. Um, so, yeah, I was, like, in love with that place, and I went on three actually went on three visits before I committed to that school because I just wanted everyone to see it. One of my dad to go with my mom to go. I wanted everyone to go. You know, just make sure that like they found, is also good. Good for me. And like, they could see me there. Um, yeah, I loved it. There I was. I had a good time. You know, I met someone like close friends of mine.

That is still the close friends of mine. To this day, I have a good relationship with the coaches. Still, um, you know, that's like my, um so, yeah, in terms of playing also, you know, it was rough for me at first. My first year, just coming off the bench. Not like playing at the start. It was tough for me because, like I was always started I was always like to go to player, like on every team I played so going, because that was like, Okay, like, I really need to think about what I need to work on, you know, for the following season. And then my sophomore year, I ended up being a starter. We went to the C 16 that year. Um, I was the youngest. Started on that at that time. Um, so I was just, like, a really eye opening experience for me, And I learned a lot in my four years there. So I think it was like, the perfect situation for me. You know, I had to grow, not even like as a player as a person. Also, when I went there, which was, you know, important for me as a player That helps me in the long run, for sure. So I think I definitely the right choice for going there. Yeah, for sure. And then, um, like, like, during college, did you Did you think you were gonna go pro or like, did you want to? I know, like in America. There's I know now they just start out pro league here. Um, so like, what? was your just like thoughts during college. I knew it was a possibility to play professionally, I would say going into cause any of that. Um, but obviously going in, I was like, it seemed just so far said that I'm like like I'm a long ways away from, you know, doing that Because the girls that I knew that were playing overseas or, like, you know, on the national team Olympians And, like, I'm nowhere near that, you know, right now. So it's like, Okay, like, it could be a possibility for me, maybe, Like, if I don't know, the tables turn here in the first early stages of college. Um, but I would say it became more of a realistic thing for me in my senior year. Like the last. The last season for me was when I was like, Okay, um,...

...like, that's something I want to do after this, I ended up actually graduating early just so I could go play overseas, you know, like as soon as possible, because I went at the half season. So, like in January, is like the half season of, um, like European teams. It was the start of the Philippines, which is where I first ended up playing. Um, so it's perfect, like, for me, you know, and finish early. I was able to go right away to play somewhere, you know, professionally overseas. Get my foot in the door on that and, you know, start that whole different, You know, all game. Um, so, yeah, that was it was more I would say more of a realistic thing for me. Yeah, like towards the middle of my senior year. You know, it was like having good enough numbers to do it. People are asking me, um, agents, you know, we're contacting me. My coach was asking like, Hey, are you interested in like, Yeah, I guess I guess I could, you know, make money doing this. Why not? So, yeah, that's kind of my my thoughts about it. Yeah, for sure. Now what? What's your like, What's your take on? Uh, I think it's athletes unlimited that they created, like the new American Li. Like, what's your take on that? And like, tell me because I don't know that much about professional volleyball. So tell me like, what's the difference is like maybe playing here versus going to Europe. Um, well, I do know that with the athletes are limited, it was, I think about I don't want to say, 48 women that were playing, Um, and a lot of those ladies played overseas. Also a lot where I've said about, like, there's a good handful that were probably first year pros, like, just came up from college. Um, and you know, it was really their first experience playing like with professional players. Um, and it was a really, really short season. So it was really intense. And like from what I've heard about it, um, like just the level of the Bible is really high. Obviously, because you...

...have people that were in Olympics. You have people playing at college volleyball, which you get that overseas. But you don't get that level of basketball on the same side of the net and across the Internet, you know, it's like more, I would say, in Europe it's more watered down, like every team has like two or three really good players that are probably at that level. Whereas, you know, like maybe the majority of the team isn't so, you know, you get your you know, a couple of good players that you see once or twice a week. But there it's, you know, it's even a step above the college level, which is, you know, college level every night. Every match is like a grind. Um, so I would say that would probably be like a level above that, just in terms of the experience of the players. Um, and I would say, even like in terms of level of the games that you're playing on like a night tonight basis That's probably even more so than most of the leagues in Europe. I'd say, um, he would have you have the Italian league. The first league in Italy is probably the best league that you can play in, um, overseas. You have France, Germany. All have really good leave. But there's really nothing that would compare to, like the girls that were playing in that I think the moment of thing, Yeah, it kind of kind of like reminds me of like, you know, like W N B A. And they go overseas and then, you know, the like, there's Americans on the team and things like that, Um and what advice would you give to just like a young volleyball player, like trying to go pro or trying to get like, a D one scholarship. I would say, you know, get like a good I'd say men and a half two minutes of video that you can send to college coaches, especially if you're not playing club. But for sure you want to play club because that's where you going to get the most. You know, I've on you in terms of college recruiters. Um, you know, you're gonna have teammates that are maybe getting...

...recruited. If you're playing with those girls, you're on the same court as them. So you're going to get, you know, people are watching and also, um, so playing club is huge. Um, having like, you know, at least a minute to two minutes of video that you can send out is, I think, a plus. Um, I'm just asking the right questions and, you know, just knowing kind of like watching watching the game, becoming a student of the game is important because you can learn so much just by watching, asking people that you know that play maybe like something that you look look up to him like, Hey, how do you do this? Like, is this something that, like you think I could do to work on, like, you know, just asking the questions that can make you, like, just step better. All right, Well, now that you said that, like what? What would you want to know? That you didn't know at the time, like, say, or in college or like before, pro or whatnot. That's a good question. I don't think I never asked me that question. Um, something I'd want to know. Well, this is, I think, something I would want to know would be. Well, not everything is going to go your way and like, you need to have, like, a resiliency to and just being able to bounce back fast is really important. So I think just knowing that you're going to go through these ups and downs ahead of time before they come and be really, you know, an advantage. So, knowing that, like you're gonna face, like, some really challenging moments and just knowing, like, you know, it's normal. I think that is something that you know everyone could benefit from. Yeah, Yeah, definitely. And then just going into women's sports in general. Um, like, what do you think like more people could do to to support women's sports? I think the views, what having people watched is huge. You know, Um and you see the difference in like, say, the n b A and like the W N B A. That's the number of people that watch. It is shocking, you know, because like it's basketball at the end of the day, you know, and especially for volleyball,...

...it's such a huge like it's such a widely played sport in the US that it's surprising to me that it doesn't get a lot of TV time, and it doesn't get a lot of views on TV when it is on TV, and part of that is because there's not a lot of advertising for it. So I think that's another thing that would really improve the amount of views just advertising like, you know, how they have, like, really fun, like add up there for, like, basketball games like doing stuff like that. I think we just get more people's attention because like you have all these young girls everywhere that play volleyball, so you know that like if it's on TV, they would watch it. You know, um, it's just not out there for people to watch. And also, it's a hard game to put on TV because sometimes the game could be an hour half longer. It could be three hours long, and it's hard to like have time slot. So, like if the game does go long or go short, you know, to fill that TV slot is really difficult. And that's like something that people are looking at to see if there's a way to, like, adjust the scoring so it could be like more of a more of a condensed game, so people would be able to watch it more efficient, something like that. But yeah, I think advertising is huge and just getting people to watch. Yeah, yeah, I feel like the like, the times I see the most, obviously like during the Olympics. And then yeah, And then sometimes, uh, like sometimes SportsCenter has highlights like the college game. Yeah, for sure. Which is nice when you see, like, those really cool plays and stuff that people are just like, Oh wow. But like people, honestly, they watch it, and I think it's cool, but I don't know really what's going on either. So, like an understanding of the game is also important. And it's difficult because people just think we just tight and like, everyone plays different. No, it's not like that at all. You know, there's so many like crossing patterns. It's just it's just an ended up game that it's like If you don't really understand, it is hard to watch and I even struggle to watch it Sometimes, you know, like it can be boring to watch. Like if you don't know what's going on, you know? So it's one of those things that just like the more people watch it, the more the more they learn and, like it would just take...

...people to kind of help grow the game, grow the knowledge of the game to the get more viewers is like Is the Olympics like one of your goals? Mhm. I want to say yes, but at the same time it's never really been one of my goals, you know, um, to be able to compete at that level with those the women that play at that level would be enough for me. You know, just to say like, Yeah, I was playing with this girl. She's done this. She has this metal, you know? It's like it's awesome and, you know, playing. I played in the, like, USA like college national team. Even playing there, I was, like, you know, mind blown. Just like how much How many girls are involved. And it's difficult. It's really competitive. But I mean, if it's something that I could see to, like, push myself, maybe have tryouts, I would definitely go for it, you know, because you never know. So yeah. Yeah, for sure. Um, what about I got some fun questions for you? Uh, what's what's your favorite like song right now? Mm. Oh, my God. Okay. I don't know that people don't know her by cash paid. If you take any one of her songs on her album Teenage Fever, it's just perfect. It's like the perfect album for me. Um, by my favorite song, I would say, Is London on that album? If you've heard it feel like I feel like I could not I feel like I heard her, but I don't know if I heard her songs. Okay. Yeah. So listen, to this. You know, I think when you listen to, I'll check it out. What? What do you like to do in your free time? Mm, my free time. It's, You know, there's a lot when you're overseas. There's a lot, but, um, here, especially we go out, like to walk around and, like, look at the views of the island because it's so pretty here. Just spend time with my teammates, get to know them more. Uh, yeah. We're going, like, little hike. Sometimes little locks to see. Take pictures just like that. But I'm back home. I like to hang out with my friends with my dog,...

...you know, hang out by the pool, read. Listen to music. Go shopping. Typical gold stuff. Uh, food also. Uh, well, that's how I was gonna ask you next. What? Like what? Uh, what kind of, like, interesting foods have you ate overseas? Okay, um, or any new high? Yeah, probably the most interesting eat that had were in the Philippines. And I love like asian cuisine. So being over there like they have rice breakfast, lunch and dinner, you know, um so for me, that was perfect, because I love Rice. You know all that, But I'd say there was like, this thing. It's called Volume. I think it's the name and it's like this egg. I didn't like it, but it's like this egg that's like it's cooked, but it's not cooked. So, like you crack the egg open and you have to drink. You have to drink this like juice that comes out of it and like, the egg is cooked. So it's like you're eating the egg. But it's I don't know either chicken or something, and I don't know that it was like it was something that was really interesting. Yeah, it wasn't that good. They all the girls, they love it. And if they watched, it will be like, Oh, you didn't like it like No, you know. So, yeah, that's kind of interesting. I'm standing up time. Yeah, it sounds interesting. And I don't want to try it. Yeah, I don't reckon I don't recommend it. Last one. What's something people don't know about you? Mm. People don't know about me. Well, people don't know. Probably that I have a sister that shoes. Um, only 14 months apart from me. People they don't know in general that I have siblings because I don't like. Put them out. But I'm a factory siblings. My brother is, um, he's at...

Drake University right now and playing basketball his his first year there. He's a walk on. And then my sister, my youngest sister, she's also a volleyball player. Um, she's young, though. She's, like, 15 now she's just started going off. And I have another sister, the one that forced months apart. And she's a chef. There we go. We're shutting out the fan. Yeah, I got it. All right, well, I appreciate you coming on. And could you have the listeners know where they can follow you on social media? Yeah, for sure. My instagram is just my first and last name. Kendra dlt. Um, my twitter is k underscored bulky, and that's really the only social media is I have I think I have to talk about it on your posts on this, and they don't need to be on there. Yeah, So those two, uh, we have consider I appreciate you coming on, and best of luck the rest of the season. Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. Nice to have this time with you. Okay? Yeah. Mhm.

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