Average to Savage
Average to Savage

Episode · 7 months 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 podcastwith Paul Guerrino. Everyone in anyone, athletes, celebsand much more. What's up, everybody? I'm back for another episode of theaverage savage podcast. Our special guest today is Kendra Dokey. Kendra.How's it going? Good. How are you? I'm good. Iappreciate you coming on your my first pro volleyball player I have everinterviewed. Oh, awesome. Well, thank you so much for having me. I'm reallyexcited for that. Yeah. So let's just go back in time. How did you first getinvolved playing volleyball? It's kind of a funny story. Actually,it was The Taliban wasn't like my first forthat 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 Ireally was, like, starting out basketball. Um, and I recently movedfrom Minnesota to California, and, um, I was going through, like, a new middleschool in sixth grade, and the volleyball coach saw me walking aroundcampus and was like, Hey, are you coming about about tryouts? And I waslike, Oh, no, like, I don't I don't play volleyball like I have no idea howto play. I don't know the sport at all. And you're like, Oh, I think it'sreally try. Thank you would be good. I was like, Okay, I guess we can give ita try. That was, like, super hesitant, you know? So I was like, my mind wasalways like on basketball. Um, but then I, like, went to try out whatever andall the girls are super welcoming. And even though I really suck, they put meon varsity because I was called, like, really tall for my age. Um, they put meon the varsity of human in middle school and I just had, like, the mostfun, you know, on that team and just learning a bunch of new things aboutthe 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 itwas like a full time. You know, you're...

...a round thing with club, and I stillhave 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 quittingbasketball the next year and just doing full club ball ball. And since then Iwas just like I hit the ground running and I haven't hadn't stopped for, youknow, the longest time. So that's kind of how I got, you know, my foot in thedoor with volleyball and everything. Yeah, it's crazy. Now. I always askpeople, like, Did did playing like other sports like help you? You thinklike with volleyball for sure? If yeah, um, I also played alittle 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 suretranslated into my volleyball, my volleyball game also. So, yeah, I thinkthat 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'ssay 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 alittle weird for me. I in eighth grade So my second year playing club, Iplayed up into the 18th division. Um, so I've played with a bunch of oldergirls. Most of the girls have either been signed or, you know, we're gettingrecruited by other, um, colleges and whatnot. Um, so my first time getting recruitedwas 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 positionthan I played. Now, um, I was a middle blocker when I first started, Um, so Iwas getting recruited at first as a middle blocker, and actually, theschool that I end up chosing choosing ended up choosing, um, was Arizona andthey actually first started recruiting...

...me as a middle blocker. And they werelike, one of the first schools to recruit me. Um, but initially, theprocess started for me. I was, like, eighth grade, and then I ended upcommitting to Arizona junior year of high school. So I waited a little bitof time, you know, just to kind of really without my option to find a goodfit for me. Um, you know I wasn't in a rush because I really didn't know whatschool that I wanted to go to, like at all. Um, so I just was really nice nothaving, like, any pressure from like, like, choose the school, choose aschool. It was really all up to me all about how I felt about the campus andstuff. 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 obviouslyArizona, 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 youwere originally from? I know you said you loved you removed in Minnesota. Mhm. Yeah. I originally was born inMinnesota. Um, and I lived there for about eight years before he moved toCalifornia. And then I did like most of my growing up in California before Ileft for college. Then I was, like, in Arizona. So how was it just going toArizona? Just like school wise in, like, playing less. I loved it. Yeah. I mean, when I firstgot to the campus. I was like, Oh, my gosh, this place is amazing. Like thegirls that were on the team while I was getting recruited were awesome. Thecoasting stuff. That was awesome. Um, so, yeah, I was, like, in love withthat place, and I went on three actually went on three visits before Icommitted to that school because I just wanted everyone to see it. One of mydad to go with my mom to go. I wanted everyone to go. You know, just makesure that like they found, is also good. Good for me. And like, they could seeme there. Um, yeah, I loved it. There I was. I had a good time. You know, I metsomeone 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 roughfor me at first. My first year, just coming off the bench. Not like playingat the start. It was tough for me because, like I was always started Iwas 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 needto work on, you know, for the following season. And then my sophomore year, Iended up being a starter. We went to the C 16 that year. Um, I was theyoungest. Started on that at that time. Um, so I was just, like, a really eyeopening 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 togrow, not even like as a player as a person. Also, when I went there, whichwas, 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, forsure. And then, um, like, like, during college, did you Did you think you weregonna go pro or like, did you want to? I know, like in America. There's I knownow they just start out pro league here. Um, so like, what? was your just likethoughts during college. I knew it was a possibility to play professionally, Iwould 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 overseasor, like, you know, on the national team Olympians And, like, I'm nowherenear that, you know, right now. So it's like, Okay, like, it could be apossibility for me, maybe, Like, if I don't know, the tables turn here in thefirst early stages of college. Um, but I would say it became more of arealistic thing for me in my senior year. Like the last. The last seasonfor me was when I was like, Okay, um,...

...like, that's something I want to doafter this, I ended up actually graduating early just so I could goplay overseas, you know, like as soon as possible, because I went at the halfseason. So, like in January, is like the half season of, um, like Europeanteams. It was the start of the Philippines, which is where I firstended up playing. Um, so it's perfect, like, for me, you know, and finishearly. 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, startthat whole different, You know, all game. Um, so, yeah, that was it wasmore I would say more of a realistic thing for me. Yeah, like towards themiddle of my senior year. You know, it was like having good enough numbers todo it. People are asking me, um, agents, you know, we're contacting me. My coachwas asking like, Hey, are you interested in like, Yeah, I guess Iguess I could, you know, make money doing this. Why not? So, yeah, that'skind 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 mebecause I don't know that much about professional volleyball. So tell melike, what's the difference is like maybe playing here versus going toEurope. Um, well, I do know that with theathletes are limited, it was, I think about I don't want to say, 48 womenthat were playing, Um, and a lot of those ladies played overseas. Also alot where I've said about, like, there's a good handful that wereprobably 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. Andlike from what I've heard about it, um, like just the level of the Bible isreally high. Obviously, because you...

...have people that were in Olympics. Youhave 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 netand across the Internet, you know, it's like more, I would say, in Europe it'smore watered down, like every team has like two or three really good playersthat are probably at that level. Whereas, you know, like maybe themajority of the team isn't so, you know, you get your you know, a couple of goodplayers that you see once or twice a week. But there it's, you know, it'seven a step above the college level, which is, you know, college level everynight. Every match is like a grind. Um, so I would say that would probably belike 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 playingon like a night tonight basis That's probably even more so than most of theleagues 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'sreally nothing that would compare to, like the girls that were playing inthat I think the moment of thing, Yeah, it kind of kind of like remindsme 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 whatadvice would you give to just like a young volleyball player, like trying togo pro or trying to get like, a D one scholarship. I would say, you know, get like a goodI'd say men and a half two minutes of video that you can send to collegecoaches, especially if you're not playing club. But for sure you want toplay club because that's where you going to get the most. You know, I'veon you in terms of college recruiters. Um, you know, you're gonna haveteammates that are maybe getting...

...recruited. If you're playing with thosegirls, 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 outis, I think, a plus. Um, I'm just asking the right questions and, youknow, just knowing kind of like watching watching the game, becoming astudent of the game is important because you can learn so much just bywatching, asking people that you know that play maybe like something that youlook look up to him like, Hey, how do you do this? Like, is this somethingthat, like you think I could do to work on, like, you know, just asking thequestions that can make you, like, just step better. All right, Well, now thatyou said that, like what? What would you want to know? That you didn't knowat the time, like, say, or in college or like before, pro or whatnot. That'sa good question. I don't think I never asked me that question. Um, something I'd want to know. Well, thisis, I think, something I would want to know would be. Well, not everything is going to goyour way and like, you need to have, like, a resiliency to and just beingable to bounce back fast is really important. So I think just knowing thatyou're going to go through these ups and downs ahead of time before theycome and be really, you know, an advantage. So, knowing that, likeyou're gonna face, like, some really challenging moments and just knowing,like, you know, it's normal. I think that is something that you knoweveryone could benefit from. Yeah, Yeah, definitely. And then just going intowomen's sports in general. Um, like, what do you think like more peoplecould do to to support women's sports? I think the views, what having peoplewatched is huge. You know, Um and you see the difference in like, say, the nb A and like the W N B A. That's the number of people that watch. It isshocking, you know, because like it's basketball at the end of the day, youknow, and especially for volleyball,...

...it's such a huge like it's such awidely played sport in the US that it's surprising to me that it doesn't get alot 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 thinkthat's another thing that would really improve the amount of views justadvertising like, you know, how they have, like, really fun, like add upthere for, like, basketball games like doing stuff like that. I think we justget more people's attention because like you have all these young girlseverywhere that play volleyball, so you know that like if it's on TV, theywould watch it. You know, um, it's just not out there for people to watch. Andalso, it's a hard game to put on TV because sometimes the game could be anhour half longer. It could be three hours long, and it's hard to like havetime slot. So, like if the game does go long or go short, you know, to fillthat TV slot is really difficult. And that's like something that people arelooking at to see if there's a way to, like, adjust the scoring so it could belike more of a more of a condensed game, so people would be able to watch itmore efficient, something like that. But yeah, I think advertising is hugeand just getting people to watch. Yeah, yeah, I feel like the like, the times Isee the most, obviously like during the Olympics. And then yeah, And thensometimes, uh, like sometimes SportsCenter has highlights like thecollege game. Yeah, for sure. Which is nice when you see, like, those reallycool 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 reallywhat's going on either. So, like an understanding of the game is alsoimportant. And it's difficult because people just think we just tight andlike, 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 gamethat it's like If you don't really understand, it is hard to watch and Ieven struggle to watch it Sometimes, you know, like it can be boring towatch. Like if you don't know what's going on, you know? So it's one ofthose things that just like the more people watch it, the more the more theylearn 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 ofyour goals? Mhm. I want to say yes, but at the same timeit's never really been one of my goals, you know, um, to be able to compete atthat level with those the women that play at that level would be enough forme. You know, just to say like, Yeah, I was playing with this girl. She's donethis. 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. Evenplaying there, I was, like, you know, mind blown. Just like how much How manygirls are involved. And it's difficult. It's really competitive. But I mean, ifit'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'syour favorite like song right now? Mm. Oh, my God. Okay. I don't know thatpeople don't know her by cash paid. If you take any one of her songs on heralbum 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 heardit feel like I feel like I could not I feel like I heard her, but I don't knowif I heard her songs. Okay. Yeah. So listen, to this. You know, I think whenyou listen to, I'll check it out. What? What do you like to do in your freetime? 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 ofthe island because it's so pretty here. Just spend time with my teammates, getto know them more. Uh, yeah. We're going, like, little hike. Sometimeslittle locks to see. Take pictures just like that. But I'm back home. I like tohang 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 lovelike asian cuisine. So being over there like they have rice breakfast, lunchand 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 calledVolume. I think it's the name and it's like this egg. I didn't like it, butit's like this egg that's like it's cooked, but it's not cooked. So, likeyou crack the egg open and you have to drink. You have to drink this likejuice that comes out of it and like, the egg is cooked. So it's like you'reeating the egg. But it's I don't know either chicken or something, and Idon'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 theywatched, 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 soundsinteresting. And I don't want to try it. Yeah, I don't reckon I don't recommendit. 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 havea sister that shoes. Um, only 14 months apart from me. People they don't know in general thatI have siblings because I don't like. Put them out. But I'm a factorysiblings. My brother is, um, he's at...

Drake University right now and playingbasketball his his first year there. He's a walk on. And then my sister, myyoungest 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 anothersister, 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 youcoming on. And could you have the listeners know where they can followyou on social media? Yeah, for sure. My instagram is just my first and lastname. Kendra dlt. Um, my twitter is k underscored bulky, and that's reallythe only social media is I have I think I have to talk about it on your postson this, and they don't need to be on there. Yeah, So those two, uh, we haveconsider 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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