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The Volley Bubble

Author: Ci Michel

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Ever wondered what life as a professional volleyball player looks like? Sounds like? Smells like? (I can't help you there...) But I can bring you real, candid and (mostly) uncut conversations between professional female volleyball players. 10-year pro player, 2012 Olympian and YouTube creator, Ci Michel (thats me!) is road-trippin' though Europe on a mission to shed light on pro volleyball, the 2020 CoVID season, and life in the 'Volley Bubble'... Sometimes silly, sometimes serious, but always bubbly.
12 Episodes
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Olivia Rusek is just beginning her third pro season, but has gained a lot of experience in those years in Austria, Czech and now Switzerland. We talk on this episode about the challenges and benefits of a plant-powered diet as a high level vegan athlete, finding your level as an American player in Europe, and changing agents to get a good fit.  Olivia also vlogs her pro experiences on youtube if you want to see more! She graduated from Miami of Ohio (not to be confused with my alma mater UMiami in Florida), and is loving life overseas!  see the full video we filmed together here follow Olivia on instagram: @oliviarusek Visit YouTube.com/cimichel for the Volley Bubble Video Series, as well as tons of videos about life as a professional volleyball player and how to go pro! Follow along on instagram @vb_ci. Be sure to subscribe and rate this podcast, and let me know any of your suggestions for future guests! Share this episode with friends or on your socials and tag me so I can repost! It really means a lot! Thanks for listening!
So Britt and I played together in Mulhouse, which is where she cemented herself as an up and coming star on the European volleyball scene by earning MVP of the French league, and also earned herself the nickname 'Spider Monkey' from myself and our teammate Lexi. I'll leave it up to you to decide which was more important for her career. Basically Britt is an amazing player, a Belgian national team player, still only 21 years old and has so much more left in her! She was named MVP of the CEV Cup which she won in Busto Arsizio her first season there, and also won the hearts of the fans who named her their favourite butterfly that season. She is known for her grit and fire on the court, and to me for her easy smile and silly nature off the court. This girl is always laughing, joking and full of energy! I loved catching up with her, meeting the infamous and adorable Matsko, and hearing how she deals with negative comments (especially from some angry Busto fans after she left to the rival team Novara this season!)  She has idols of her own and big ambitions for the future, so enjoy this sneak peak into the personality and mindset of the fireball of energy that is Britt Herbots! see the full video day in her life here follow Britt on instagram: @brittherbots4 Visit YouTube.com/cimichel for the Volley Bubble Video Series, as well as tons of videos about life as a professional volleyball player and how to go pro! Follow along on instagram @vb_ci. Be sure to subscribe and rate this podcast, and let me know any of your suggestions for future guests! Share this episode with friends or on your socials and tag me so I can repost! It really means a lot! Thanks for listening!
Ali Frantti, aka Moose, is one of my close friends! We played together in Mulhouse, her first full season pro and straight into CEV Champions League! Moose is sweet natured off court, but such a fire cracker on court. She was a four year starter at Penn State, and has played pro overseas in Slovenia, France, Poland and now Italy A1 in Chieri. We talk about why she chose Penn State, how to handle being benched, and why Finding Nemo is a actually a scary movie. Yup, all that and of course why she has the nickname Moose! see the full video day in her life here follow Ali on instagram: @afrantti14 Visit YouTube.com/cimichel for the Volley Bubble Video Series, as well as tons of videos about life as a professional volleyball player and how to go pro! Follow along on instagram @vb_ci. Be sure to subscribe and rate this podcast, and let me know any of your suggestions for future guests! Share this episode with friends or on your socials and tag me so I can repost! It really means a lot! Thanks for listening!
Gia Day got married this summer, and jumped on a plane to France a month later! We talk about how to make a relationship work long distance, and of course the joys of YouTube! Gia is playing for Venelles in the top French League. She played college volleyball at Baylor University, and is now in her first professional European season here in France.  This 22yr old outside hitter has overcome surgeries, being far from her husband and the ever-present language barriers to dive headfirst into life as a pro overseas. Not only is she a bundle of joy and positivity, but she is also a YouTuber! She vlogs about her experiences, her travels and her strong faith. We bonded over our non-conventional views of the world as well as our love of b-roll and capturing experiences through video.  See a full day in her life on the YouTube episode we filmed together here! Follow Gia on instagram @gia__day Visit YouTube.com/cimichel for the Volley Bubble Video Series, as well as tons of videos about life as a professional volleyball player and how to go pro! Follow along on instagram @vb_ci. Be sure to subscribe and rate this podcast, and let me know any of your suggestions for future guests! Share this episode with friends or on your socials and tag me so I can repost! It really means a lot! Thanks for listening!
Wow. If you listen to any of these episodes, listen to this one. Caila opens up so honestly about her struggles with mental health, eating disorders and body image in this raw episode of the Volley Bubble. Months away from family and friends can take a toll on your wellbeing, physically and mentally, and Caila lets us in on her experiences, as well as some methods for coping, and helping teammates or friends than might be going through something similar.  Caila Stapleton graduated from San Diego University, and has played pro in Switzerland, Finland and France. She is 27 year old American Setter from California, who has tasted pro life and also the real world. She is brutally honest and candid in this interview, and shares her insights on the true highs and lows of life as a pro athlete overseas.  See a full day in her life on the YouTube episode we filmed together here! Follow Caila on instagram @cailastapleton Visit YouTube.com/cimichel for the Volley Bubble Video Series, as well as tons of videos about life as a professional volleyball player and how to go pro! Follow along on instagram @vb_ci. Be sure to subscribe and rate this podcast, and let me know any of your suggestions for future guests! Share this episode with friends or on your socials and tag me so I can repost! It really means a lot! Thanks for listening!
Jaali Winters has been chasing the dream of playing pro in France since the age of 14, and she shares the 'secret' to making that dream come true.  Jaali is playing for Saint Raphaël in the top French League. She played college volleyball at Creighton University, and is now in her second professional European season here in France.  She is a 23yr old outside hitter who is a bit obsessed with peanut butter, loves Frank Ocean but hates apple pie! See a full day in her life on the YouTube episode we filmed together here! Follow Jaali on instagram @jaaliwinters Visit YouTube.com/cimichel for the Volley Bubble Video Series, as well as tons of videos about life as a professional volleyball player and how to go pro! Follow along on instagram @vb_ci. Be sure to subscribe and rate this podcast, and let me know any of your suggestions for future guests! Share this episode with friends or on your socials and tag me so I can repost! It really means a lot! Thanks for listening!
In this episode, Tessa Grubbs and I discuss the importance of finding passions outside of the sport of volleyball, and how those pursuits can actually improve your game as an athlete.  Tessa currently plays for Mougins in the top French League. Before that she played at the University of Tennessee, as well as a short first professional season in Slovenia.  She is a 22yr old outside hitter who has a passion for Louis Vuitton, mental health work and is currently mastering the subtle art of not giving a f*ck.  See a full day in her life on the YouTube episode we filmed together here! Follow Tessa on instagram @tessa_grubbs17 Visit YouTube.com/cimichel for the Volley Bubble Video Series, as well as tons of videos about life as a professional volleyball player and how to go pro! Follow along on instagram @vb_ci. Be sure to subscribe and rate this podcast, and let me know any of your suggestions for future guests! Share this episode with friends or on your socials and tag me so I can repost! It really means a lot! Thanks for listening!
Micaya White talks all about the importance of getting comfortable with being uncomfortable as a top performing athlete.  Micaya is the new starting outside hitter for RC Cannes in the top French League. She has just entered her first full professional season, having played a short season in Puerto Rico, and was a four-time All-American at the University of Texas.  She is a 24 year old pescatarian, who practices yoga and loves fresh laundry straight out of the dryer. See a full day in her life on the YouTube episode we filmed together here! Follow Micaya on instagram @cayamonet Visit YouTube.com/cimichel for the Volley Bubble Video Series, as well as tons of videos about life as a professional volleyball player and how to go pro! Follow along on instagram @vb_ci. Be sure to subscribe and rate this podcast, and let me know any of your suggestions for future guests! Share this episode with friends or on your socials and tag me so I can repost! It really means a lot! Thanks for listening!
Ronika Stone teaches me a thing or two about TikTok, as well as how she views social media for top athletes in 2020.   Ronika plays for Volero Le Cannet in the top French League. She is in her first professional season, and played undergrad at the University of Oregon. She is a middle hitter/blocker, loves her Normatec, and is soon to join the vlogging world! Hear all about her experiences in the first two weeks of playing abroad, including overweight luggage and adaptation to life without a dryer.  See a full day in her life on the YouTube episode we filmed together here! You'll get to know Ronika a bit more, and see where she lives and trains with her team in France. Also a bit about her sunflower seed addiction and practice day rituals.  Follow Ronika on instagram @ronikastone Visit YouTube.com/cimichel for the Volley Bubble Video Series, as well as tons of videos about life as a professional volleyball player and how to go pro! Follow along on instagram @vb_ci. Be sure to subscribe and rate this podcast, and let me know any of your suggestions for future guests! Share this episode with friends or on your socials and tag me so I can repost! It really means a lot! Thanks for listening!
Malina Terrell talks us through how to acknowledge, but not give too much power to, the weak link in your mental 'crew'. This 28yr old outside hitter has a fascination for leopards and elephants, her friends call her a 'pineapple', and she meditates every day before training. She plays currently for the Béziers Angels in the top French League, where she was named top scorer in the league 2020. Before that he played at the University of San Francisco, as well as professionally in Denmark, Germany, Puerto Rico, Finland and now France.   See a full day in her life on the YouTube episode we filmed together here! Follow Malina on instagram @malinaterrell Visit YouTube.com/cimichel for the Volley Bubble Video Series, as well as tons of videos about life as a professional volleyball player and how to go pro! Follow along on instagram @vb_ci. Be sure to subscribe and rate this podcast, and let me know any of your suggestions for future guests! Share this episode with friends or on your socials and tag me so I can repost! It really means a lot! Thanks for listening!
Olga Strantzali learned to play at 5 years old, and thus knows she is a 'stable' player who rarely suffers from self doubt! She is a former UMiami Hurricane, and has found herself in Italy A1 Cuneo, after a few seasons in Poland and France. She didn't think University was for her after a difficult freshman year at UCLA, but luckily gave herself a second chance and felt at home on campus in Coral Gables. As a former 'Cane myself, I can totally understand. It's all about the U after all... Olga loves her summers at home in Greece, but talks to me about the joys of life as a pro player. We discuss her tactics for fending off doubt, how to fill free time with tik tok and shopping, and her definition of a good teammate. Olga is graceful, stylish, and welcomed me to her bubble in Cuneo with a smile!  see the full video we recorded together of a day in her life on YouTube here! follow Olga on instagram: @olgastrantzali Visit YouTube.com/cimichel for the full Volley Bubble Video Series, as well as tons of videos about life as a professional volleyball player and how to go pro! Follow along on instagram @vb_ci. Be sure to subscribe and rate this podcast, and let me know any of your suggestions for future guests! Share this episode with friends or on your socials and tag me so I can repost! It really means a lot! Thanks for listening!
This is The Volley Bubble Podcast.  Whats up guys, I'm Ci Michel; Professional Volleyball Player, Olympian, Photographer, YouTuber and now, Podcaster! I have been playing volleyball professionally for ten years and I want to shed a little bit of light on what that means, especially in the era of 2020 and COVID. So I'm driving across Europe on a mission to meet other professional female volleyball players, and tell their stories. Because as you guys know, each one of us is so much more than just an athlete.  Visit YouTube.com/cimichel for the Volley Bubble Video Series, to see behind the scenes with each of the podcast guests, as well as tons of videos about life as a professional volleyball player and how to go pro! Follow along on instagram @vb_ci. Be sure to subscribe and rate this podcast, and let me know any of your suggestions for future guests! Share this episode with friends or on your socials and tag me so I can repost! It really means a lot! Thanks for listening!
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