Q&A with Stephanie Stanford
Oct. 10, 2007
This week on "Off the Court with the Falcons", Air Force fans get the chance to meet freshman Stephanie Stanford, a 5-9 setter from
GETTING TO KNOW YOU ... Stephanie Stanford
How did you get started in volleyball?
-- My mom played on the AVP tour before and just after I was born. My dad played sand doubles with Mom and a bunch of their friends. I guess you could say I just grew up in volleyball. There was never any real question about if I would play. There are pictures of me asleep on my dad's chest in the bleachers as a baby at some of my mom's AVP tour stop.
Who are the biggest influences in your life and why?
-- My parents and my best friends. They are the ones who are there for me when I need to make major decisions and when I need support. My parents were the foundation of my morals and lifestyle. My friends are the ones who influence my decisions when I am out and about.
What is your favorite place on the Academy grounds and why?
-- The Cadet Field House area, because everyone is at rest and there is very little rank. When you're down there, everyone is there to work out and to improve their own personal strengths and weaknesses. It's where teams practice and seeing the other athletes walking through the halls reminds me that there are others who are working hard to represent USAFA as well. The feeling of "team" is overwhelming in an encouraging manner
What is your advice for young volleyball players?
-- Take the techniques from every coach that you train under and consider them. Keep the techniques that you like and that work for you and either modify or do not use the techniques that aren't for you. Remember to ALWAYS try every new technique. There are many ways to pass, set, hit, serve, etc. And it is your job, as an athlete, to find what works best for you. While learning a new technique, ask questions if you don't understand. Remember though, if your coach asks you to perform in a particular way, it is you job as a player to commit to his/her technique style and to use it while they are your coach.
What were your first thoughts of the Academy?
-- Prior to arriving for in-processing, the whole idea was still a little strange. I knew the facts of what were going to happen, but I still did not know what to expect. Coming to the Academy was a dream come true and I am so glad that I am here. When I first committed to come here, it was rather overwhelming, but I always believed that this was the place that was going to make me into the person that I want to be.
What has been your most memorable "welcome to college" moment?
-- Walking into class on the first day and having a syllabus for the entire semester handed to me. The online homework was a change as were having 50 minute classes when I was used to 90 minute classes.
Do you prefer a great kill or a big block?
-- A big block. Typically, kills seem to be a single person glory, to the hitter. But coming down from a big block typically involves at least two of the players and the entire team gets excited. Blocking a team is like a big "in your face" without saying so on the court. I think big blocks give the opportunity to show a bit of confidence and attitude by the team while still maintaining good sportsmanship.
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