Rio qualifiers on my mind | Harrison's Blog
Published 16 January 2016 (AEDT) | Author Harrison Peacock
The Christmas and New Year period is not traditionally a holiday season for Volleyballers. Most European Leagues will play matches as normal through this time, which means training and preparation as normal.
In the past I have had matches on Boxing Day, which means training on Christmas Day! This year most leagues have a break for the European Olympic Qualification Tournament, which gave most of the Aussies a bit of time off to really enjoy the festive season.
Christmas for me was a chance to go back to Sweden – where I played my first professional season. It was a great opportunity to enjoy a traditional Swedish Christmas, and return to see many of the great friends I made during my time there. It is hard to be away from family over Christmas, but I was lucky enough to spend time with my adopted Swedish family.
After returning to training for a few days, the New Year came around fast, which was something that a few fellow Aussies had been looking forward to for months. Myself and a crew of other Volleyroos, both beach and indoor, made our way from all around Europe to Berlin where we gathered as a solid group of 20 Australians. It’s moments like these, when we get to see and talk to other Australians, that help us get through what can be very long and lonely seasons in a country that is a long way from family and friends. It gave us a chance to catch up and talk about our experiences in the different countries we are playing in, and compare how our Rio preparations are coming along. It was just the energy boost we needed to get through the second half of the season, and motivation to keep working hard towards our Rio goal.
The first part of the Olympic year sees our focus on performing for our club teams in the business end of the season, and hopefully achieving success in the finals. Although this is the primary focus for most, the Rio Olympics is always on our minds, and we are doing all we can to make sure we are prepared and ready to go for a tough Olympic Qualification Tournament in May. This past week gave us a little extra motivation, as we learnt who we will be fighting against for a spot in Rio.
The good news is that over the past four years we have defeated every team that will be at the tournament at least once, but have also lost to them on other occasions. We will need to be at our best in May to achieve our goal and continue on the Road to Rio.
London memories driving me on the road to Rio | Harrison's blog 12 November 2015 (AEDT) | Harrison Peacock