David McKienzie, one of United States’ premiere spikers in the 2012 London Olympics, said the Filipinos’ physique and ability to adapt to the sands and the wind can be major factors for them to excel at beach volleyball in the international level.
The 6-foot-4 McKienzie is here to conduct a two-day beach volleyball seminar in cooperation with the Philippine Superliga (PSL), the American Volleyball Association, SM Mall of Asia and Accel.
Dubbed as “On Sands with David McKienzie,” the seminar aims to encourage all players, coaches, officials and even fans to know the basic rules, latest trends and techniques in beach volleyball, something that will increase the level of competition in the country.
The clinic serves as a prelude to PSL’s beach volleyball open tournament this June.
McKienzie was aided by noted beach volleyball guru Eric Lecain and former PSL Grand Prix import Lindsay Stalzer, who shared her knowledge to the likes of Gretchen Ho of Ateneo and Jozza Cabalsa of Petron together with a handful players from the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
“In reality, Filipinos have a really good physique for beach volleyball. You have strong legs, you can move through the sand more and other people don’t have that kind of ability,” said McKienzie during the first edition of the seminar late Wednesday at the Sands at SM By the Bay in Pasay City.
“Also, the sand and the wind will level the playing field for you. The Philippines is a tropical country and you get a lot of sand and wind here.”
McKienzie added that beach volleyball is way different than indoor volleyball.
“They’re not the same,” he said. “Beach volleyball is a lot more like tennis than volleyball. There’s a lot more rallies and endurance, a lot of talent and explosiveness are required. Beach volleyball is the more pure sport, and I think Filipinos can excel at it.”
The last time the Philippines competed in a major beach volleyball tournament was in the 23rd Southeast Asian Games where the tandem of Filipino-Americans Heidi Ilustre and Dianne Pascua took home the bronze medal in the women’s division as well as Parley Tupaz and Rhovyl Verayo in the men’s side.
But with the formation of a new federation, the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc., and the emergence of PSL, a revival of the beach volleyball program is on the horizon.
“Beach volleyball is one of the many underdeveloped sports here,” KcKienzie said. “Filipinos have a lot of potential. The have the passion and the talent. The future looks bright.”
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