Hiii all my name is Gabby Ayzenberg and I am a rising sophomore DS/L (for the freshman, time flies by enjoy freshman year)!! This summer has flew by but I have had a great one so far and have just a few more weeks left before the grind starts.I am lucky enough to live down the block from the beach and use every free opportunity to enjoy it. Before work started any nice day there was my friends and I would spend at the beach. As well as relaxing on the beach most saturdays I was either playing pick up beach volleyball or playing in tournaments! I was also super happy this summer that most of the team got to see where I live and enjoy the day on the beach. That weekend that everyone visited was such a fun one considering in school we can’t go an hour without seeing each other! I also went to a concert in the beginning of the summer called Governors Ball Music Festival! It was a ton of fun I actually went with Grace and Shea from the team and we met up with Kiersten while there! Definitely a highlight of the summer for me!
Other than going to the beach when I can, I spend my days working at a sports camp at Farmingdale State College. The first four weeks I work the multisport camp which is pretty fun cause every 30 minutes we switch up what sports the kids play and I get to jump in a lot of them. The other 2 weeks I run the volleyball camp which is a lot of fun considering most of the kids are young. The girls love to have fun and I love teaching young people about the game that I am so passionate about!
The other part of my summer has been working out and enjoying my family and friends. Since I get home pretty late from work I have been going to the gym at about 5:30 in the morning before work (I am a morning person). When I can I have been using the beach to work out too and get some nice runs by the shore. My family and I had a big barbeque for my mom and brothers birthday July 4th weekend which was a ton of fun. My friends and I have been taking some adventures one being to Smorgasberg in Brooklyn which is a huge food festival. We all ate so much and spent way too much money on food but it was worth it!
The end of the summer for me is going to be really fun too, my roommate Mary is going to be visiting my town cause her sister also lives in Long Beach! Other than Mary visiting the end of summer is going to be me preparing for preseason and getting all the supplies I need for my second year of college!! I can’t wait to be back in the gym with the most amazing team and be back at one of my favorite places!
Every athlete will have those days when they ask themselves why? Why are you waking up at 5am to go to practice right now? Why do you spend hours in the gym trying to make yourself stronger or faster? Why do you miss classes and have to stay up late making up homework or notes or tests and quizzes? But every athlete should always have an answer to that why!
I have multiple whys and whenever I’m struggling at practice or having a bad game or even a bad day in general I remind myself of them and constantly think of them to motivate me and get me through that tough time.
My first why is that I want to be the best player in the gym and make history. I want to be noticed and push my teammates to better themselves and help our chances of making history and winning a SUNYAC title for the Geneseo volleyball program. There’s no better feeling than doing something that’s never been done before for your program. Our team is on that path and we made huge steps this year in the right direction. That alone should motivate us to get in the gym every chance and work towards that goal and that should be a part of each and everyone of our whys.
My second why is that I want to prove people wrong who ever doubted me. For those of you reading who don’t know volleyball is a “tall person sport.” I am 5’5 and people have laughed in my face when I tell them I play outside. It has made me even more driven to push myself to get better each time I step on the court. The worst feeling as an athlete is being told that you aren’t good enough due to something you can’t control. But you do control how you react to people doubting you. Being told all of this just makes me work harder in the gym to increase my vertical and use different skills when hitting against a big block. And if you are a smaller hitter you know there’s no better feeling than intentionally tooling the block.
My last and most important reason as to why I play is for all of those who have given up so much and pushed me to be where I am today. I have been grateful to have such amazing coaches and parents in my life who never doubted me and helped me become not only the player but the person I am today. Endless drives to late practices and training sessions that I will forever be grateful for. But most of all I am grateful for those who would grab a beach volleyball in the summer and ask my little 5 year old self if I wanted to bump the ball around. Neptune beach where I first picked up a volleyball will forever be in my heart and my head when stepping on the court each day. Someone always in my mind is my Uncle Mike who suddenly passed away a few years back. He was one of a kind and never said no to playing a crappy game of beach volleyball with me starting at the age of 12. I would barely be able to serve over the net and he would be so excited to step on the court with me and would always say “you’ll be better than me one day and when I ask you Gab to play a pickup game with me you better say yes!” Well Uncle Mike I only wish I could play one more stupid pick up beach volleyball game with you and hear you laugh when you ace my dad. He was someone who enjoyed everyday of his life and was always smiling and laughing. So when I’m super frustrated at myself or at a game I remember being on neptune beach as a little girl trying to learn how to serve over the net. I will forever be grateful for you Uncle Mike and you are forever in my heart each time I step out on the court.
So for all those athletes who are having a rough practice or game or even season, take a breath, remember why you do what you do, and remember to enjoy it!
Hi everyone!! My name is Gabrielle Ayzenberg but I like to be called Gabby or Gab and I am an incoming freshman at Geneseo! I can not wait to start my new chapter in my life. I’m so excited to start volleyball season and meet all of my amazing teammates. But right now I’m still closing a big part in my life. Lately I have felt like all the normal things I do have been ending.
Summer just started for me and those last few days of high school will always be remembered. Coming up I have prom and graduation where high school will officially end. I am so excited for prom and to be with everyone from my school for one last time. I have had the same amazing group of friends since 9th grade and none of us can believe we will all be separating in 2 months. Some of them I have stayed friends with since kindergarten and none of us believe we have to be adults now.
I live in a unique town and our summers are a little different than the rest of Long Island. I live in a small island off of Long Island named Long Beach. This town is full of beach bums. A normal Saturday morning in summer is full of everyone packing up beach chairs getting on their bikes and riding down to the beach and staying till the sun goes down. At some point during the day I always find time to take a walk with my mom down the beach. I also have tons of little family friends who I love to spend time playing with. Whether its burying me in the sand or some wanting to learn how to bump a volleyball I always say yes. I grew up with the most amazing family friends and have been playing beach volleyball with them since I was 5! My brother and I both learned how to play volleyball this way and we still to this day will play pickup games with them for fun. The best is when my dad and I play together because I do not think many people can say that sometimes their partner for beach volleyball is their dad.We all spend endless beach days together and have become one big family. My summers would not be the same without all of them on the beach and at family barbeques.
The rest of my summer I spend working at a day sports camp out of Farmingdale college. For 3 weeks I work the multi sport camp and the other 2 weeks I work the volleyball camp which is a lot of fun for me. This is my second summer working this day camp and I really enjoy how we as coaches are able to play with the kids and have fun too. As a side job I also will be working as a coach at my old beach volleyball club. I played for them for 3 years and now I get to coach and give back what I learned and enjoyed so much.
The last part of my summer will be trying to see my club volleyball friends. I have had the most amazing team and have met some of my best friends thanks to Acad. We all live all over Long Island but try and see each other as much as possible. Whether its meeting up for dinner or big team sleepovers we always find a way to stay in touch now that the season is over.
I have a very busy summer ahead but I will always find time to grab my speaker and lay out in my backyard or run down to the beach on sunny days. I also have to try and catch as many beach sunsets as I can with only a few months left here. I am super excited to meet everyone in Geneseo and start my next part of my life! Playing in a new jersey and new number means a new experience that I can’t wait to start! See everyone so soon!