NVL RIZE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW With Rising Junior Athlete Hailey Cabeceiras

IMG_2444.JPGHailey Cabeceiras is a junior athlete from Louisiana. Last week, Cabeceiras traveled to Dallas, TX with Jessica Maxson, a full-time NVL Academy kid from Jensen Beach, Florida. They won the 16U division in the Dallas USA beach tour stop on Saturday, June 4th. Cabeceiras then traveled back home to compete in the NVL RIZE Points Series at Digs Volleyball Complex in Covington, LA. She and her partner Ainsley Tullis finished third in a tournament full of experienced adult athletes. She is now at the LSU camp pushing to get better everyday. This Sunday, Cabeceiras will be competing in the June 12th Digs NVL RIZE Global Challenge Qualifier. She has accomplished a lot over this past week.

NVL RIZE had a few minutes to sit down with Hailey Cabeceiras to talk about her recent accomplishments! Tune it.

Give us a brief history of your beach volleyball career.

When I was eight-years-old, my indoor coach Danny Tullis introduced me to beach volleyball. We started playing doubles in his backyard. Once we won our first tournament that we played in, I was hooked!

What struggles have you faced during the course of your young career?

Because of my geographic location, it has been a challenge finding a place to train and people to train with. With the opening of Digs Beach, I now have a place to train that is close to my home. Digs has become my home – we practically live out there.

What do you do to prepare yourself for a tournament?

I make sure to get rest, to hydrate myself, and to eat properly leading up to the tournament. I like to go through my game plan in my head and visualize my swing and hitting certain shots.

Do you have an alter ego when you play? If you do what would you name it? 

I’m usually quiet and reserved, but when I get on the court I am outgoing and enthusiastic. I guess that’s why I love it so much. My sister nicknamed me Hailstorm when I was little. My old coach still calls me Stormy from time-to-time.

How do you pick your partners? What do you consider to be a perfect match for you?

I like playing with people who love the game as much as I do.  The perfect partner would be someone who has a positive attitude and rivals my passion and competitiveness.

With beach volleyball becoming a college sport, how do you feel this will impact the growth of the sport?

I feel it will have a big impact on the beach game. With the NCAA finals being televised, it will most definitely reach a much wider audience.

What is the significance of the NVL RIZE events for you?

They have given me an opportunity to play in high level quality tournaments.  I would like to be a professional on the NVL tour one day so it is really fun to get a taste of what that will be like!

What do you like most about the NVL? 

The NVL has brought a lot more attention to the sport.  It used to be primarily a West Coast sport, but with the NVL headquarters based in Florida, it is bringing the sport to a wider audience. The NVL is really focused on giving back to the juniors as well as other professionals. What I like most about the NVL are the incredible people that I have met, including the coaches at the NVL Academy, the girls I have gotten to partner up with, and the new friends I have made.

What would you like to accomplish this summer?

I want to grow as a player physically and mentally.  I’d like to keep meeting and connecting with new players around the country.

What is your favorite place that you have traveled to for beach volleyball?

My favorite place was Port St. Lucie, Florida. It was such a great experience being welcomed into their volleyball community the way I was. The Club Med facility is beautiful and the coaches were incredible. I had a great time and met some incredible partners at the NVL Academy.

Is playing in college a goal of yours? What do you look for in a college?

I definitely would love to play in college.  I want a school that I am comfortable in, that will serve as a home-away-from-home for those years of my life.

Lastly, is there anyone special you would like to thank for getting you to the point you are at now?

There have been many people that have helped me during my volleyball career, like Coach Mig who opened Digs to me and made it my home. However, the most important people I’d like to thank are my parents. Without their unconditional love and support, I would not have had the opportunities I’ve had in my career. I am extremely grateful for being a coach’s daughter, not only for the bonding experience, but for all of the opportunities it provides me. I have the opportunity to train and play as much as I can with someone who not only knows the game but always wants what is best for me!