Ten years ago, when as a high school sophomore the oldest of my three daughters decided to play both basketball and volleyball, I wasn’t surprised. She’s always been athletic, and when she hit about 5'9" I figured she’d gravitate toward those sports after flirting with track and field in middle school. In basketball she played forward and enjoyed it, but volleyball fully caught her fancy. She found her place as a setter and relished watching her teammates attack the net and go for the kill. This was pre-libero (a word with which I just recently got acquainted) so she got in her share of back row work, too. But she much preferred to be up front.
On that score and in her honor, I’ll be up front with you, too: I’m no volleyball expert. In terms of sports journalism, I’m new to the game, and to this magazine, but I’m learning — how do you say it? — quick. Life loses its luster if it lacks challenge, so here I am, adding this to my gig as editor of another Madavor Media magazine called GolfGetaways. Hey, they’re both sports, right?
Actually, golf and volleyball are about as far apart on the sports spectrum as you can get, but after just a few weeks of spending part of my workday in the realm of the court rather than the course, I see plenty of similarities. Both pursuits engender deep passion among their practitioners and fans. Both bring sand into play, at least part of the time (as the bulk of this issue so beautifully illustrates). Both have their own unique rhythm. Both — like any sport — rely on a steady, committed, talented stream of youngsters to come along and keep them healthy. And both attract a knowledgeable and creative cadre of writers and photographers who come up with fresh angles to keep readers like you engaged and informed.
But golf is pretty much an individual sport while volleyball is the ultimate team sport. There’s no room for hot-dogging. There are no short cuts over the trees. It’s all about preparation, communication, and communal execution, which makes volleyball such a joy to watch, whether you’re a parent in the stands, a coach on the sideline, or a journalist with keyboard or camera in hand.
Building a magazine takes a team, too, and I’m elated to be part of this one. My talented predecessor, Aubrey Everett, made the transition a snap. Associate Editor Megan Kaplon is our crucial front-line player and true editorial authority, while our stable of contributors is the best, most dedicated and knowledgeable bunch in the business. Their expertise shines through every word.
So, I’ll step aside and let the shining continue. I look forward to raising my game to their level, and yours.
Originally published in June 2014