For Anna Davis, life is a balancing act. Traveling around the state and the country for beach volleyball competitions like the AAU National Championships and the Junior Olympics, maintaining a 4.6 unweighted GPA with a schedule full of honors and AP classes as part of Lake Nona High School’s Class of 2020, and trying to lead a happy, normal teenage life.
Nonahood News caught up with Anna to find out how exactly she’s able to pull everything off.
Nonahood News: What’s it like balancing teenage life with a seemingly packed volleyball schedule?
Anna Davis: It’s tough to find time to hang out with friends, but when I do have time, I make sure to fit in as many people as possible. The fact that a lot of my friends are also athletes makes scheduling even harder, but at least we all understand how valuable our downtime is.
NHN: How do your parents support volleyball and your overall lifestyle?
AD: My parents do pretty much everything for me. They support me emotionally, and they make so many sacrifices so that I can continue to play my best. My dad also used to play, so he coaches me, which has ups and downs, but overall it’s great to have 24/7 help with my game.
NHN: How did you first get into volleyball? Do you or have you ever played other sports?
AD: It’s funny because people assume I started playing because of my dad, but I actually came to the sport on my own. I started playing on Fort Lauderdale beach and then, after moving to Georgia, I played indoor volleyball for the club A5 while continuing to play beach during the summer and on my off weeks.
NHN: Was there ever a moment where you were like, “Oh, I’m good at this”?
AD: The feeling comes and goes as I continue to break down and build up certain skills. The biggest validation I got was when college coaches started to take an interest. My first sort of surreal moment with that was during my tour of LSU when I thought about how few people have the opportunity to play at such a high level.
NHN: Can you walk me through a typical day for you?
AD: During the week, I typically wake up at 7 a.m. to go to school until 1 p.m. I get out a period early because I have a personal trainer in Oviedo who I see three to five times a week. Then I go from Oviedo to Cocoa Beach, where I practice from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. I typically get home around 9 p.m., then I shower, eat and do homework. If I’m lucky, I get about an hour to watch TV with my family. Tuesdays are my favorite because that’s when The Flash comes on.
NHN: Do you ever feel burned out? How do you take steps to make sure you’re always motivated?
AD: I definitely get that feeling, typically after a tough finish in a tournament or a bad practice. But I’m working on recognizing that and trying to take a day to just sit on the couch and binge Netflix for about 12 hours straight. After that, I’m well rested and eager to get back to work.
NHN: What are some problems that only volleyball players would understand?
AD: Well, first of all, sand gets everywhere! Clothes, sheets, ears, hair, you name it. Beach volleyball is also such a small community that playing people you know is always a problem. You hate to play your friends, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
NHN: What are your plans for the future, both in volleyball and life?
AD: Volleyball-wise, I definitely wanna play in college. Right now, I’m talking to [Division I] schools in California, Arizona and Florida, but I’m undecided at the moment. Once I’m in college, I plan to major in pre-law, and from there I’ll hopefully go onto law school where I can pick what field I wanna practice in. But I’m really excited for what’s to come, and I hope volleyball will be a part of my life for as long as possible.