Interview with Lauren Gibbemeyer:
Lauren Gibbemeyer is an indoor professional volleyball player from Saint Paul, Minnesota. She played at the University of Minnesota from 2007 to 2010 and was a two time AVCA All-American. After college Gibbemeyer played professionally overseas and is also a member of the United States women’s national volleyball team. Her Next Play was extremely excited to learn from such a successful and inspirational athlete that grew up in the Twin Cities area.
What's a typical day like as a professional athlete?
My typical non-match day as a professional athlete is to wake up around 7am, make my coffee, eat breakfast (usually overnight oats), then head out the door for weights and low impact ball training. After about an hour of weights and an hour and a half of defense, it’s time to go home for lunch and rest. I like to spend a little time journaling, meditating, and watching Netflix before taking a 45 minute nap. Around 4, I head out again for our main practice for about 2 and a half hours. After that, I will usually stick around the gym to get treatment/massage and then drive home to make my dinner usually consisting of some type of vegetarian Buddha bowl! After Skyping my family and boyfriend, I will try to be in bed before midnight to get a good nights sleep before doing it all over again!
What has volleyball taught you off the court?
Volleyball has taught me how to be a better communicator in all of my relationships. Being surrounded by 13 other women every single day as we try to compete at the highest level possible has helped me become a better listener and problem solver through compassion.
What has been your biggest obstacle in your career and how did you overcome it?
One of the biggest obstacles that I’ve had to overcome in my career has been standing up for myself and for what I believe in even if that meant missing out on a big goal of mine. In this career, we make a lot of sacrifices to pursue our dreams. As long as the path to those goals is in line with your values and what you believe in then those sacrifices are deemed worth it. Sometimes, however, the path leads in a different direction and you must make the difficult choice to either continue that path or stay true to yourself and abandon it. Throughout my career, I’ve had to make big decisions and I’ve found that the right choice is always the hardest one to make.
What is your biggest advice for young athletes?
My biggest advice for young athletes is to be a sponge when it comes to learning the game. Be open to feedback and try to absorb as much as possible. Volleyball is ever-changing and there’s always a way to improve each skill so the learning never really ends!
What's your favorite memory of volleyball?
My favorite volleyball memory was one of my my seasons playing in Italy with two of my best friends. We were considered the underdogs but ended up winning the most prestigious competition during the club season called CEV Champions League. I’ll never forget the feeling of euphoria when we went up against the top team in Europe and beat them in straight sets. Everyone played amazing and the celebration afterwards still gives me chills!
What does it feel like to put a USA jersey on and represent our country?
Having the opportunity to put on a USA jersey and represent our country is a huge honor. It’s a constant reminder that you are fighting for something bigger than yourself.
What's your favorite memory of sports? Comment below!