by Senji Torrey
Media Production Editor
This is interview part one, with Junior volleyball player, Nithish Chakravarthy.
So, to what extent has the coronavirus hindered your ability to practice and improve leading up to the tryouts.
So during usual times we usually have a solid two to three months of practice before tryouts. So it helps to, you know, enhance your skill and, you know, helps you get more into form and more into shape. Now you lose all the rusty form and it’s just a great way to for you to be more confident in trying out, because the tryouts are only four days and usually they are a really short amount of time to prove your skills so it is nice to have practices before tryouts to help give you the confidence and, you know, make you more confident. And right now I’ve just been rusty because I haven’t played volleyball since Feb[urary], and it’s, uh, what do you call it, even if I start playing it I would still be super bad.
So, are you doing anything individually or with your team in preparation privately or in small groups?
So we did have a couple of sessions where we had practices outside, and the sand courts and grass courts. But other than that we couldn’t get, we couldn’t get much, playing time or actual game-like simulations. Yeah. And then just, I mean you know to keep myself fit, I’m doing cardio and weight training on my own. But other than that, yeah, those are the only ways I keep myself fit and, you know, try to keep up with my skills but yeah.
Okay, so, because Los Gatos High School is a pretty athletically strong school, tryouts for basically every sport is pretty rigorous and pretty competitive. So how do you think that this year’s trials will differ from previous years because of the coronavirus? And do you think that this will affect you and other veterans or, and how do you think this will affect incoming freshmen or sophomores, juniors, or maybe even seniors who are trying out for the first time?
So, the coronavirus has impacted, a lot of people, including, including the upperclassmen and you know previous varsity players because it’s been a long time since they’ve been playing volleyball, and even though they’ve been playing now volleyball maybe for a club or something like that but there’s a, there’s an understanding and team bonding that happens within a couple of months before [tryouts] so we have to get used to our, you know playing styles and stuff. So, since that’s not happening. It’s going to be a tough challenge for you know the upperclassmen, and it’s going to be even more, more challenging for the freshmen and sophomores because they haven’t gotten much playing time before or they haven’t gotten the opportunity to play more volleyball, especially the new guys. So, tryouts will be a bit different to this year because I feel that not everybody has the opportunity to do practice because everybody is afraid of getting Covid, and you know there’s no point in risking your life for, you know, making a team for one year so, at the end of the day, I feel that trials are going to be much more lenient towards people that have the basic skills down and you know are willing to put in the effort to be better, and the people that, that’s how I think that people are going to get cut or not cut.
Okay, so it’s a little bit of a weird question but as a junior, you are in sort of a tight situation since you’re competing against seniors only and you don’t have the cushion of junior varsity to fall back on. For the first time. So given the shock, do you see yourself, and perhaps other juniors as underdogs or do you see yourself since the community that you’ve created. Since last year and the year before, perhaps, do you just see it as just another trial. Well,
I feel well I feel it on both sides. I feel like I’m an underdog because I have to try to prove myself to do that work. And you know try to get some playing time here and there as, especially as a junior because usually playing time really depends on seniors and especially the good seniors. So yeah, but, you know, I have to prove my work to, you know, be on the team. First of all, and then I have to prove my work to play. So yeah, in that case, I’m an underdog but you know at the end of the day, I’ve been with these guys for the past maybe five years since I’ve been playing volleyball since middle school, so it’s been the same guys, now I’m used to all of them. So, I understand how they approach problems and at the end of the day, I shouldn’t be, you know, too worried about not making the team because, because I have the confidence in making the team, and even if I don’t, I wouldn’t regret my choice at all.
Okay, so I’ve heard from other players that there’s gonna be a good amount of boys trying out for both teams this year. So, how does a veteran player, maybe like yourself and other juniors and seniors, prove themselves once again during this time, and do you have any advice for incoming players who are trying now, for the first time.
So for your first question. I feel like the upperclassmen should act as role models for the younger classmen, because, because I feel like a lot of younger classroom players really look up to their juniors and seniors because at the end of the day, they also want to be like them and they also want to shine in the court. So, I feel like, you know, the upperclassmen should you know have a much more friendly bonding between the younger classmen. So there’s a much more flowing connection between them both, both JV and varsity teams, and for your second question. I feel like the freshmen [and] sophomores right, they should go into the mentality that they’re gonna make the team, and put in a lot of confidence into their work. But at the end of the day, they have the satisfaction that they at least try it out for something new.
Okay, so going off your first point, I heard that you said that you want to be a role model and the veterans want to be a role model. So do you think that it’s a little bit more important this year just because the incoming players haven’t had the time to bond and connect and create camaraderie with the veterans to really come into the tryouts and immediately set themselves as a role model, and just be welcoming or do you think that it’s just about the same as other years?
I think it’s gonna be a little different this year, and I hope, you know, the upperclassmen like me can put some extra initiative to make sure the younger guys are you know much more confident in their skills and even if just like having a friendly bonding because at the end of the day we’re all supporting Los Gatos. So, yeah, I feel like the upperclassmen have to take extra responsibility to make sure the younger guys feel much more lively and friendly, and you know much more, what do you call it, it’s kind of like a friendship bond, you know, there has to be the natural flow between things and yeah.
So this is sort of like my advice to incoming players question but do you have one specific thing that you would recommend players always do during tryouts, like, talk to the coach, perhaps introduce themselves, or on the flip side of that never do during tryouts.
So I try to have an open mind and I always go into tryouts with the mentality that, you know, I could get cut, but I still do my best. So, what I usually do is that I usually go, you know, 10 minutes before practice, you know, get the nets set up, and you know, try to, you know, bond with my teammates and you know sometimes bond with the coach, and for tryouts and most importantly is, you know, showing the involvement you have with the team and you know how much you respect the sport and you know how much, you know, care for the team and you just have to show in your actions with the coach, just putting in that extra step of effort would will definitely you know impress coaches and main key main thing about volleyball is communication so try to be as loud as possible. All the younger players, just be as loud as possible on the court because coaches love to hear people that are very audible. And it just gives them a better sense of you know who to get on the team and not.
So, from that answer, I sort of got two big things that you would recommend, and those two things been the initiative of setting out the nets and talking to your coach and bonding. And then also, confidence being loud on the court. So, do you think that those two things go hand in hand, or do you think one is more important than the other? (If you could compromise.)
Look, I don’t think there’s anything to compromise, because I feel like you should have both skills. That just makes a better player, you know, giving them [our teammates] feedback as well is important. So, yeah. So I think that you know, talking to the coach, especially and you know setting up the nets early just gives you an extra responsibility and the coaches understand, you know, how much responsibility, you take into bettering the team and yeah eventually that will help you take responsible roles in the team.
So this year, or since last year, you guys had such a good season until it got canceled. Because of this, you guys, both teams, are gonna be put to a pretty high standard this year. So do you think that these extra expectations from the school, and certainly your peers and coaches, will affect you, or do you think that it’s going to be sort of alleviated because you’re not going to have as many people in the stands, and maybe not as much pressure and such like that?
I mean, look, we’re trying to play the game to better ourselves and to represent our schools, and, you know, just to have fun at the end of the day, so if I go on to the court, I would want to try to do my best regardless of the fans regardless of who’s watching [and] who’s not watching. Regardless, that you know, it’s been COVID and, you know, players are so rusty. I would still try my best. You know, I understand that you know not a lot of players can put in that effort and that’s just because, you know, it’s not like they don’t want to it’s just not their natural thing to do. Yeah, so I would just go into every game just trying to prove [myself and do] my best and try to win the game at the end of the day, because, winning is just a sign of a good team. But also, you know, accepting losses is also a really important aspect as well.
So, you don’t think that these expectations will hinder your team or at least yourself.
Senji: 17: 44
All right, thank you.