After 13 long months of not competing, Team Canada Beach Volleyball athlete, Alexandra Poletto, took home a win at the Volleyball Canada National Team Intersquad tournament. All national team members competed in a tournament simulation at Toronto's Beach High Performance Training Center, giving the athletes the much needed competition environment and training that has been absent for over a year. The tournament was run with strict COVID protocols in place to ensure that all athletes and staff remained safe.
Winning this tournament wasn't just about competing for Poletto, it was a testament of her dedication to off-season training. At the end of 2019 she suffered a herniated disc injury in her lower back forcing her to stop playing. At the start of the pandemic she could not even walk for more than 5 minutes without back pain, and had come to terms with the thought that she may not be able to play beach volleyball again. She spent all of 2020 rehabbing her injury on her own, researching methods for healing and working with many different physios and chiros to provide assistance. By September, after devoting every day to rehab, she was able to step back in the sand and once again begin training.
Even after taking 8 months off, she felt as though she came back stronger. Working with Olympic coach, Lennard Krapp, and the national team, her game reached new heights. Krapp is the current coach of Canadian Olympic hopefuls Sam Pedlow and Sam Schachter, personal coach of two-time NCAA Champions Nicole and Megan McNamera and former coach for German Olympic gold medalists. Krapp is a highly technical coach, helping Poletto breakdown her weaknesses and build on strengths.
The current pandemic has altered many beach volleyball athletes' normal travel and competition plans therefore, Poletto will not be travelling to compete this summer. One of Poletto's passions is providing younger athletes with opportunities to train in high performance settings. With the lack of tournaments, she has decided to stay in Toronto this summer and partner with Coach Lennard Krapp. The duo intend on creating an all encompassing high performance beach volleyball program for athletes ages 13 and up. Krapp and Poletto want to provide a premier training environment to teach athletes the necessary skills to develop and prepare for collegiate and professional beach volleyball. Each week throughout the summer, their program will offer three days of volleyball training, two days of volleyball-based strength and conditioning, as well as theory sessions.