Aright, alright before I explain the multiple Canadian Championships… For the first time since 1998 I’m back in Halifax. Shortly after landing I found myself staring at an odd shaped hill and asking my driver “is that Citadel Hill?” – “It sure is” he replied. Many memories immediately poured back; memories of traveling to the area with my family when I was a kid. For basically the first 8 years of my life I lived in Nova Scotia (so I could argue I’m a bit of a local! Keep that in mind all you local readers, Maverick Hatch is a local boy and you definitely want to see a local guy win it all! haha) and like many proud East Coast Canadians (or any Canadian for that matter) we would drive into Halifax to watch the Citadels, and Mooseheads play – the local AHL & CHL hockey teams. The Citadels moved to Ontario in 1993, it’s crazy to remember things from way back then. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to come back here.
When I started playing on tour in 2011 I didn’t have enough points to get into the FIVB Grand Slams, then by the time I did (last season) Klagenfurt dropped off the FIVB World Tour schedule and hosted the European Championships. During that whole time I heard the most elaborate stories of epic times in Klagenfurt. Well I finally know what all the talk is about; Klagenfurt is easily the best tournament of the season. The days leading up to the qualifier gave me some time to check things out; the players dock, yes, a dock (a huge Red Bull catamaran, and Red Bull power boats parks along side during the main draw), the players lunch area featuring some of the best catering I’ve ever seen at an event; multiple main course selections, a plethora of sides and options to eat basically any kind of meal you wanted, and equally as many options for dessert (Mmm, dessert).
No matter how long the travel time between events is, if you match the traveled time with time spent sleeping after arrival there’s no logical reason to complain. So I made it to Klagenfurt and as you can probably guess, I’m well rested. After a 6 hour nap shortly after arriving and tracking down some food I woke up in time to catch the medal games from the tournament I had just left, Long Beach. By the time Christian arrived it was around 10 o’clock and by the time the men’s final finished it was midnight and time for more shuteye – waking up at 9am, making for a solid 14 hours of sleep after arrival. Long Beach was fun, but another 25th which isn’t. The weather was smoking hot, low to mid 30’s all week long. Our qualifier was unfortunately against another Canadian team, never a welcomed match as they are usually the trickiest ones to play (both teams knowing each others tendencies and all that). We walked away with a pretty convincing win in straight sets to qualify.
This entry is difficult to start… After not advancing from our pool in The Hague, I walked into the hotel and all those thoughts and feelings were immediately washed away by the shocking news the of Malaysian Airlines flight that departed from Amsterdam earlier that day. My deepest condolences go out to all those affected by this unthinkable event. The past two weeks in Gstaad, Switzerland and Den Haag, Netherlands were physically draining, but in a good way. I’ll begin briefly in Gstaad where we finished 17th. Qualification provided a fortunate opportunity for a rematch vs Latvia who eliminated us in Stavanger, Norway two weeks prior.
[Above: Preikestolen. A popular tourist hike, and amazing view. Didn't have time to make the journey, something to look forward to next year I guess.] Home. There isn’t any place better – the feeling never changes no matter how long or short of a trip I’m returning from. Unfortunately for such an amazing venue and beautiful location, Stavanger wasn’t quite what I had hoped. I’m now home early, given lots of time to reflect on (to be blunt) a shit performance. It’s a tough route, FIVB qualifiers. To put it into perspective for you, three teams from the men’s qualifier stood atop the podium in Berlin just last week – crazy, eh?
“Moscow, Russia” People say English is a difficult language to learn but, without ever having tried, I can’t imagine Russian is much easier… If it weren’t for pictures and familiar logo’s I would be completely lost when doing the simplest thing, like ordering dinner. We started things off with by missing our connection in Frankfurt as the airport was too busy for us to land on time, a four hour layover would ensue (not a huge issue as we were set up nicely in the Frankfurt lounge) and delay our arrival at the hotel until shortly after midnight (18 total hours in transit). On the flip side though, had we made our original connection we would have missed the fire works show lasting our entire approach to the Domodedovo Airport (not really worth the five hour delay, but pretty cool nonetheless).
After a premature departure to Vancouver (two full days of no training after arriving there) Red and I got on track with the help of Brian Hiebert, as well as Mert and Dan (thanks guys!) during a beautiful day in Kits – The kind of day that makes every Canadian beach athlete question why we are centralized in Toronto… Capping off our short stint in Van was a solid group breakfast and training session with future Kits beach legends LeBourdais/Wiskar in what was a three set battle.
After a long, cold, miserable winter in Toronto (with a pleasant 10 day break in Cali) I’m happy to finally be hitting the road (check back with me in three-weeks, though) with a stop in Van to kick things off. It’s always a special feeling when I get to spend an extended amount of time in Vancouver. Red and I will be here for a week while he wraps up some RBC work, meanwhile I’ll take the opportunity to schedule a few meetings with some sponsors who are located here, and spend time with my friends I rarely see. In my last post I mentioned a television appearance although I guess I spoke too soon, just two days before filming I was cut from the pitch (height discrimination no doubt.) The show was Dragons Den (a popular entrepreneur/investment show, for any non-Canadian readers.) With that went my chance at 15-minutes of fame, a welcomed change though, I had been dealing with a bit of a cold since returning from Ontario Youth Volleyball Championships the previous weekend.
A solid 10 day trip to Cali, all aspects; volleyball, social, music, earthquakes…. yea, I said earthquakes. I think the craziest part about my first earthquake experience is that, while I was safe and sound, enjoying the experience, I came back to my hotel room to see that there was actually a lot of damage done – on CNN, not actually around my hotel in Hermosa. Many houses, streets, and business establishments suffered from the 5.1 quake. Times like that really make you respect Mother Nature on a whole other level. I’m used to appreciating it’s beautiful scenery and weather on a regular basis, but when things like this occur you get a totally new understanding of what Mother Nature can really do… Wow.
The days blend into one down here. It only took me 3 days to forget which day of the week it was – trying to tackle emails on Saturday/Sunday so curious as to why I’m not getting regular replies within a reasonable amount of time… That’s what training on weekends for the first time this offseason does to me I guess. Things have been going well. This is probably the best transition back to outdoor play that I’ve had to date, which is nice as it allows us to focus on other aspects of the game as we train and compete. Yesterday we trained in the afternoon with a team from Germany and that was the windiest session yet – making for a few comical rallies.
The flight in was smooth, the beef tenderloin for lunch helped (well done Air Canada.) It’s nice to be back in California, Hermosa to be exact. Not that it’s any palace, actually far from it, but crashing at the Sea Sprite while we’re here will be pretty good too – location wise. I’m curious how long it’ll be until I’m feasting at Brothers; those of you who have spent any time in Hermosa will know what I’m talking about, one of the best joints along the beach. This will be the first year, during my time with the National Team, that Volleyball Canada will be covering our expenses for this training camp. Pretty pumped that I’m out here on VC’s dime and not my own! This will provide a good opportunity to get outside, an earlier start than recent years adjusting back to the wind, sun, and (hopefully no) rain.
Now that March Break is over, it’s time to shift my focus towards our training camp in California. But first, I’d like to thank all the athletes who came out to Phoenix Volleyball’s first annual March Break Volleyball Camp. I had a blast working with many awesome athletes and coaches throughout the week. Also another big thanks to my sponsors who contributed some great products for the athlete packs, and prizing. Last but not least, a special shoutout to the two girls from my U14 Phoenix Heat team who made it out to the camp, Meghan and Izzy! Great work girls, I’m really happy to see your commitment towards improving! Looking forward to my return from Cali just in time for our Provincial Championships. To everyone on the team, keep working hard while I’m gone, see you April 1st!
Following last weeks post I decided to share a little more of my workout at Advantage4Athletes with my trainer Dr. Ryan Scott. Check it out…
Post 1/2 I’m not sure where to start, not because many things happened or that our path to the end of the tournament overwhelms my memory, but because my memory is so poor. There are quite a few memorable moments from this trip and I’ll do my best to recant them all.
Part 2/2 Matches began the following day. Due to rain previous days the courts were rock hard, basically indoor conditions. We played Trinidad1 and Costa Rica going 2-0 on the day finishing first in our pool, meeting Cayman the next morning in the pre-quarter.
Well, a month since my last post solidifies the fact my offseason is close.
There’s a load of differences between winning and losing, many of which go far beyond the court for athletes playing a team sport like beach volleyball; in any sport really.
Just arrived in China, I noticed I had yet to publish my last blog from Brazil so here ya go. I’ll post an update from China in the coming days.
Once a few teams withdrew late last night – changing our draw from what would have been fellow Canadians Josh/Sam – we were matched up against an Argentinian team who we’ve played earlier this year in Berlin and had some success against.
I cannot find the words in order to express just how much I enjoyed myself while in Wolfurt this year, or how thankful I am for the opportunity to stay with and get to know such an amazing family during my time there.
In the past 8 hours, and periodically since day 1 Berlin has produced some of the most intense thunder I’ve ever heard. And to make matters worse thunders best friend lightning has joined the party, along with buckets and buckets of rain! The weather here is absolutely gnarly right now – this is making it tough not see this as a silver lining. Don’t get me wrong, I would trade places with any team competing in the main draw today but at certain times on tour there’s nothing you can do except find that silver lining and continue to grind your way towards your goal.
294 kilometers left till this plane arrives in Vancouver and with only two jam packed days in Van before heading to Toronto I’m going to do my best to finish this blog and cross it off my ‘to do’ list.
This is my second time in Cali and every time I visit I totally picture myself living here at some point in my life. I’m not the biggest fan of huge crowds, which was present the day we trained at Huntington – it was the US Open of Surfing, pretty busy scene – but I think I’d be ok with the crowded beaches for a chance to live near where you have it all; amazing views, tons of beach courts, and waves that are littered with surfers everywhere you look. Can I surf? Definitely…not! Actually I’ve never even come close to successfully surfing a wave, but just to have the option to surf without a 3 hour+ drive would be rad.
I’m sure the line “When in Rome” has been more than overused during trips Canadian’s trips to Rome but that won’t stop me from saying it every chance I get while I experience Rome for the first time, starting tomorrow. I leave The Hague tomorrow morning on a 7:00am direct flight via Transavia airlines, the main tournament sponsor here in Holland.
The first European stop of the season brings us to The Netherlands in what is also my first time competing in The Hague. We practiced Friday morning in Canada, and after swinging by Canucks Stuff/Overkill to pick up our team shorts I sped home to begin packing at 2pm for my 5:30pm departure to Amsterdam. **Improve time management skills; noted. Now sitting somewhat comfortably in my Air Transat plane seat, having tested my patience sitting in rush hour traffic the entire way to the airport, I popped my headphones finally being able to relax a bit. When I arrived in Amsterdam I had two hours to kill until Redmann arrived and we would travel to The Hague, the perfect amount of time to watch a replay of the Bruins game that I missed while in flight.
The start of this season has been an interesting one for sure, and I’m not just referring to the changes within the FIVB (mentioned in earlier posts). The first 7 months of the 2013 season (including this offseason) reminds me of my first few seasons on the beach flip-flopping from partner to partner on almost a monthly basis, which was normal then but I can’t say I’m a huge fan of it at this stage in my career.
After two qualification rounds it’s onto tomorrow, our first main draw since the Quebec Open in 2011! *on a side note, if any future promoters are reading this, Canada needs a new FIVB Open/GS to help us Canadians teams along!!
Now in Shanghai I’ll attempt to reflect on my Fuzhou experience beginning with the Qualifier… Following the longest qualification technical meeting I’ve ever been a part of (more details on that front to come later) we had our first round opponent set – Semenov/Koshkarev of Russia, with a second round of either Japan or Canada (Ben/Chaim).
By far the worst thing about having a blog is falling behind and having to catch up with one post – here we go…
MAVERICK HATCH/JOSH BINSTOCK | INDOOR VOLLEYBALL MARCH BREAK CAMP | MARCH 11TH-15TH, 2013 As you may already know, I am a current Beach National Team athlete, 2012 Canadian Gold Medalist & aspiring 2016 Olympian. My new partnership with 2012 Olympian Josh Binstock is exciting, however, the 2013 season will be the most expensive one to date. To help offset some of the expenses (upwards of $30,000 per athlete) we’ve decided to offer this March Break program as our National Federation is unable to provide us with sufficient funding this season.
Welcome back! I’ve been M.I.A for the past few weeks but for good reason, which I’ll get into shortly. Before I do, I’ll officially announce my new partnership for the upcoming FIVB World Tour season – 2012 Olympian, Josh Binstock. This is something I’m extremely excited about. Josh and I have been good friends for the past few years (realistically since I moved to Toronto to being full-time training) and have had some success on European National Tours together, winning the Austrian A-Cup Final and walking away with silver in Rorschach, Switzerland in 2011. We almost teamed up in 2011 before Josh decided to team with Rich, and I with Sam. Well, two years later and here we are – with our crack at representing Canada at the World Cup of Beach Volleyball… Continue reading for more information regarding this inaugural event.
It was a hell of a run. Both Sam and I beginning our World Tour careers together; some may say the toughest way to start a partnership, learning as much about yourself as you are about your partner – All while you travel around the world, another first, competing against the best teams in the world, yet another first.
Not a bad scene for this year’s Canadian Beach National Championships… Spanish Banks, B.C. Since coming out west I’ve done my best to not live through my social media – I always felt it’s tough to thoroughly enjoy where you’re at and what you’re doing if you’re distracted sharing photo’s and status updates. That’s really what it can manifest into, a distraction.
Hey, Thought I’d post a quick update for those of you who may be awake back home. If it was a Friday or Saturday, I’m sure I’d have some friends just getting home from, or still at the bars! ha. But it’s a Wednesday so that’s most likely not the case. We’re up against my friend, David Kufa, from Czech Republic in the first round here in Prague. On center court at 11:20 local time (5:20am EST). I think the match can be watched here: http://www.sportlemon.tv/ On our side of the draw we have a solid Russian team, Great Britain, and Spain. It’s sunny and hot here. Venue is nice as always. White sand and seats around every court (it’s a tennis stadium with sand dumped in it). Until after the qualifier, later! -Mav
As our National Team funding continues to be delayed, now putting us at the 6 month mark without funding – having traveled around the world already (Brazil, USA, China, Europe, and back to Canada) with zero funding has been unbelievably difficult and if it weren’t for friends I would not have been able to compete and push for London 2012 simple based on lack of funds. We still have a few trips to Europe for many more events as the season continues. These competitions are crucial for many reasons; entry points, prize money, and London.
I didn’t think it was possible, seeing the sky on a regular basis due to the thick coverage of smog but I was definitely judging the book (China) by it’s cover (Shanghai) as Beijing is clear, smokin’ hot, and from the small area I can see from my hotel window, looks quite nice. We’ll be heading out shortly to adventure and most likely hit the courts later on once the heat diminishes.
18-16 in the third – that close to qualifying last week in Poland. The Ces brothers of France, who ended up walking away with a 9th, prevailed with a three set win after beating us badly in the first set and us answering back in the second to push it to a third.
0 for 2. One round further this year yet still short of qualifying here in Brasilia. For the people who follow along through the FIVB Beach Volleyball website, or our facebook fan page www.facebook.com/hatch.schachter, you’ll know that we lost in the final round of qualification. But for those of you who don’t follow that closely we won our first match against Japan 2-0 (21-9, 21-15). We didn’t have any information on the Japan team prior to the match but did what many teams do – serve the little guy – and it worked out for us.
Seems like yesterday I landed in Brasilia, no plan or idea where I was going to stay the night, alone, trying to suppress any notion of being scared – I had booked my flight a full day earlier than Sam and at this point last year planning was not my forte… it still isn’t, but I’m getting much better at it.
Are we back in Toronto..? Well we may as well be! I was hoping for warmth and sun here in LA but so far, no luck. Still warm enough to train outside in shorts and a t-shirt so I really can’t complain.
I’d like to say I’m very grateful for the heaps of praise and support from everyone back home and especially those here on Grand Cayman. Earlier today we drove to Rum Point to bask in the sun and while eating lunch a guy noticed us from the weekend. He sauntered over to congratulate us and say how much he enjoyed watching us play – it’s surreal, I’m not used to it. A sincere thank you, quick handshake then he was off and I dove back into my fish and chips – the deep fried theme being exactly what I needed after the weekend, haha.
(This is the view from our backyard) Back in the Caymans – it feels like just yesterday I was here playing in my first international tournament of my career, experiencing my first taste of a place outside of Canada or the boarder states. That was actually two years ago but not much has changed down here, other then a few new developments that is.
Success doesn’t happen overnight – this is why we’re continuing our fundraising efforts with this handy tool below. Please feel free to donate as much or as little as you can, every bit helps us reach our goal of competing around the world and qualifying for the 2012 Summer Olympic games in London.
Sam and I would like to sincerely thank everyone who bought tickets to our fundraiser in support of our upcoming beach volleyball season. The night went very well and we were extremely happy to share it with some of our closest friends and family.
My site was down for the past couple weeks as my domain name was pending renewal – well we’re good to go now. Where to start…? So much has been going on lately, I’ve been quite busy. Sam and I have raised almost half the Aeroplan miles we need for our first four FIVB World Tour events this season. This fundraiser has had such a strong response thus far and we’re very grateful for that. Before our season starts we will be posting a list of all our “mini-sponsors”.
Sam and I are so grateful for all the support we’ve gotten thus far. Our flights this season will undoubtably exceed $15,000 and the fact people have been so generous in donating their Aeroplan miles to help us achieve our goal is overwhelming - I guess the biggest “thank you” would be some international results this year! That’s the plan and it will be due to your help!
First off, everything’s going great right now especially with our new indoor beach volleyball facility, aside from the fact the heat isn’t on yet. More recently, Sam and I secured a new sponsor, Voolii Lifestyle – Voolii is a clothing brand operating out of Vegas and although TC & Voolii deserve a full feature shout out I have to get something else out first, which will be a major factor in whether or not we qualify for London 2012 Summer Olympics. (TC, it’s coming dude, and it’ll be huge)
Well – a real update will be posted sometime this week but I wanted to get a quick few words out before tonight’s festivities begin. First of all – Sam and I finished second. We lost to Redmann/Saxton in a three set match. Congrats to those guys for playing great, winning the gold, and good luck at the Pan-Am Games!
All in all, not a bad two weeks. We finished first in our pool here in Switzerland and played two friends from Austria – the same guys we were training with the week prior to Wolfurt. Of course, they save their best game for us and pushed us in the semi with us eventually prevailing 21-18, 21-18. In the other semi, one of the Swiss guys pulled out with an injury so the tournament promoter filled in. The Swiss lost to Brazil in two straight sets but the scores were surprisingly close, 21-17, 21-19. The crowed was entertained and the tournament promoter got a bunch of blocks which everyone loved to see, even the guy getting blocked, haha.
We left Wolfurt Monday morning and after a 30 minute drive we were in Rorschach. Amazing that these two events worked out to be a stones throw away from each other. We ran into some rain our first day here but since it’s been incredible weather, not to mention the scenery is right up there with the weather.
Champs! Binstock/Hatch in our first tournament ever together. We lost a terrible first set in the final – I got blocked 4 maybe 5 times (3 times in the first 7 points!) in the first set and although Josh and I were making plays to give ourselves an opportunity to get back into the set, I remember a very crucial play where I had a chance to swing for the 17-18 side change and instead I hit a jumbo (deep cross roll shot) that resulted in an easy dig and transition for the other team, 16-19 side change. First set loss. Brutal.
Our last training session prior to leaving to Wolfurt for the tournament this weekend was a solid one. Both Josh and I, having a good understanding for the game, are mixing well together – good lines of communication and having some fun here.
This was my last weekend in BC and what a great way to end my time here. Thanks Jared for a great tourney and thanks to Volleyball BC for putting it on. I love being home and last night Jared and I just hung out at kits taking in some views - I wish I had a camera because it was a beautiful night, views you just can't get in Toronto. Don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to being back in Toronto.
There's only one more month until I step into the head coaching role for the U17 Interclub Girls Volleyball team. This is something I've been thinking about all summer, stressing about all summer too! I love coaching and can't wait for it to start. Last year I stepped in half way through the season as an assistant coach but had to duck out prior to Provincials for the start of my beach season - this year I'll be there the whole way!
This event marked the last tournament before Sam and I go on a three-week hiatus. Since returning to Canada after our stint on the FIVB World Tour we had been on a pretty good tournament/game-winning streak, which came to an end at Center of Gravity this past weekend compliments of Will Sidgwick/Fiadore Kazmiaka.