BATON ROUGE - Former LSU middle blocker Brittnee Cooper has been training with the United States Women's Nation Team over the last two months. The reigning SEC Player of the Year and AVCA All-America First-Team selection checked in with LSUsports.net from Anaheim.
"Hello from California,
I'm really enjoying myself and the opportunity to train with our national team. It's an honor to be in the gym and represent LSU with such an amazing group of athletes. There are seven middle blockers, two liberos, two setters and three outside hitters.
Players are consistently coming in and out of the gym. Actually, one of the middles just left to go play on Elena Martinez's team in Puerto Rico.
The coaching staff is great. Hugh McCutcheon was the head coach of the men's team when they won the gold medal in China. Jamie Morrison and Karch "The King" Kiraly are the assistant coaches.
I can reminder my first day in the gym because I was so nervous before practice. Hugh put my mind at ease and reminded me I was brought here to do nothing but play volleyball. My coaches here are very similar to the coaches at LSU. Although it's an all male coaching staff, they're caring and relaxing while holding you to the highest standard. Their focus is on making us better players by making volleyball as simple as it can be.
I have a roommate for the first time in my life. Tamari Miyashiro was the libero at the University of Washington. She's originally from Hawai'i and is a really cool down-to-earth person. There were five new girls who came in with my group. We're all close because we're the new kids on the block. We all live in a two bedroom and bathroom apartment in downtown Anaheim.
We train on four courts at the American Sports Center for three hours a day on Monday through Friday. Every day except Wednesday we have weights. After lunch, we go back to the gym for treatment and an optional 60-minute workout session.
It gets a little tough at times since there are six other girls here who play my position. I consider myself blessed to be able to experience this wonderful opportunity and continue my volleyball career. I love being in the gym every day.