When the spring semester of 2017 ended, and it was time for members of the Clemson volleyball team to leave campus for the summer, it was a bittersweet feeling for the Tigers. They were excited to spend time at home with their families, but they had gained a lot of momentum in the weight room working with Strength & Conditioning Coach Stephanie Mock, and didn’t want to take a step backwards, despite being apart for the next six weeks. And so was born the “30 Day Summer Selfie Challenge.”
Senior setter Keely Hayes and junior middle blocker Megan McGinley sat down for a Q&A session about the challenge.
Q. Describe the challenge.
A. KH – The 30-day Challenge is how we as a team were able to hold each other accountable, in a fun way, for continuing our workouts over the summer break. The goal was to send in (to the team group text) 30 workout selfies out of the 45 days of break. The selfies could be as creative, plain or sweaty as you felt that day.
Q. How did the idea come about?
A. MM – We wanted to come up with a way to track everyone’s summer workouts, something that would be fun and get everyone involved. Instead of just checking up regularly, we thought this would be a cool way to not only make sure people were working hard, but also to keep our team connected with what everyone was up to. Some days, people would just be in their local gym, while others might be just finishing an intense workout on a cruise!
KH – After our last workout in the spring, we discussed how we had made strides forward, and the worst thing to do would be to fall back. We talked about holding each other accountable all year, so we put our heads together to brainstorm, and came up with the idea.
Q. What did you gain from the challenge?
A. KH – Individually, I gained stronger relationships with my teammates. You don’t realize it until you’re held accountable to do it, but staying in touch with each other throughout the course of the break, regardless of if it’s just with selfies or a couple of words or laughter emojis here and there, it really helps the relationship between everyone. It was also a great way to include the new and incoming players from the start, and to help them adapt to the volleyball family before they even got to Clemson.
MM – The challenge kept me connected with my teammates during the month and a half we were apart. It was a great way to stay in contact with people I really care about, but otherwise might not have talked to every single day.
Q. What did participating in the challenge do for the team?
A. MM – The challenge was crucial for our team because when we came back to campus and started working together for summer school session II, everyone was in the same spot athletically, Because of that, we were able to start growing together into the team we need to be this season, rather than just catching up individually.
KH – The challenge taught all of us that holding each other accountable can be fun and comes with many rewards. It also benefitted our relationships with each other, just by seeing each other’s faces and having little conversations through the group chat. I’m sure there are many other ways we have benefitted from this, and only time will show us the ways we have grown together! #TheBestIsYetToCome
NOTE ABOUT THE PHOTO: While there were MANY great selfies shared throughout the challenge, Megan McGinley certainly had the one with the most famous person. She was working out at a gym in California where she ran into former professional volleyball player Gabby Reece. Reece played collegiately at Florida State before playing on the pro tour for several years. She competed in the Olympic Challenge Series and the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour in 1999-2000, among many other competitions. She was named one of the “20 Most Influential Women in Sports” in 1997.