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Re: Fanclubversammlung Mai/Juni 2012
(15.06.2012 10:02), von Suhler91

Interview with Lauren Ford

Deutsch Englisch

Suhl, 22.05.08 To shorten the long off-season a little bit we decided to make another interview. OK, we have to admit, that we did put it on the shelf for a little while, but yesterday our E-Mail with the questions left our server. Today we received Laurens reply, and for these quick and detailed answers we want to air out a great „Thank You!“. (SC)

Dynamics: You were forced out of the line up for the remainder of the season, after you were injured during the game in Dresden. How are you today, and how did you spend the last weeks after the season ended?
Lauren: Today officially marks 6 weeks since my surgery, so I get to take my sling off. I am extra happy about that. It is difficult trying to do things with one arm. I am still rehabbing my shoulder with my cousin who just happens to be a Doctor of physical therapy. When the season ended, I really tried to stay a part of the team, but I actually got out and really looked around at Suhl. I went to Erfurt by train, which was my first train ride ever! Went to the new shopping center, tried new food, visited the cineplex and watched a movie in German. That was fun. 🙂 Also loved bowling with you guys at the VolleyBowl.

Dynamics: What were your first thoughts, when you realized the extent of your injury, and how hard was it for you to go to hospital so far away from home?
Lauren: I was devastated and frustrated. I have had injuries before that have kept me from playing, but I have never had a season ending like this one. In the beginning, I opted to go back home and have the surgery. My parents suggested that rehab might be better if I were in the comforts of my own home. But when i realized that setting up my insurance back home would probably take some time, I opted to stay here and do it. Going to any hospital in any country is scary, so I was really scared when i had to go and have the operation. But they took really good care of me there.

Dynamics: The injury came at a point, when you were starting to get to play more often. After this short time, what can you say about the level of competition in the DVL compared to NCAA volleyball?
Lauren: Yes, that was the most frustrating part. I was starting to get into the hang of things and then the injury happened. From what I experienced, its a bit different. I have always found that playing with girls from other countries I learn something new. Whether it be different shots, off speed, tips, line shots. The big thing with me was how quickly Maja and Nale would hit their slides off of one foot behind the setter. I have never hit a slide that fast, and never defended a slide like that. Just practicing with those two and Anja made me better and it was such a pleasure.

Dynamics: With your engagement the great tradition of US American players in our team continued. Do you know one of your predecessors, and how was the contact with the VfB organisation made?
Lauren: So coincidentally I knew three people that played for Suhl previously. I played with Erin Byrd my freshman year at Wisconsin. So i knew Erin a bit and she was my mentor. Our lockers were right by each others and she taught me how to knit. I knew that she played in Germany, but i did not know the team. I played against Jelena when I went to South Carolina and she went to LSU. I have also played against Sherri for three years. We were matched up against each other when she played a Florida. So I was pretty familiar with them. As for getting involved with VfB, I contacted an agency called elite volleyball players, and they handled all my business with volleyball overseas.

Dynamics: You joined the team at the half-way mark of the season. What did you expect, and how were your first weeks here in Suhl, adapting to the surroundings, and to your new team?
Lauren: It was hard initially joining the team mid way. The core of the team has played together for so long and people have gotten used to each, so it was hard. I guess i was worried about the language barrier, but my agent assured me that the people in Germany speak English sometimes. Suhl is what I call an intimate town. So I thought it was good for me, so I wouldn’t get distracted. Love it though. It took me a while to get used to the time change and the food I think. But I started to adjust. Training was a bit harder than I expected it to be. In the states I had only ever trained once a day, but here it was twice a day. But I adjusted.

Dynamics: How do you like the home crowd in the “Wolfsgrube”, and how was the experience of the cup-final for you?
Lauren: I love the crowd at the games. That was the first thing that I really noticed. The only other time I have ever played in front of a crowd like that was at Wisconsin, who is ranked in the top three in NCAA attendance. So it was so cool. The environment is real positive and exciting. Love it. Love the drums.

Dynamics: The season had a very close finish, and the VfB missed the medals by a couple of sets. Were there big regrets inside the team about missed chances or did the cup title overshadowed it all in a positive way, and what is your personal bottom line of this season?
Lauren: I think we did feel like we had missed opportunities, but I think that is what is great about sports is that you learn from what has happened and you do it better next time. The end of the season was so tight with the top four teams, I think on any given night any one of those teams could have won or lost to anyone. The Cup was huge, and no matter what happened they still could not take that away from us. I was so happy for everyone when we won. I had never won anything, so to come over here and be a part of that was huge for me personally as well.

Dynamics: During the last weeks there were some fundamental decisions made by the FIVB, and a lot of people in Europe are worried about the effects they might have on the sport worldwide – even with the small compromises that were made in the final version. What do you think of the latest developments?
Lauren: Of course it affects me, so I do not agree with it. I think it will make it harder for players like me to play in places, and especially Americans because we do not have a league in the States yet. Yes, I feel like it promotes nationalism, but I also love diversity. Our team was from so many places last year, and i believe each country represented had something new or different to bring to the table to share with the other girls. So I think in that aspect it will damage teams. So I hope maybe something can be worked out.

Dynamics: Unfortunately we do not know anything about your future within the VfB organization, but we all hope to see you back in our team. Are there any good news you could tell us about that?
Lauren: I would love to come back to Suhl. I really got adjusted to being there, and it would be hard if i had to start over in another organization. Right now as far as I know I am waiting to see what happens as far as the FIVB and also president Wolfgang. But if the rules lead to me going to another team, I will miss Suhl and the girls and the best fans ever. I would wish them the best of luck! 🙂

The Dynamics conducted this interview via e-mail. (SC, BX)


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