Playing against some of the best volleyball players in the country over the past couple of years has helped Hannah Grabka take her game to another level.
Grabka, a Level II student at Corner Brook High, was one of three female volleyball players from Corner Brook who represented Newfoundland and Labrador at the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg.
She spent many hours honing her skillset for a couple of years leading up to the Games and believes she is not only a better player, but a better person because of the experience.
Her experience with the Games squad, which took her to different places to prepare for the best in the country, opened her eyes to how amazing an athlete can become if they have a strong work ethic and stay committed for the long haul.
“I think it really helped me see how much you have to put into it to become so great,” Grabka said. “It definitely helps me now to want to work as hard as I can all the time so I can be even better when I play.”
She’s come a long way in a short time when you consider she didn’t make the cut when she tried to earn a spot on the provincial team back in 2015.
Grabka is a dominant force on the volleyball court. She’s fast, agile and fit, a competitive spirit who has a knack for making others better around her.
She is a leader on the Corner Brook High Titans AAAA girls volleyball team that will be gunning for gold at 2017 Volleyfest this weekend in St. John’s. The Titans already have a gold medal to show for the new season, winning top honours at Volleywest a week ago.
“The level of volleyball was so much higher and you learn so many more things that I would never have learned just playing high school ball,” she said.
She’s eager to help her team improve with each game. She understands more than ever the importance of playing as a team and not to be selfish when it comes to personal goals.
“It was all about everyone doing their best and it made me become better as a person for supporting everybody else as well as trying to make myself better at the same time,” she said of the busy volleyball schedule she followed for a few years.
Grabka, daughter of Jeanette and Mike Grabka of Humber Village, appreciates the opportunity afforded her when she was immersed in training for the Games. She was exposed to some quality coaching and learned a lot about the game so she hopes to past on that knowledge to the group of friends she shares the floor with on a regular basis.
“I will try to help out my team as much as I can with everything I know to make us all better,” she said.