The Association of Volleyball Professional was forced to suspend operations in 2010 because of financial problems, but with support from Jose Cuervo in 2011, the circuit was back in business. Now in its second season, the Jose Cuervo Pro Volleyball Series is underway. It is running an event this weekend Belmar, N.J., and has dates booked in Chicago and Southern California from July through September. Sean Scott, a native of Hawaii, played in at least one championship match in seven consecutive seasonson the AVP Tour (2003-2009). Last season, he and John Hyden won two of the three Cuervo events. Scott will turn 39 during the season but has a regimen that keeps in top shape.
ThePostGame: How did it feel to get off to a good start on the tour?
SEAN SCOTT: It was really nice. Last year we had a lot of success on the Cuervo tour, and both my partner and I are getting older so it was nice to reaffirm that we still have what it takes to win tournaments.
TPG: How would you describe atmosphere?
SCOTT: I think most of the players are really excited to have the Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball tour back in action. Jose Cuervo has been such an integral part of beach volleyball for a number of years, and to have them back and build on the series from last year is nothing but positive.
TPG: What's your overall training routine?
SCOTT: My partner and I ... play professionally for a living so we take it very seriously and train a lot in the offseason, especially as we've gotten older and there's less down time. So we watch what we eat pretty well. He has a trainer he works with three or four days a week in the gym. I have a trainer I work with three or four days in the gym, and then we usually get in the sand three days a week.
TPG: What are specific exercise routines on the beach?
SCOTT: My partner and I like to do a lot of drills, so we'll do a lot of repetitions of passing, setting, side-out stuff. So kind of mimicking the skills we'd use in a tournament to break them down and really focus on the finite details so we can keep ourselves sharp.
TPG: How about the exercises in the gym?
SCOTT: We both do a lot of strength training and then some core stuff to keep the core stable, and then also some ... start out with some cardio stuff and then add a little bit more aerobic as it gets closer to the season so we're able to deal with those short bursts of energy. A game of beach volleyball will usually go for 8-12 seconds for rally and then you're done. Then, you rest for 8-12 and then start it up again.
TPG: How has training changed as you've become an older player?
SCOTT: Basically, you have to be a little more efficient. We both monitor overdoing it and aren't afraid to take a day off if you kind of feel it. When you are younger, you just kind of do everything all the time and you are able to rebound and your body bounces back. When you are older, you have to take care and do a lot of rehab and rest. I think that is just as important as working out.
TPG: What's your approach to diet and nutrition??
SCOTT: I try to watch my calories and I try to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and lean meats. Stay away from processed foods. Usually for dinner we will have chicken or turkey or once in a while have a steak, but aside from that, it's a lot of salads and vegetables. I do some shakes with some weight proteins throughout the day just cause it's convenient and easy with having a busy schedule and two kids. Breakfast is usually some oatmeal, something simple like that. A lot of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and not too many brownies, ice cream, more processed foods.
TPG: Any secret tips for getting beach-ready abs?
SCOTT: I guess it is just diet. I think if you eat well and get rid of that layer that's over your abs, then what's underneath will start to show. I think both John and I do a lot of core stuff for stabilization. I don't know if I do a lot of specific ab exercises. I don't do a lot of crunches, but I think a lot of the movements I do in the gym with my trainer kind of fit my abs and core, the dynamic movement. I think we eat healthy and we burn so many calories playing out there on the sand, especially on a tournament weekend.
TPG: How do you keep up with your nutrition goals on the road?
SCOTT: I travel with some weight protein, isolate, so I can always have a good source of protein. It's something that for me is easily digestible, feeds my muscles when I have a quick break between games. In the players’ tent, they usually have bananas, whole wheat bread, and toast and stuff. Oatmeal you can get pretty much anywhere. It's not as easy as it is at home, but still traveling within the U.S. is relatively easy compared to if you went overseas and played in China.
TPG: What's the outlook for the sport?
SCOTT: I think it is very encouraging to have Jose Cuervo supporting beach volleyball more and more. In 2009 when our domestic tour went away, there were a lot of questions, and Jose Cuervo stepped in with IMG to run a tour for the latter part of the summer, and then this year, they are making it bigger and showing fans and players that they are serious about keeping this sport alive and giving players a chance to play here and also give fans a chance to come out and enjoy all that Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series offers, up close action with the players and a lot of village and atmosphere stuff, parties at night. It's exciting overall.
TPG: So the sport is bouncing back?
SCOTT: I think with Jose Cuervo's involvement, it's nothing but positive. Like I said earlier, they have a long tradition of supporting beach volleyball and were there from the beginning, so to have them back in as a major, big sponsor adds some stability. So going forward, hopefully they will add more and more events with bigger prize money, get some other companies interested and see the potential, positive atmosphere beach volleyball has.
TPG: Any thoughts about beach volleyball in the Olympics?
SCOTT: I think Todd [Rogers] and Phil [Dalhausser] have to be one of the favorite going into the Olympics just because of their track record and they continue to play some of the best volleyball in the world. Todd is an amazing defender, one of the best in the world, and Phil, in my mind, is probably the best player beach volleyball has ever seen. And then the second team, Sean Rosenthal and Jake Gibb just won the last event in Rome, which was a grand slam, beating the No. 1 Brazilian team, so that has to boost their confidence, and show them that any given day they can compete with the best in the world. I think they have a good shot at medaling as well. So I'm really excited.
I'm not as familiar with the women's side. Obviously you have Misty May and Kerri Walsh back. They can win a tournament any time and have been one of the best teams for so long. And then Jen Kessy and April Ross just took third in the same Rome grand slam tournament, so that proves again, any given weekend, they can compete with the best in the world. I think it will be very positive for USA volleyball going into the summer Olympics.
TPG: Anything we missed?
SCOTT: I encourage everyone to come out and take a look at the Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball tent if you haven't been there. There's a lot of fun players who would love to interact with the fans, and Jose Cuervo does a great job of having a little village with a lot of fun activities, like a lime wedge you can ride like a mechanical bull and a rock climbing wall. So there's a lot more than just beach volleyball going on. It's a really fun atmosphere, so if you haven't been out to a pro beach volleyball event, you should really check it out.