Hello Momentum world, Aleks Arsovic here! Former McMaster Marauder from Burlington, Ontario, in Switzerland for my first season abroad. I got lucky enough to sign my first professional contract in the most beautiful country on the planet – no bias, where I am playing for VBC Cheseaux in the NLA here in Switzerland.
My road here has been pretty generic as a volleyball player in Canada, but has had some interesting twists and turns to it. I started playing volleyball when I was 11 years old, for the Halton Region Volleyball Club based out of my home town.
I made my way up the club volleyball ladder and finished my 18u year with an OVA championship gold with Lakeside Volleyball Club (shoutout to my Lakeside family who will literally be family for life). Throughout my high school years, I really focused a lot on beach volleyball, and thought that was my calling (Fun fact – in my 18u year I won both indoor and beach provincial titles).
I decided to go to York University for my undergrad because it was so close to the Volleyball Canada Beach Full-time training centre, and also to play amongst some serious volleyball rockstars – ahem…. Melissa Humana-Parades, Brandie Wilkerson, and fellow Momentum Athlete, Ray Szeto, just to name a few! In my summers, I spent time with Team Ontario Beach and the Full-time training centre trying to make my way up, only to run into a pretty crummy stress fracture in my foot that put my indoor and beach career on hold for a while. After some soul searching, a quarter-life crisis and a long potential recovery time, I had a change of heart and decided to transfer to McMaster University to further pursue indoor volleyball.
In my first year at Mac I had to redshirt due to USPORT (CIS, at the time) regulations, which turned out to be a blessing because I really got to take the time I needed to heal my foot properly, and get super strong in the weight room leading up to my next season. More importantly, I really got to earn the respect of my teammates in practice. Let me tell you, red-shirting is not easy, but as long as you stay positive, trust the process, and support your teammates to your best capabilities, it can teach you some lovely life lessons that playing volleyball cannot. In that year off of competing, I learned to be a better friend, teammate, and volleyball player. I have been fortunate enough to always see playing time throughout my volleyball career, and for the first time in my life, I had to ride the bench. It was quite frustrating, and there were many many times where I wish I could have been on the court, but in the end, it paid off. The following season, when I was finally eligible to play, we ended up winning the 2017 OUA Championship. Fast forward to this April, and I closed the chapter at McMaster after just coming short of repeating as OUA Champions in my senior campaign (shoutout to Ryerson and their stellar 2018 season finishing with a national title). I made some lifelong friends at McMaster and am so, so glad I decided to make the switch when I did.
I had always wanted to pursue volleyball professionally, but come the beginning of 2018, it was time to make this dream a reality. I had been in contact with Michael (Amoroso) and Joost at Eltee Volley for some time leading into this period, and I felt very comfortable putting my career in their hands. After a few great months of communication and collaboration, I signed my first professional volleyball contract, and made my dream a reality. I am now living in Cheseaux, just north of Lausanne (the olympic capital), and slowly but surely adjusting to this new beautiful life I get to live. Playing volleyball for a profession is such a dream come true and I am so happy and lucky I get to call this my job. To any young athlete reading this, although the title of a professional athlete can seem very out of reach, it is very real, and very attainable. The advice I would give to anyone right now, is to never get out-worked. There is always someone better than you, and you have to be willing to make some pretty gnarly sacrifices to get yourself where you want to be. Always work hard, and always be kind, because nobody likes a mean person. Finally – we are so lucky to play a team sport, so enjoy it! Enjoy the different personalities you get to work with, and learn to love being able to thrive off of others’ energies. My favourite part about playing volleyball is bringing other people’s spirits up, celebrating one another, and working towards a common goal, WINNING!
Thanks for taking the time to read my lengthly blurb, and good luck to everyone and their upcoming seasons! I would love to hear all about it. If you want to follow me throughout the year – keep up to date with VBC Cheseaux, I am #5!
Aleks Arsovic is just beginning her first professional season with VBC Cheseaux, competing professionally in Switzerland. Follow her whole journey on Instagram at @aleksarsovic !