Player Profile - Isolation Special #6
Chris Wilkins - #9 Ranked Pro Team ClubSpike Worldwide
6/10/20 - Interview By: Tom Witt
Contact: Instagram: @roundnetprotraining & @tomtoowitty_sports_blog
Roundnet Season Break
Just like the rest of you, I’m lounging around watching roundnet highlight videos and hitting serves against my bedroom wall.
So, I was thinking it would be cool to write an article to show others what some roundnet players around the nation, and world, are doing during this downtime!
Read more about Chris Wilkins below!
Some of Wilkins' Best Roundnet Tournament Finishes:
- 2nd place finish Columbus Tour Stop 2018 losing to C/S in a 3 game series
- 2nd place finish Chicago Grand Slam 2019 losing to C/S
- 2nd place finish in Midwest Regionals 2019 losing to, wait for it, C/S
Wilkins has had some epic match-ups, including Spikeball Nationals 2018 against Anchored Li, ClubSpike Worldwide took that series in 3 games.
What Are You Doing During the Roundnet Season Break?
There are a lot of schools of thought on training for athletics.
My best advice is to focus on consistency, which ever skill(s) you are working on during that practice.
Whether it’s adding power, spin, or touch, you need to have the goal of becoming consistent with it.
Start that build from the ground up, toes all the way through your body and end at your finger tips.
Technique carves consistency.
The last thing I’ll say on this point from a mental view of training, is to give yourself a real chance at becoming successful, it’s ok to take 8+ hours of failure in order to see one successful attempt, relax, now just get it twice within the next 8 hours.
Chris' Roundnet 'Facts':
Chris says these are roundnet 'facts'.
What’s the most important hit/touch in roundnet? Serve.
What’s the second most important hit/touch in roundnet? Return of serve.
These are the start of EVERY point you play.
You need 2-4 consistent serve options and to understand possible angles from the servers starting/finishing position.
Train your serves in this fashion “1. Consistency 2. Control (angles) 3. Spin 4. Power”. ***Remember: you want a wide spread on your serves to keep the returning team guessing.
VIDEO: ClubSpike Chicago PROMO Video
What Chris Has Been Doing:
I try to get touches in while waltzing around the house and I create drills for specific skills in my backyard.
I was lucky enough to find a big piece of wood that I angle against a tall tree in my backyard, it helps to use something that can be very slightly angled upwards in order to work on deeper/more realistic game play.
Hitting off this wall is improving my movement and stamina as well as net awareness on shots and setting.
Currently I practice 4-5 times a week for 1-3 hours each time.
I’ll repeat from the great Jarratt Rouse “seeeeeeee the ball” be sure you know exactly where the ball is in relevance to the net, this allows you to figure out which angles are possible for your opponents shot or your shot.
My beautiful fiancée Paige and I have been chasing our 14-month daughter Ivy all around the house and neighborhood, having high energy play sessions, and we do at-home workouts together.
Most training I do are related to roundnet!
VIDEO: C/S vs. ClubSpike Worldwide - Pool Play Game 1 Spikeball Roundnet Nationals 2019
Nutrition,Hydration, Cooking, Recovery Techniques, Sleep, etc.
I have been eating less meat and getting protein from plants like chickpeas.
I eat a lot of pasta, fruits, and vegetables.
I drink a ton of water, daily smoothies, and a glass of milk here and there.
I snack pretty hard, but on the “ healthier” side of snacks.
What Are You Doing For Yourself During Downtime From Roundnet Gatherings?
I’ve been assisting Jeff Knurek with his brand Clubspike.net.
We have built a unique team of roundnet players and are excited to help grow this sport into the game we all want it to be!
We work on fun/entertaining designs and content for our growing fanbase.
Check us out on Instagram and join our Facebook page for more on that and all things related to roundnet!
Our sponsored teams are ClubSpike WorldWide, ClubSpike Boysterous, ClubSpike Black Ice, ClubSpike Strong Flush, ClubSpike Team 7, ClubSpike RVA, and ClubSpike USC Gamecocks!
Hobbies? Art, Reading, Cooking, Knitting, etc.
In my downtime I like to go on walks with Paige and Ivy, watch tv shows, play online games and have web chats with my friends and family, but most importantly make Ivy and Paige smile as much as possible!
I listen to podcasts, crave roundnet content, and have even been flying my power kite around in hopes of kiteboarding someday!
Advice for Others During This 'Free-Time' to Help Improve at Roundnet?
Ok, shameless 'How To Roundnet' on YT plug (YouTube).
But seriously, Preston Bies (world ranked #3) has the best content and it is some how for free!
Now, diving a little deeper into what I mentioned earlier in terms of mixing it up, you need to have a range of practices from being very structured, to being weird/fun/creative.
Per your personal end goals in roundnet, be sure to line up a majority of your practices with your expected outcome.
I’m talking 5-10-15 years down the road. Anyone else want to be ranked #1 in the world?
Study some defensive rotations, pull up some top 25 teams and watch what they’re doing defensively.
You will notice a lot of teams defense breaking down when the ball is directly over the set, yes, your guess is as good as any.
Please practice directional setting and hitting!
Most “big plays” require at least one of these skills per teammate. Again, remember consistency in all things related to life is key.
What Are You Missing Most Not Going To Tournaments/Pickup/Practice?
For starters, playing roundnet as Patrick Drucker’s partner.
The competition, I absolutely love it.
Luckily I am just fine without it, but it has to be one of my most favorite aspects of life. And not because I like comparing myself to others or want to always be the one winning, I just want a true battle.
I actually don’t like when my opponents are playing bad.
Ideally, I want all 4 of us playing our best. I’m also missing the community and friends I have made since playing roundnet. Especially my local players and Origin guys, Nick Daub, Mike Priller, Wyatt Semke, Chris Hornacek, to name a few.
Looking forward to being in touch with any and all of you throughout the quarantine!
That's Chris Wilkins, #9 Ranked SRA Team ClubSpike Worldwide
Thanks for reading, everyone!
- Tom Witt
Check the link for more “What Are You Doing During the Roundnet Season Break?” interviews!
LET’S CONNECT! - ‘Witt Roundnet Round-Up’
Instagram: @roundnetprotraining & @tomtoowitty_sports_blog
Zac Vance 2019 SRA Nationals Highlight Video