[Editor's Note: Arianna Bayangos is a student journalist from Carlmont High School.]
Olympic gold medalist and member of the Stanford Hall of Fame, Jon Root, has been appointed as Paye’s Place’s new club volleyball director.
Paye's Place, located at 595 Industrial Rd. in San Carlos, is a specialized sports training facility founded by San Francisco 49er football player John Paye. The facility offer sports training in a variety of sports at all levels.
John Paye, believes that Jon Root as a director will be an asset to Paye’s volleyball club.
According to Paye, Root’s background will make him a great coach to the kids in the area. He said that in addition to his experience, Root is a good person who will be a great role model to the young athletes.
Paye added, “We expanded our facilities so we have more volleyball space. We also have our partner, Team Taf who does strength and conditioning. We are hoping to help improve the skills and endurance of all our athletes.”
Root officially started working with Paye’s on Nov. 12 at the club’s signing night for players from as early as fourth to twelfth grade. This week, Root will start running multiple clinics and private lessons for players.
Root’s passion for volleyball started when he was in high school. At first, he played baseball, but unfortunately, he broke his arm while playing basketball. He missed the baseball season in the spring, but was recruited to play on a volleyball summer league.
After high school, Root was recruited by Stanford University where he played middle blocker and outside hitter. According to the Stanford University Hall of Fame website, Root remains one of the record leaders with a huge amount of kills (1,405) and digs (643).
After he played at Stanford, he went on to play for the US men’s volleyball team.
He said, “For the (volleyball) national team, it’s (the recruitment) different than for individual sports. This is what I call the observation process. The coaches know who the best juniors and seniors are in college. After graduation, there are about 10-20 athletes from across the nation trying to make the Olympic roster for two positions.”
Root played in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul South Korea as the team’s outside hitter and the team won a gold medal in men’s volleyball.
Root commented about his experience, “It was amazing. Partly because I was a rookie who stepped onto the gold medal winning team. I had the opportunity to play with volleyball’s Michael Jordan, Karch Kiraly.”
After his victory in Seoul, Root played professionally in the Italian club league and also played professional beach volleyball.
Root hopes to bring his skills and experience to further enhance Paye’s Place’s volleyball club.
He noted, “I’m a Stanford student and a Stanford student athlete. All our athletic alumni is top notch. I hope to bring a level or expertise that you can’t find in most places.”
Root will also be running sports performance clinics. His clinic has four main aspects: mental, physical, emotional, and energetic properties. In his clinics, he explains each topic, its relevance, and how it applies to sports. Then, he runs the athletes through exercises.
“It’s tell, explain, and then do. It’s a combination of Eastern and Western principles,” Root explained.
With the sports performance clinics and his coaching skills, Root wants to continue Paye’s reputation of being one of the best clubs in the area.
Root noted, “I want to get Paye’s back on the map and continue John’s tradition of life development through sports. He was a great athlete. I was also a great athlete. It’s a unique combination of personalities.”
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