Playing Overseas: Q+A With 4 International Athletes

by Esther Wallace

What's it like to play your sport internationally? 

Some athletes playing overseas take as much time as possible traveling to places they've never seen and absorbing culture. Others, don't have much flexibility in their schedules, and learn more about different cultures from the diversity of their international teammates. We're sure most would agree, that playing your sport internationally can be a surreal experience that many athletes aspire to explore. We talked to 4 women about their experiences playing outside of the US.

scroll to a specific player's Q&A:

Krystle Esdelle


 Trinidad and Tobago women's national volleyball team

Trinidad 🇹🇹

Playa Society: how do you prepare for your season mentally and physically?

Krystle: My main mindset is to be focused and be in the present. Before I get into my season, I set personal goals for myself to achieve. I practice daily meditation and lastly, I read a lot. Physically I workout all the time, but for me it’s my diet. Making healthy choices today is important for me. Food plays a huge role in my performance at training and matches.

Playa Society: What’s it like coming together with your team to play towards your common goals? 

Krystle: It’s awesome. I love friendly competition among ourselves in practices. It’s like we learn a lot from each other in this way. We understand what motivates us and use that to accomplish our goals at matches.

Playa Society: How would you describe your overall international playing experience? Does it differ from playing in Trinidad?

Krystle: Amazing! I get to travel, learn new cultures and make friends basically for free. I love the passion people have for volleyball outside of Trinidad. In Trinidad it’s not like that. In Trinidad my passion for volleyball is regarded as a hobby while outside it’s a lifestyle, eat sleep and breathe daily. 

Jaleesa Avery


Bashkimi Prizren

Kosovo 🇽🇰

Playa Society: How do you prepare for your overseas season, mentally and physically? 

JALESSA: Physically I workout 6 days a week, run 2 miles every other day (so I can stay in shape), and I recently changed my diet. Mentally, I just focus on my goals and getting better at what I do everyday. 

Playa Society: Are you nervous to go to a different place and play with people you have never met before?

JALESSA: I’m not nervous to go to a different country, I’m actually really excited! I adapt really well anywhere I go. I have talked with most of my teammates already, and I can’t wait to meet them in person. I feel like it’s just like meeting all my old teammates for the first time! 





Japan 🇯🇵

Playa Society: What was the transition overseas like?

Abbey: I got to come in March and got sent home because of Corona but got to come back in August and I have been here for 2 months now and I am starting to miss home even more! So it was definitely a hard transition!

Playa Society: What was the greatest challenge, and how did you overcome it?

Abbey: I would say for me the greatest challenge is being away from home and it was super tough when I had to stay in my room for 14 days when I got here. I am a home body and being away is super hard but I just try to keep myself busy that way I don’t think about missing home!

Playa Society: What is it like playing with women from different backgrounds – how do you come together to play for a common goal?

Abbey: At first I was super nervous about playing with them. But once we got to know each other it has been so much fun. It’s amazing because I feel like I have found 15 other girls that love the game as much as me! Our goal we are trying to reach is making it to tournament at the end of season so we are just focused on that.

Maya Brewer




Playa Society: What was the transition overseas like?

Maya: It’s been a dream come true and a complete blessing, it’s amazing to get to wake up in a different country and be able to play the game you love, and plus, get paid doing it.

Playa Society: What has the transition been like playing overseas compared to the United States?

MAYA: I’d say the biggest transition would just be the time difference, it’s already been a month and I’m still trying to get adjusted to the time, and a decent sleep schedule.

Playa Society: What was the greatest challenge, and how did you overcome it?

MAYA: Another challenge would be trying to keep myself busy during the day and not just sleeping through the going out and exploring this beautiful country.

Written By:

Team Playa society