Adam DeJonckheere is about to enter a very intense and exciting time in his young athletic career.
Adam, who lives in Transcona with his father Doug and his brother Ryan, attends the University of Manitoba and is a member of the Bisons men’s volleyball team. A left-side power hitter, Adam is also a power hitter in the classroom, boasting an impressive 3.57 GPA, and he was recently named an Academic All-Canadian.
Adam is in Gatineau, Que., this week with the rest of the U19 provincial men’s volleyball team to compete in the 2014 National Team Challenge Cup, which began July 15.
During the course of this tournament players are scouted and selected to be members of the junior national team that will take part in the upcoming NORCECA North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation) U21 continental championship to be held in El Salvador at the end of this month.
Despite the possibility of international competition in the near future, Adam is focusing on his responsibilities for Team Manitoba.
"Volleyball is 50 per cent mental and 50 per cent physical. If you are in the game mentally, the body will follow. As a team, if we focus on the gold medal, instead of the possibility of making the junior national team, our Manitoban team will be successful."
Adam is thankful for the opportunity in front of him.
"The one I owe the most for the position I am in is Ryan Ratushniak. He has coached me for the last five years — four years at club level and as an assistant with the Bisons last year. He has done great things for me not only as a volleyball player but also as a person."
I asked Adam if there was one thing Ratushniak had taught him that stood out the most.
"The one he’s been stressing to me the most is having a short memory and moving on quickly from mistakes," Adam said. "Acknowledge the mistake, learn from it, and move on."
Former Winnipeg Blue Bombers kicker Troy Westwood is co-host of The Big Show, every weekday morning from 6 to 10 a.m. on TSN 1290 radio. He writes about
Winnipeg’s unsung sports heroes every other week in the Canstar Community News weeklies. If you know of an athlete whose story Troy should tell, contact him at: