Lake Nona is home to so many cool and very unique opportunities. With a multitude of activities to pass your time, from visiting local restaurants, taking pictures with artwork, and even having the ability to be coached by an Olympic athlete and his wife, the possibilities are endless! Speaking of which, four-time Olympic athlete Phil Dalhausser and his wife, women’s beach volleyball player Jennifer Dalhausser run a local volleyball academy right here in the heart of Lake Nona. This awesome Olympian-run academy is called The Phil Dalhausser Beach Volleyball Academy, operating out of Boxi Park (located at 6877 Tavistock Lakes Blvd, Orlando, FL 32827). Keep reading to view our quick chat with Phil Dalhausser!
The Growth of Volleyball
This sandy sport has been around for a very long time, bringing joy for beach volleyball lovers dating back to the early 1900s! Volleyball, according to the Olympics, originally started in 1895. Fun fact in volleyball, the ball comes from basketball, the net from tennis, the use of hands from handball, and to make it more competitive, the introduction of innings (now called sets) comes from baseball. Initially termed as Volley Ball, this game was created by the locals of the Santa Monica Athletic Club and spread through the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), where it gained its traction around the world. This massive spread of this beloved game led to the birth of The Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB). The FIVB has been the association responsible for volleyball at the international level since 1947. The growth of volleyball around the world led to the creation of the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP), the premier U.S. pro beach volleyball league in 1983, and the National Volleyball League (NVL) in 2017. With the creation of these highly seated associations in the volleyball community, there are International Tournaments run by FIVB and National Tournaments here in the U.S. run by AVP and NVL.
Understanding the Sport
Following the growth of this sport, in 1996 in Atlanta, Georgia, Volleyball made its official debut in the Olympics for men and women. For those who don’t have a full understanding of the game of beach volleyball, there are two teams that consist of two players each on a sand court with a net in the middle separating the two teams. There are no player substitutions during the game at all. The first team to 21 points wins; however they play until one team is ahead by at least two points. (If you would like to know the full list of rules and regulations for beach volleyball you can find them at fivb.org.)
Who is Phil Dalhausser?
Phil Dalhausser is a Swiss-born American, who grew up in Florida and attended the University of Central Florida. He only started playing volleyball in his senior year of high school! With this year’s Winter Olympics taking place in Beijing, this provides the world the opportunity to reminisce past summer games hosted in Beijing during 2008, where Dalhausser won his gold medal in Beach Volleyball. Holding the title as the fifth U.S. man to win 100 beach volleyball titles, Dalhausser is a legend of this sport; which is why it is so mind-blowing that he coaches his very own academy here in Lake Nona of all places!
Phil Dalhausser’s Wife
Jennifer Dalhausser, a California native, now resides here in Central Florida with her husband, Phil, and their two children. Formerly known as Jennifer Corral, she attended Ventura College and Tennesse State University. During her college years, Jennifer led her team to state finals and was a second-team All-Western State Conference member, was named both the Women’s Volleyball Athlete of the Year as well as the Academic Athlete of the Year, and was selected honorable mention all-Ohio Valley Conference as a junior. Alongside Phil, together they run their Volleyball Academy here in Lake Nona.
We had the privilege of interviewing the Dalhaussers about their academy and their love of the sport! Here is what they said.
Q: Why is this sport so important to you both?
A: Beach Volleyball has been our passion for all of our adult lives and luckily we are in the small minority where our passion has been able [to] support the family!
Q: What drove you two to establish this volleyball academy?
A: The sport has been so good to us so we want to give back to the sport. Our goal is to grow the sport and give opportunities for kids and adults to play and learn. Phil went to UCF from 1998-2002 and there was a thriving beach volleyball community in Orlando. We want to get that community back up and running better than ever because it was a big reason why Phil became successful in the sport.”
Q: What can the community expect from your academy in the future?
A: We are going to keep getting better as coaches and continue to be the best possible positive role model for the kids.”
Q: Phil, even though you are a summer Olympic athlete, are you excited to see fellow Olympic athletes compete in the upcoming Beijing Games?
A: No, I’m not a huge fan of the Winter Olympics. I grew up in FL and winter sports never was a thing for me.
Are you interested in learning beach volleyball? Check out their website at pdvba.com to learn more about their academy and how you can start your volleyball lessons today!