By Ben Ramirez
Already committed to Texas Christian University (TCU) for beach volleyball, junior Camille Burman is still coming into her own as an athlete. Burman was first exposed to beach volleyball through her dad who enjoyed playing the sport and brought her and her twin sister along to the beach as small children while he played. From there, she began playing indoor volleyball prior to moving to beach.
Although minor, there are significant differences between beach and indoor volleyball. The most basic, yet stark difference is that in beach there are two players on the court on one team, as opposed to six in indoor. This in turn forces beach players to be more versatile. Additional differences include the court, which is smaller, and is made of sand, as well as the heights of the players.
Burman, who stands at five-foot-four and a half, found that for her height was better suited for beach. There was also less competition for college scholarships.
“It is a lot easier, especially because I am shorter. Since beach is a relatively new sport, there is less competition for spots on college teams,” Burman said.
She originally went to Alemany for indoor volleyball, but because there was also a beach team, Burman was able to play both. She did not make the decision to exclusively play beach volleyball until a year and a half ago. Burman plays in tournaments across the Southern California coast through multiple organizations including Beach Volleyball Clubs of America.
In beach volleyball, players also have more freedom to find the right partner as opposed to playing on a larger team. These tournaments offer opportunities for college scouts and coaches to scout players. While they can come to regular tournaments, there are also specialized showcase tournaments specifically for scouts and coaches to observe and talk to athletes.
“You are given a recruiting number and you write that number on the back of one of your legs and your graduation year on the other leg. Coaches can walk around and look for players who catch their eye,” Burman said.
For her, this was not the case. It was instead through a clinic where she began talking to TCU beach volleyball coach Hector Gutierrez that she found her future college. She was thereafter invited to tour the campus and athletic facilities.
“After the visit, I liked everything about the school. I liked the coach and team, but also a lot of other aspects of the school fit what what I want,” Burman said.
She does not yet know what she wants to major in. Her goal for her senior season is to prepare for college and be able to be a starter her freshman year.
“A lot of players, once they commit, stop pushing and peak out. I want to continue getting better because I do not want to be on the bench,” Burman said.