Lausanne, Switzerland, April 10, 2019 – Brazil’s Ana Carolina da Silva (Carol) talked to fivb.com about the significance of hard work and respect in playing the game, her blocking technique, her growth as an athlete and her admiration for two Brazilian Olympic volleyball gold medallists.
“The lessons that you learn from playing in the national team and with a club are the same,” Carol said. “It’s really important to work hard and respect people around you because that gives you trust in your teammates which makes the time you spend together with them enjoyable.
“It’s hard to lose a game but after a defeat we need to learn the lesson and keep working hard to play the next game better. We don’t have time to suffer so we need to keep our heads up and continue doing the best we can do.”
The 27-year-old embraces the role that best helps her team – on net defence. Her distinct technique and impeccable timing make her one of the world’s best middle blockers.
“I love to block,” Carol said. “For me two things are important to observe before blocking. First, I try to read the setter as much as I can and do not move until she sets the ball. Second, I make sure to have good timing before I decide to jump. Paying attention to those actions helps me a lot in my position.
“I really like to use cross-steps to block. When I can move my feet like that, I feel the spiker’s timing better and I can keep my arms better over the net. By doing this, I try to leave less space for my opponent to spike.
“Blocking for sure comes naturally to me, but receiving the ball after a serve is quite difficult.”
When Carol was younger, she idolised two of Brazil’s most revered Olympic champions, one of whom she had the privilege of playing with.
“I’m a fan of Gustavo Endres. He played in the national team for a long time and he was an amazing middle blocker. I used to watch him and I dreamt of being like him.
“The other one is Fofao, who also played for a long time in the national team. I had the amazing experience to play with her at Rexona SESC Rio. She was incredible and by far the best leader I have ever had. She was a strong woman and very smart. Seeing her working so hard after all her experience in the volleyball world makes you feel like you need to give more every day, and give your best in every practise and in every game.”
As for her dream team choices, she looks up to the current players.
“If I were in a dream team, I would like to play with outside spikers Anne Buijs and Jordan Larson, setter Maja Ognjenovic, middle blocker Milena Rasic, opposite Tijana Boskovic and libero Monica De Gennaro.”
Having gone through triumphs and setbacks in her career, she has benefited from working closely with many great coaches to whom she attributes much of her own transformation and success.
“I’m really grateful to have worked with amazing coaches in my career since my youth team days up to this day as a professional player,” she said.
“After working so hard, I’ve had many opportunities to play in a lot of finals and understand the kind of spirit that you should have to play in these matches. Playing in international competitions gave me the opportunity to play against foreign players that helped me when I played for the Brazilian national team.
“I do not have words to thank all the people I have worked with. I am just really happy. I still want to play for a couple more years and after that I will think about my plans to help develop the sport in my country.”
For now, Carol’s focus is guiding her club Dentil Praia Clube to victory in the Brazilian Superliga before the busy national team season that includes the Volleyball Nations League.
“I’m happy here at Praia Clube. We have a good team. We had a difficult start because we had a short time to build a team and we had so many games to play. But thank God we found the best way to play.
“We will do our best to play in the finals and keep the title for Praia Clube. In our first semifinal match against Sesi Bauru, we played really well and our feeling of being together inside the court no matter what happened was stronger than before. It’s really exciting to play like that.
“The amazing and experienced players and the passionate people of Uberlandia who live and breathe sport make playing at Praia Clube a great experience.
Carol uses her time wisely when she gets free time from playing.
“I like to do a lot of things. If I have time available, I like to travel and be with family and friends. If I don’t have a lot of time available then I like to have a massage, watch a movie, read, cook and get some sleep.”