Always An Athlete® powered by the University of Tennessee: Center for Sport Peace and Society
A CONVERSATION WITH NICOLE DAVIS
Davis is a WORLD CHAMPION &
OLYMPIC SILVER MEDALIST
What is your first memory as a child on your bike?
This picture is one of my first memories as a child on a bike. That was actually my first bike, and I remember how fun the process of learning to ride it was and then how frightening it was taking off the training wheels.
How did you find the bike after volleyball?
Volleyball is an indoor sport, and I've spent the better part of my days for the last 19 years inside a gym! So, being outside and continuing to participate in sports other than volleyball was a big goal of mine after retirement. Mountain biking is something I enjoyed a lot with my best friend and father when I was a kid.
You just bought a new mountain bike, what do you enjoy about being outdoors?
I love the beauty and novelty of everything outdoors. I live in Southern California, the weather is amazing most of the year, and their are amazing trails in abundance here, that have views of the ocean, and are plush with trees.
You transitioned out of playing professionally on your own terms, do you see the bike as an answer for athletes to continue to keep fitness a priority?
What's great about biking is that it is low impact and you can make it as challenging and rigorous as you want (or maybe don't want) while still getting a pretty significant workout in.
You played a team sport, how important are those relationships? Have you ever been on a bike ride with them? If not, would you consider it?
The relationships I built playing volleyball are one of the most important take-aways from my career. I cherish my teammates that have become good friends and like family to me. The experiences we shared together have created a bond that doesn't break over time. I've never biked with them, I would love to do that!
Do you see the bike as a way for teammates to connect in a different way other than their sport?
Biking could be a way for teammates to connect in a different way other than their sport. Any hobby or cross training can build those deep connections.
Many times athletes sacrifice their body for the game. Have you ever had an injury? And can you ride the bike after the injury?
I've had a lot of nagging injuries, luckily none that have required surgery, but the same can't be said for many of my teammates. My MCL is torn right now for example, and biking is one of the few activities I can do! Like I said before, it's low impact on the body, a linear activity that doesn't require a huge load on joints, and can be as challenging or as recreational as you want it to be!
Any fun tips for athletes transitioning into the real world?
I find myself being so grateful for so many moments that most people take for granted, like being able to go for a bike ride in the middle of the day, or waking up and taking my dog for a walk, or having lunch with my grandparents when I want, living in my house and not having to pack a bag every weekend.
There are lots of novelties to being a "normal" person after retirement that can be overlooked. Enjoy the transition! You've earned it!
What lessons as a ball athlete will you bring to your future rides on a bike? (ex: taking hill's)
As I said before, biking can be as challenging as you want it to be. For me, specifically, it helps me satisfy and innate need for competition. So, when I'm mountain biking it's about the challenge, it's about pushing limits, overcoming mental constraints that place limitations on our physical abilities, and sticking to the goal (for example tackling a big hill without getting off the bike). It's a good test of and training exercise on grit, which is the huge predictor of success and many areas in life!
ALWAYS AN ATHLETE® AMBASSADORS
Julie Foudy of USA Soccer
Foudy is passionate about fighting the obesity epidemic. Pointing our nation to the bike after competitive sport aligns with her voice in the community to keep our nation active while having fun. And what is more fun than a bike ride?
Donna Orender of the WMBA, PGA
Orender is a life long athlete and is passionate about bringing together business and sport. She was a five sport athlete in high school. lettering in basketball, field hockey, volleyball and softbal, and tennis.
Orender is recognized as having a strong focus in branding, partnership establishments and marketing via new media
Sue Enquist of UCLA Softball
Enqusit a former softball player and coach. Her career winning percentage of .835 is the highest recorded by any of the college softball coaches with 800 career wins. During her years as a player and coach at UCLA, the Bruins softball team won 11 national championships in 1978, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1999, 2003 and 2004.