Pursuing Men’s Professional Volleyball Overseas: The story of Matt August
Updated: Dec 23, 2020
It cannot be denied that volleyball tends to be a top sport around the globe, however, there are still places where it’s not considered to be quite as big,, most certainly, an example of this is the men’s division, like in the United States.
Matt August is a professional volleyball player from Southern California currently playing for Volejbal Brnocz in the Czech Republic.
Even though he’s living the dream of playing overseas, the opportunity did not present itself to him as it was actually Matt West from Pepperdine University who laid the opportunity for him to play overseas.
“He introduced that I could play overseas and I have the potential and talent to play at that level and [so] he was able to reach out [to] the contacts he knew from prior years of [him playing] overseas then he got me into that,” he said in the 51st episode of The Globally Ballin Podcast.
When he was still at the University level, August was not aware that there were such opportunities in playing overseas at a professional level, but athletes from other regions in the United States were aware of these opportunities.
During his first season in the Czech Republic, he did not have an agent and so it was only he and his peers with previous experiences who conducted the negotiations, made contract amendments, and everything related.
Since everything was new to him, August did not really care much about the different offers because he just wanted to pursue his volleyball dreams and get to land on his feet for his first contract.
“I didn’t care where it was [because] I just wanted to get my foot in the door, get my name out there and then have the first year get into me and see where it comes,” he said.
He also admitted that living in a foreign country alone is one of the heaviest challenges he went through as it did not turn out to be what he initially visualized before going there.
“I wasn’t really prepared to be really on my own out there especially just because there were no
foreigners and [during] the first couple of months, not knowing my teammates yet and them not really knowing me.”
August advises those who dream of playing overseas to go on with an open mind as the journey can be tough as it can be easy to be taken by the completely “different world” and forget that while playing over there it’s a job and you’re paid to play.
“If you want to play volleyball, just watch it, learn, you’re going to grow loving it. And if you want to play overseas, you have to love it and have that passion because if you don’t, there’s nothing you can do to help yourself with your time over there,” he told Globally Ballin.
The entire interview of Matt August (Episode 51 of The Globally Ballin Podcast) can be found with the links below.
This piece was written by Carla Molina, a common contributor for Globally Ballin check out the link below to see all the articles by Carla Molina that revisit past episodes of the network in bring the story of the guests to article form as well.