Tots Carlos x The GAME 2024

Tots Carlos On Prioritizing Rest and Staying Fresh Throughout The PVL Season

How does Tots Carlos, one of the country’s best volleybelles, persevere through the beautiful game’s gritty moments? She reveals her insights to The GAME.

It’s safe to say that everybody knows the different types of intensity volleyball can bring. Unlike other team sports like basketball, or football, volleyball games are not timed, and rallies may take up some time before one team can score. 

Consequently, this has resulted in matchups that may take hours, or go well into the night for late afternoon games. To audiences, one can only wonder about the players’ perspectives themselves.

So, when The GAME caught up with the Creamline Cool Smashers’ Tots Carlos, we decided to ask her just that. For her, preseason preparations are crucial in order to mitigate any physical stress in the long run. 

“Yung volleyball kasi, very situational, you will never know what will happen, and you will never know gaano katagal ‘yung game, so malaking bagay, well sa amin [Creamline] ‘yung preparation,” Tots told The GAME.

“Kasi ‘yung ginagamit namin pagdating sa game…‘Yung mga coaches kasi namin magaling magpa-train, in terms of timeline, what day ‘yung weights, what day ‘yung bola. So we have this very good balance na nangyayari for the preparation that really [helps] us na tumagal sa games,” she added. 

Beyond physical preparedness, Carlos also underscored mental preparedness and cited the importance of a proper mindset. In the past, she admitted having lapses, such as being in a rush or wanting to end a set early. 

At times, she also expected her spikes to be instant points and would be upset if they did not. For her, these lapses could have bigger-than-expected consequences in the games she’s in. 

As a professional though, Tots said she has “really learned” the value of patience. Citing one of their coaches, she recalled: “Laging sinasabi ng coach, ‘yung kalaban niyo nagti-training din ‘yan, so hindi naman [porke’t] nagti-training tayo, maayos tayo sa training, tayo na ‘yung mananalo.” 

“We really have to figure out kung ano ‘yung magwo-work sa’min during that game, during that situation para ma-prepare namin ‘yung sarili namin,” she added. 

Creamline’s practices, she noted, also have a “very competitive environment”. Here, she bared her team would really “go for the ball, dive for the ball”. 

So ‘yun ‘yung siguro nakakapag-maintain ng [composure] kasi the coaches…ite-test ka talaga nila, like your patience, your mindset, your attitude,” Tots said. 

On rest, and taking care of your body 

Despite their extensive preparations, Tots Carlos acknowledges some games really just push players to their limits. Particularly, this happens during games with long rallies, wherein she would have to spike several times, she said. 

But how does Tots Carlos recover from this? “Honestly ang pinakaimportante lang naman samin, sakin personally, ‘yung tulog. Meron na kasing mga equipments ngayon…may compression, may Theragun, may ice. ‘Yun ‘yung mga ginagawa namin lagi,” she replied. 

As a team, she shared they have ice baths and leg compression therapy. Physical therapists also perform muscle stretch and release procedures on them, Tots said. 

On a personal level, Tots said she makes it a point to take care of her body. Yes, she manages to prioritize this even with a busy off-court life as one of Philippine volleyball’s biggest stars. 

So may mga times din na kunwari, ako, may times na na-schedule na [commitments] last week pa, okay lang i-cancel kasi gusto ko magpahinga. So priority talaga ‘yung volleyball recovery tas next na ‘yung other things,she said. 

All in all, the Creamline star believes athletes’ bodies are their very foundation, hence the need for “one hundred percent” care. “And mahirap kasi pag na-injured ka eh. So number one priority ‘yung kain ng tama, tulog ng tama, and recovery,” she said. 

As a last bit of advice, Tots Carlos discouraged fellow athletes from overworking themselves. “Ganyan din ako before eh, but na-explain sa’min, na-explain nang maraming coaches, maraming PT, maraming psychologists, na sobrang laking bagay, pinaka-importante yung rest. Kasi kung hindi ka magre-rest, talagang mabu-burn out ka, so you really have to prioritize your rest.” 

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