"MOVING to University of the Philippines is a great opportunity and a huge stepping stone for me [volleyball career]," incoming UP Maroons Joan Marie Monares told SunStar Bacolod.
"It's a mixed emotion. I'm anxious because, I'll be away from my family and I will be facing a whole new environment. But, in spite being anxious and a little scared and nervous, I am willing to go through everything," the center-blocker Monares said when asked how she mentally prepares herself toward this career.
Monares further admitted that, "one thing I know for sure, adjusting [in UP] is a must. I need to adjust to a new school, to a new team, to a new training program and what not. I have been practicing to prepare myself physically and I am meditating and motivating myself, mentally. Amidst the pandemic, I am looking forward to this new chapter."
Meanwhile, looking back on her successful playing years with Bacolod Tay Tung High School, Monares believes that playing for six years with the Thunderbolts molded her into the person she is today.
"During those years I have learned to trust myself even more. I learned to be strong and tough, to be optimistic and be content with what I have," she stressed.
"Aside from my family, Sir Boy [Montalbo] also has a big impact in my life. He taught me so much about almost everything in sports, in life, in school which makes him like a father to me. He always talked about being prepared physically and mentally, to not let our guards down in every game and to work hard," Monares lamented.
She also believes that Montalbo brought competitiveness to the Thunderbolt athletes. "What I cherished the most is my experiences as a Thunderbolt athlete, because it helped me grow as a person, as a player, as a student, as a daughter, as a sister, and as a friend," Monares said.