Posted On: 05/28/19 3:25 PM

When I started Part 1 of this series, I was hopeful to get a few responses from the top ranked athletes in 2019 and 2020 — enough to create some valuable content for you guys. I decided it would be fun to see if some of MN’s Former “Greats” would be willing to chime in too. You know, the ones playing Professional Beach Volleyball or Pro Ball Overseas…Former All-Americans and Current USA Women’s National Team Members…Those types of players.  

So, I innocently “slid into their DM’s” on Instagram and gave it my best shot.  Asking them for any advice they would give to younger players that have goals to “be them” one day.  Low and behold, they responded almost immediately!  And were so excited to be a part of this project. Let me tell you — MN NICE never goes away…and I am so thankful that they were willing to share their advice with me, so I could share it with you. 


“What’s one piece of advice you would give to players that look up to you?”



“As you can imagine, there are a lot of things say in regards to this question.  But I think something I learned throughout my career is to be open to the uncomfortable.  There may be opportunities that arise that challenge us in different ways than e are used to and it

Photo: Twitter

can be uncomfortable.  Period! But there is so much growth and learning that can come from stepping out of our comfort zone.  Not only in sports, but life.  So many of the lessons I learned through playing sports have helped me grow as a person and I am so grateful.  It’s not easy to step out of our comfort zone, but it is possible and IT IS rewarding.  We can have great success and we may even fail.  But that is when the greatest learning comes and that is the reward.  Believe, Believe, Believe!!! No Regrets!”


{Nicole Branagh played volleyball at the University of Minnesota.  While there, she was a two-time second team All-American Member and the Co-Player of the Year for the BigTen in her senior season.  After graduating from Minnesota, Branagh transitioned to the sand and joined the AVP Pro Tour and FIVB World Tour.  She has won over 20 events in her career and was named Rookie of the Year in ’05 and Most Improved in ’06 and ’08.  She competed at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beach Volleyball where she placed 5th.}



“My advice would be to always believe in yourself.  It’s hard for anyone else to believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself first.  Trust that you are capable of incredible things and have the capacity to work hard enough to get there.  Even on the really tough days, always trust yourself and believe that you can be great.”


{Paige is a former standout for the University of Minnesota.  A two-time Third Team All American and the first Minnesota athlete ever to receive the Senior CLASS Award which goes to a player that excels on the court, in the classroom and community.  Currently Paige is a member of the USA Women’s National Volleyball Team and competes professionally for MVP Stuttgart out of Germany.} 




“One piece of advice I would give younger players it that they must dream big.  Dream big and believe in yourself because you can achieve anything you set your mind to and work hard at.”


{Hannah played volleyball at the University of Minnesota.  She was a First and Second Team All-American during her tenure at the U.  After graduation, Tapp went on to join the USA Women’s National Volleyball Team.  She currently is playing professionally for A1 Firenze in Italy.]