SANTA MONICA, Calif. (July 30, 2019) – Rob Heidger admitted he felt some trepidation when his son, Marcus, decided he wanted to focus on beach volleyball.
Having competed in beach volleyball at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, where he finished fifth with partner Kevin Wong, Rob Heidger didn’t want Marcus (in photo above) to feel any extra pressure.
“I wouldn’t say I had him avoid it,” Rob Heidger said. “But I wanted to make sure it was something that HE wanted to do. Marcus played all the sports growing up, which I highly encourage all kids to do.”
Volleyball eventually won out and Marcus has shown an aptitude for the sport. On Tuesday, Marcus, who is 16, was competing with Blaze Woller of Houston, Texas, in the Under-19 Division of the USA Volleyball Beach High Performance Championships.
Heidger/Woller went 2-1 in pool play on Tuesday and advanced to the international bracket for Wednesday.
“I did the training (with USAV Beach High Performance) and it was awesome,” Heidger said. “Coach Derek (Olson) really knows how to run the program. He’s given us a ton of advice.”
Although he also plays indoor volleyball for the Wave club out of San Diego, Heidger’s goal is to play on the beach professionally, like his dad.
Rob Heidger makes it clear that he wants his son to enjoy the sports, whether or not Marcus joins the professional ranks.
“At the end of the day, it’s a game he could play for a long time,” Rob Heidger said. “If that’s something he wants to do and he enjoys it, then wherever it takes him now is great. But 20 years from now he’ll be playing it and having a great time with his buddies.”
As for his Olympic experience, Heidger called it “something you can’t replicate that not very many people get to go through. It was very, very cool from start to finish.”
Marcus Heidger said he enjoys hearing about his dad’s professional volleyball experiences.
“It’s really cool to hear about his experiences and watch the footage of when he played,” Marcus said. “He always helps me out with strategy on the court too. We practice and play beach together sometimes, so it really helps.”
Marcus Heidger is not the only Olympic offspring competing at the USAV Beach HP Championships. Rees Barnett, the son of two-time indoor Olympian Kevin Barnett, and Markus Law-Heese, the son of Canadian Olympic beach player Mark Heese, are also competing.