The NCDA has been recognizing players that make a statement on the court through their skills, leadership, and ability to mobilize a team. While team captains often receive this honor, the league is greatly influenced by the outstanding new players that join each year. This month, we are introducing a new segment: Rookie of the Month. After a remarkable performance at the Buckeye Invitational on September 28th, the first Rookie of the Month goes to Ryan Ginsberg from Ohio State. Ryan wowed teammates and spectators with low throws, clutch catches, and a competitive spirit. His performance against Akron especially contributed to Ohio State’s victory with eight catches in one point, and he will without a doubt play a part in Ohio State’s success this season. Dylan Greer and Kathryn Mays took some time to interview this rising player; take a look at the interview below:
Kathryn: What made you choose OSU, what do you study, and what do you enjoy most about it so far?
Ryan: I chose Ohio State because it was a big school, and I wanted to go to a big school with a football team. It was also a good school for my major, Actuarial Science. So far, I’ve enjoyed the football games, playing dodgeball, and being part of a huge campus.
Dylan: I like that. So obviously a lot of our questions are more dodgeball related; what made you choose dodgeball as your club sport?
Ryan: Well, when I wanted to come here, I had an idea of wanting to play dodgeball. It was always a thing in high school playing with friends, but I never got to do it competitively. I just wanted something where I could play and know there were also other people that were trying their hardest in a competitive field.
Kathryn: Were you expecting foam or rubber?
Ryan: I didn’t even think about it. I was probably expecting a smaller ball rather than the huge rubber ones. I didn’t even think of using something like a kickball.
Kathryn: Which player do you look up to most on our team and why?
Ryan: Probably Dylan because he does everything right. He plays the game the right way, he always puts 100% effort in, and he always tries to help people get better.
Dylan: I appreciate that, man.
Kathryn: I’m offended.
Dylan: What is one thing that you think led to your early success in this league? What led to you being Rookie of the Month?
Ryan: I think listening to the people who know what they’re doing – listening to people who have played for years. Also knowing what my role is – knowing I can’t go up there every throw because that’s not what I’m best at. I know I’m best at sitting back and trying to catch the ball, and that’s what’s going to help our team the most. And also just listening to the strategy that the captains and more experienced players put out there.
Dylan: Yeah, it’s a big learning curve so definitely trying to fit in during your first few tournaments and understanding your role on the court until you understand the entirety of the gameplay is very important. Understanding that is awesome early on.
Kathryn: What part of dodgeball has been the hardest to learn? Maybe on an individual level, as a team, your strategy?
Ryan: I think knowing – especially in a tournament – who to and who not to target and knowing who the good players are. Knowing when to charge and when to sit back. The thing that I’ve been struggling with is catching the ball. I’ll be holding a ball to block and drop it to catch another ball, so I’ve kind of adjusted by not holding the ball as much to catch.
Dylan: So this is kind of related – was there anything between the first and second game (between BG and Akron) that changed in your mindset which made you a better player?
Ryan: I think just trying to stay back more and not having a ball in my hand so when the other team threw at me I was ready for a catch. I noticed my throws weren’t as good as other peoples’ throws so I was feeding the balls to those people and staying back to get some catches and get those people back in when they get out.
Dylan: Yeah, that’s important to learn early on in a tournament.
Kathryn: What did you eat for breakfast the morning of the tournament?
Ryan: Nothing. I didn’t have breakfast.
Dylan: Really? So is that the key to success, no breakfast?
Ryan: I mean if you want to think about it that way. A glass of water is all I had.
*Ben Johnson joins the interview*
Ben: If you had to describe yourself as an animal what would it be and why?
*20 second pause while Ryan thinks about the animal*
Kathryn: What’s your favorite animal?
Ryan: A monkey because they’re smart
Kathryn: So that’s what you see in yourself.
Ryan: Yeah, a spider monkey.
Dylan: Okay Ryan, final question. The most important question.
Kathryn: Is jelly wet?
Ryan: No, jelly is not wet.
Ben: NOOO that’s wrong!
Kathryn: Get out of here.
Ben: Wait no that’s right. Jelly is not wet.
Kathryn: Ryan do you have any questions for us? We’d like you to take this time to get to know your captains… Who am I kidding. Great job being selected as the first Rookie of the Month. We’re so proud of you. When we saw you play against Akron, I thought holy cow this kid is going to be a top five player in like three tournaments. He’s really stepping up to the plate – er well court – and he’s making catches like no one else, and he’s running and diving for balls.
Dylan: Tell me your feelings, how does it feel to be the NCDA’s first Rookie of the Month?
Ryan: It feels good knowing that they chose me as the person who played the best in their first tournament without any experience. I’m very honored to be named the first Rookie of the Month.