Once upon a time...don't all great volleyball stories begin that way?
Once upon a time, I was playing volleyball professionally in Italy in the 90s, and I decided to ask female players who were my teammates, friends and coaches to write their own volleyball stories about the greatest personal obstacles they had to overcome as teens or young female adults in club, high school or even college.
I asked them to describe how that particular obstacle helped or motivated or inspired them to become the professional players or Olympic players they had become.
Here is a list of questions these female players chose to answer and share in their volleyball stories:
The players chose one of the following topics that they personally experienced and described it in their volleyball stories:
Were you ever told you were too tall or too short to play volleyball?
Did you have a coach or player tell you that you were too big or too small to be on the court?
Have you dealt with eating disorders like taking pills, binging or anorexia?
Have you been the first female volleyball players and/or only person of your race on your club or high school team?
Were you ever told that you wouldn't be good at a particular skill in volleyball because people of your race usually weren't that good at doing that skill?
Have you had to overcome poverty or economic hardship in order to play and excel the sport that you love?
Have you had to overcome homelessness, or alcoholism personally or in your family in order to play, enjoy or excel at volleyball?
Have you had to overcome feeling isolated or were you treated as an outcast because you decided to be one of the best female volleyball players in your hometown to play or compete at a higher level in this sport?
Has playing volleyball helped you to overcome depression or a poor self image?
How did you feel about yourself before you played the sport and how has it helped you gain confidence in who you are and how you carry yourself on and off the court? What other female volleyball players helped you along your journey?
Have you had to overcome physical issues, birth defects or abuse?
Has the physical requirements of this sport helped you to overcome any disabilities you were born with?
Has playing volleyball helped you deal with divorce in your family, or have you had to deal with being raised by a single parent or sibling rivalry and how did that affect your attitude towards playing the game?
Do you have a great story about this? Please share it!
The Dear Volleyball/Volleyball Voices editorial project is an ongoing work in progress and I invite you to share, write and contribute your own personal stories of the obstacles you had to overcome in order to enjoy or excel at playing volleyball.
The purpose of this project is to empower, educate and inspire female volleyball players to become self-confident athletes with positive body images and through this collection of stories to provide ideas and inspiration to Dear Volleyball.com readers that help improve self-esteem.
Published editors and writers are invited to share your published article and/or interview of an inspiring female volleyball player here as well.