Inspirational Volleyball Stories: 
Once upon a time...                there was a girl

Volleyball Stories: Olympic volleyball legend setter Debbie Green VargasVolleyball Stories: Olympic volleyball legend setter Debbie Green Vargas

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.

Inspirational volleyball stories and more on DearVolleyball.comInspirational stories and more on

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:

  • Did the obstacle help you grow emotionally? If so, how?
  • How did it motivate you (or not?)
  • How did it make you stronger (or not?)
  • What did overcoming that obstacle make you realize about yourself?

The players chose one of the following topics that they  personally experienced and described it in their volleyball stories:

Inspiring Stories About Body Image

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?

Click here to read Debbie Green's story about having to work harder than other players since she was always the shortest player on the court.

Motivational Stories About Female Volleyball Players and Race

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?

Click here to read Kim Oden's story about being the tallest player on most of her teams and how she was challenged by a person at Stanford who felt she wasn't smart enough to finish school there. 

Inspirational Stories About Female Players Overcoming Poverty

Have you had to overcome poverty or economic hardship in order to play and excel the sport that you love?

Volleyball Stories About Social Issues

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?

Click here to read Mary Jo Peppler's story on how she had to practice and train with very little of her family's support once she announced her plans to play Olympic volleyball.

Inspiring Stories About Overcoming Depression or a Negative Self Image

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?

Click here to read Heather Bown's story about how she had to prove herself worthy of being on the court.  First to herself and then to others and how her journey helped her build her self confidence.

Motivating Stories About Overcoming Physical Issues

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?

Click here to read April Chapple's story of an early childhood spent having to wear leg braces helped form her decision to play and grow in the sport. 

Volleyball Stories About Familial Issues

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?

Click here to read Liz Masakayan's story about how growing up in a single parent household affected how she dealt with teammates, how she trained and the lessons she learned about herself.

Share Your Inspiring Female Volleyball Player Story With Our Readers

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 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.

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