Thursday, 23 May 2024

Erickson’s Journey with the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team

Heather Erickson, a prominent figure in the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team, has come a long way since she started training at the age of 14 in 2007. Overwhelmed initially, Erickson admits that she didn’t speak for the first three years of her career. However, her performance in 2018 spoke volumes, earning her the title of USA Volleyball Women’s Sitting Player of the Year for the third time.

As an outside hitter, Erickson proved to be invaluable to the team with her impressive statistics. She led the Women’s Sitting Team in scoring, recording 191 kills with an efficiency rate of .512. Additionally, she contributed 39 blocks and 27 aces throughout the season.

One of the highlights of Erickson’s career was qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, achieved by defeating Italy in the semifinals of the 2018 ParaVolley World Championships. This accomplishment lifted a weight off their shoulders, according to Erickson. However, their journey to the gold medal was cut short when they lost to Russia in the finals.

Reflecting on the season, Erickson expressed that 2018 was a year of personal growth for her. She acknowledges the importance of mental fortitude and credits their sports psychologist, Emily Clark, for her assistance in this aspect. Erickson also extends her love for the sport beyond the court by coaching an 11-year-old volleyball team and providing lessons.

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With Paralympic qualification secured, Erickson eagerly anticipates the new players joining the team. She empathizes with their initial shyness and recalls her own experiences when she first started. Witnessing the fresh perspective of these players brings her joy, as she sees the sport through their eyes.

In 2019, Erickson views it as a rebuilding year, focusing on breaking down fundamentals and refining their techniques. Taking the time to slow down and make necessary adjustments, without the pressure of qualification, is crucial for the team’s future success.

This article explores Heather Erickson’s journey and the significant moments she encountered throughout her career with the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team. We delve into her personal growth, the challenges faced, and her perspective as a mentor for new players. Erickson’s dedication to the sport and determination to overcome obstacles make her an inspiration to aspiring athletes.


Q: How many times has Heather Erickson been named USA Volleyball Women’s Sitting Player of the Year?
A: Heather Erickson has been named USA Volleyball Women’s Sitting Player of the Year three times, in 2013, 2016, and 2018.

Q: What were Heather Erickson’s achievements in the 2018 season?
A: In the 2018 season, Heather Erickson led the Women’s Sitting Team in scoring, recording 191 kills, 39 blocks, and 27 aces. She also played a crucial role in helping the team qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Q: How has Heather Erickson grown personally during her career?
A: Heather Erickson experienced personal growth during her career, particularly in terms of her mental strength. Working with the team’s sports psychologist, Emily Clark, she developed strategies to stay focused, positive, and confident.

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Heather Erickson’s journey with the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team showcases her resilience, determination, and growth as an athlete. Starting from humble beginnings, she overcame her initial shyness to become a three-time USA Volleyball Women’s Sitting Player of the Year. Erickson’s outstanding performance in the 2018 season, leading the team in scoring, marked a significant milestone in her career. While facing challenges along the way, she dedicated herself to personal development, both on and off the court. As a mentor to new players, Erickson looks forward to witnessing their growth and contributing to the team’s success.