Wednesday, 22 May 2024

Men’s Update: Five Questions for Kris Johnson

A new Olympic quadrennial brings new players into the spotlight for the U.S. Men’s National Team as it looks forward to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Middle blocker Kris Johnson, 26, has made a name for himself with the U.S. Men’s National Team over the past two seasons. In 2015, he represented the team in the Pan American Games, and in 2016, he played in the Pan American Cup.

Johnson, who stands at an impressive 6-foot-11, played college volleyball at Long Beach Community College and Cal Baptist before transitioning to the National Team after graduating in 2014.

Currently, Johnson is showcasing his skills playing for AJF Bastardo in the Portuguese league.

Question 1: Reflections on the 2016 Olympic Tournament

Q: What were your thoughts as you watched the 2016 Olympic tournament?

A: To be honest, I was disappointed to see some early losses, especially to Canada, who has given us problems both on the senior and Pan Am teams. Our team fought hard during the Olympics, and I was proud of their resilience. Once they bounced back and secured significant wins against Brazil and France to enter the playoffs, I knew they had the determination to succeed. The margin for victory at the highest level is slim, and our team’s bronze medal achievement was something to be proud of.

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Question 2: Progress as a Middle Blocker

Q: How do you feel about your progress as a middle blocker since leaving Cal Baptist? How has training in Anaheim helped?

A: Personally, I feel like I have matured and improved my skills and consistency significantly in just three years. When I joined the National Team, I was aware of the areas I needed to work on to match the level of play required. I took the initiative to improve my game both physically and mentally. The pro level requires individual responsibility for self-improvement, which meant analyzing game footage and learning new skills independently. The best players are well-rounded, and I strive to achieve that level of proficiency every day. Training in Anaheim provides continuous opportunities for skill development throughout the year, and the support from the USA Volleyball staff is unparalleled.

Question 3: Playing in Portugal

Q: What do you enjoy about playing in Portugal this season? What have been some of the challenges?

A: Contrary to popular belief, I don’t actually live in mainland Portugal. I reside on Terceira Island, Azores, located in the Atlantic Ocean, about two hours off the coast. Living on the island allows me to focus and fully immerse myself mentally. Additionally, we frequently travel due to being the only team on the island. This season, I’ve been fortunate to participate in the CEV Challenge Cup, taking my team to Norway, Romania, and Turkey.

Playing on any sports team comes with its ups and downs. Sometimes we find our rhythm and synergy, but there are moments when things don’t click as we’d like. Personally, there is an internal battle to consistently improve and excel. At times, I feel stagnant in my progress, but watching game footage often reveals that the work I put in translates to the court.

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Question 4: Life Outside of Volleyball

Q: What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t practicing or playing volleyball?

A: Outside of volleyball, my interests are somewhat limited. I cherish spending time with my family and friends whenever I’m home. I’ve always been an avid video game player, a passion I’ve carried since childhood. Recently, thanks to John Xie, I’ve discovered a love for reading, an activity I didn’t engage in until later in life. I now dedicate time each day to expand my knowledge on various topics, including personal finance, real estate, present moment focus, and personal growth.

Question 5: Looking Ahead to 2017

Q: What are you looking forward to in 2017?

A: In 2017, my primary focus is on personal and professional growth. I strive to continually improve myself both on and off the court, dedicating each day to progress and development.


FAQs

Q: What is Kris Johnson’s current team?

A: Kris Johnson is currently playing for AJF Bastardo in the Portuguese league.

Q: What was Kris Johnson’s performance during the 2016 Olympics?

A: Kris was proud of his team’s efforts during the Olympics. Despite some early losses, the team fought hard and secured significant wins against Brazil and France to enter the playoffs. They ultimately brought home the bronze medal.


Summary

In this article, we had the opportunity to interview Kris Johnson, a talented middle blocker for the U.S. Men’s National Team. Kris shared his thoughts on the 2016 Olympic tournament and expressed his disappointment in the early losses but also his pride in the team’s resilience. He discussed his progress as a middle blocker since leaving Cal Baptist, emphasizing the importance of self-improvement and taking responsibility for his own development. Kris also shared his experiences of playing in Portugal and the challenges he faces as a professional athlete. Outside of volleyball, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing video games, and reading. With a focus on growth and improvement, Kris looks ahead to the opportunities and challenges that 2017 will bring.

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To stay up-to-date with Kris Johnson’s journey and follow the U.S. Men’s National Team, please visit Alpinetgheep.com.