Monday, 27 May 2024

Embracing Adversity: Overcoming Challenges in Volleyball and Life


In the world of volleyball, as in life, adversity is inevitable. No situation is ever perfect, and it’s how we handle these challenges that defines our success. As the coach of the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, I’m committed to preparing our players for any obstacles they may face on and off the court.

Embracing Adversity

To foster resilience, I’ve introduced “Adversity School” – a program designed to condition our team, both players and coaches, to handle adversity without it detracting from our goals. The first step in this journey is accepting that adversity will occur. It’s a natural part of sports and life, but remember, you’re not alone. Your teammates and even your opponents are facing challenges too. The key is to handle it better than anyone else.

The Power of Perspective

Instead of merely dealing with adversity, we want to encourage our athletes to embrace it as a welcome challenge. Adversity provides an opportunity to learn, grow, and become better. By developing a mindset that welcomes headwinds, we increase our chances of success.

Strategies for Overcoming Adversity

One of the key strategies for facing adversity is focusing on what we can control and not worrying about what we can’t. Let me share a personal experience from my playing career. In 1985, our U.S. Men’s team competed in the FIVB World Cup. To qualify for the tournament, we had to beat Cuba in the NORCECA zone qualifier finals. Our starting setter was absent due to a family matter, and our second setter got dehydrated and needed medical attention during the match. Despite these challenges, we didn’t fall apart. Instead, we relished the opportunity and found a way to make it work. We won the game and secured our spot in the World Cup, where we ultimately emerged as champions.

Tham Khảo Thêm:  Subs Step in for U.S. Men; Lead Comeback vs. Japan

Breaking down challenges into smaller, manageable segments is another effective approach. If your team is behind, focusing on the score won’t change it. Redirect your thoughts and concentrate on the next play. Zero in on what you need to do to perform well and stay positive. By shifting your mindset to the present moment, you can overcome adversity and stay on track.

Embracing the Uncertainty

It’s important to acknowledge that there are no guarantees, even if you handle adversity well. You might still face defeat, despite being well-prepared and surrounded by a strong team. However, by focusing on what truly matters and welcoming each challenge, you increase the likelihood of success. When you consistently do this, you’ll find yourself winning more points, more sets, and more matches.

Remember, adversity is an opportunity for growth. Embrace it, learn from it, and continue to strive for excellence. Together, we can overcome any challenge that comes our way.


Q: How can I develop a mindset that embraces adversity?
A: Start by recognizing that adversity is a natural part of sports and life. Shift your perspective to see challenges as opportunities for growth and improvement. Focus on what you can control and break down challenges into manageable pieces.

Q: How do I stay positive when facing adversity during a match?
A: Redirect negative thoughts and focus on the present moment. Concentrate on the next play and what you need to do to perform well. By staying in the moment and maintaining a positive mindset, you can overcome adversity and stay on track.

Tham Khảo Thêm:  U.S. Beach Teams Showcase Mixed Results on Day 1 of Worlds


Embracing adversity is a crucial mindset for success, both in volleyball and in life. By accepting its inevitability, focusing on what we can control, and breaking challenges into manageable parts, we can overcome any obstacle that comes our way. Let’s approach every adversity as an opportunity and continue to strive for greatness.

For more information about embracing adversity in volleyball and to learn more about our program, visit Alpinetgheep.