It’s been a month since we made history. This was the third World Championships of my career. My first experience, was well, painful I guess you could say. We finished 9th in 2006, and we were a team divided for many reasons, and definitely performing under our potential. In 2010, we had high expectations of medaling, having come off a phenomenal tournament at World Grand Prix. We fell short. Our team was also still finding it’s voice and character at that time. This year, we faced adversity early in the summer, having not made the World Grand Prix finals for the first time in several years. The difference, in my opinion, between these three teams that I have been on, is our oneness of vision - our interdependence. I’m reading “The Way of the Champion” by Jerry Lynch, Ph.D and there is a passage that explains our success fairly succinctly: “…victory is ultimately the byproduct of unity of purpose and heart…Such connectedness creates emotional and spiritual victory in the development of strong bonds and the discovery of our unlimited potential.”
We believe and we say out loud every day that our team is full of special people, that what we are doing is part of something that is much bigger than ourselves, that we are committed to and doing things the “right” way, and that we will succeed in reaching our goals for these reasons. Our belief and strength as a group is what won us this World Championship, without a doubt, because there are a lot of capable teams in the world right now.
As for my individual role, I’ve actually never started a World Championships tournament. I am now the oldest, most “experienced” player on our team—which is strange to me, as I remember teasing Danielle Scott about being “old” a few years ago. I also remember how inspired I was by her at times for her leadership and work ethic. So, my goal for this tournament was to do and say everything I could to contribute to the process of us winning, to inspire my teammates to continue our work, and work in the right way, to avoid the mistakes of our past and to become a stronger team every day. I have played with some of my teammates, like Jordan Larson, Christa Dietzen, Kristin Hildebrand, Foluke Akinradewo, Courtney Thompson, Alisha Glass, etc., for several years now. I have enjoyed watching them grow and mature as people and volleyball players, and I am so proud of our evolution as a team. It was so fulfilling for me to be a part of this team, for this reason. The most precious memories I have of my ten years on the national team are rooted in the deep friendships I have formed with my teammates. So, when I reflect on the World Championships, to have this full heart and gratitude for my friends and teammates, on top of being a part of a historical Championship team, is a remarkable accomplishment in my mind. It sits at he top of the list of accomplishments in my career and what’s fun is, we are not finished with our journey.