Embracing the Challenge

Aug. 01, 2009, 1:10 a.m. (ET)

July 31, 2009

I am fortunate to have the opportunity to travel for two weeks with the USA Women's Volleyball team and coach with Hugh, Karch and Jamie in the Grand Prix. It is a very quality experience to be able to talk and collaborate with this staff as well as be in the gym with a talented group of players.

We had a tough start to the Grand Prix with a loss to Germany but with only 24 hours until our next match there is no time to feel sorry for ourselves. The staff has been working hard at preparing the scouting report for tomorrow’s match vs. Puerto Rico and getting ready to give it to the team later tonight. Players are doing rehab, talking and preparing for tomorrow.

Embracing the challenge is something Hugh has discussed with the team a lot. With a roster of relatively young players with limited international experience it is about continuing to stay in the process of making changes and getting better. At the same time, competing and developing as a team is important so the challenge is great. The team’s attitude is good and we are all looking forward to playing Puerto Rico tomorrow.

I am impressed with the culture that is being created within the USA program and in the gym everyday. There are high expectations of a strong work ethic and the staff is empowering the players to take great personal responsibility for their progress. It is a starting point for the team to build on as the journey rolls on toward London.

The Brazilian fans were tough on the USA today but what a great atmosphere. They love their volleyball and they know how to have fun at a volleyball match. I definitely think the NCAA and college coaches and marketing departments could take some ideas to make our match environment more exciting and appealing to fans and television viewers. PR tomorrow and Brazil on Saturday. Stay tuned!