FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (July 24, 2013) – Three-time Olympian and 2008 Olympic silver medalist Stacy Sykora did not want to give up playing. Her career came to a sudden halt when she was involved in a bus accident in April of 2011 where she suffered from a serious brain injury.
It was more than a challenge for her to overcome this hardship, but if you know Sykora, you know she can do anything.
“Once my coach made me pass 1,000 balls in one practice because I didn’t pass a perfect free ball in a game,” she said. “I was crying, my legs were numb, my kneepads were covered in blood, but I did it.”
That is just one of many tales Sykora lives to share. A more recent story that is still developing is that of her first experience coaching at the USA Volleyball High Performance Championships this week.
“This tournament is the greatest thing I have ever decided to do,” she said. “Honestly, being a coach makes me feel like I am accomplishing more than I did as a player. I’m teaching these athletes how to become Olympic athletes.”
Sykora may not be able to play the game anymore at an elite international level, but she has filled that void with a passion for coaching players who may become the future of USA Volleyball.
“I’m helping the future of USA Volleyball and that’s huge to me,” Sykora said. “I want USA Volleyball to win a gold medal in every Olympics from here on out and this is where it begins.”
Sykora hopes to impact at least one player who goes on to win an Olympic gold medal.
“Maybe one of these girls will be like ‘Man, back in 2013 Stacy really helped me out when she told me that,’” Sykora said.
While many individuals find her motivating, Sykora feels the same way about the players she is coaching.
“Everyone says I’m helping and inspiring them so much,” Sykora said. “But I say they’re helping me so much and they are inspiring me. When I’m at home at night, I go to sleep with a smile.”
SYKORA’S TOP FIVE TIPS TO SUCCESS