Take Five With USA Volleyball's Nicole Davis

April 21, 2014, 10:25 a.m. (ET)

When it comes to sports, fans and athletes have come to expect one constant – the unexpected.

Liberty Mutual Insurance Responsible Sports sat down with USA Volleyball’s Nicole Davis to get her thoughts on preparing for the unexpected.

In our exclusive Take 5 interview, Nicole shared that she mentally prepares for a big match by utilizing visualization techniques that help her “get in a positive mindset for the day.”

Nicole said that she views self-knowledge and personal insight as keys to proper preparation in sports. She also encouraged young athletes to remember that as they evolve as a person and a player, their preparation style and tactics often evolve, too.

“The key to good preparation is knowing what works for you,” said Nicole. “My preparation has changed as my career has gone on, and I have evolved as a player. I think trusting the work you have put in and positive self-talk play huge roles in preparation.”

Nicole also told us how her coaching staff’s focus on “putting [her team] in a lot of adverse or challenging situations” has helped her not only remain more adaptable, but even “become comfortable with being uncomfortable.” She added that she believes parents should encourage their young athletes to embrace challenges and other unexpected situations, even if it’s not always easy to do.

“Encourage your kids to accept situations as great opportunities to learn and grow, rather than viewing adversity in a negative light,” suggested Nicole. “Being in challenging or unexpected situations can be fun. It’s what you choose to make of it!”

To read the full Take 5 interview with Nicole, visit ResponsibleSports.com. Come back next month for another exclusive Take 5 interview!

At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of responsibility shown by people every day. We created Responsible Sports, powered by Positive Coaching Alliance, as part of this belief to help ensure that our kids experience the best that sports have to offer in environments that promote and display responsibility. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning on and off the field.

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