In support of Molten USA and USA Volleyball's I Love #MensVB campaign, three Men's National Team athletes take a moment to share their thoughts about what the men's volleyball game means to them.
Outside Hitter, UC Santa Barbara
"Personally, volleyball is not only a way for me to make my living, but it allows me to see the world. I don't know many other jobs that give you this opportunity. My whole life I've been curious about the way other people around the world live. I've always wanted to experience different cultures first hand and volleyball has been my vehicle to do so.
It doesn't just have impacts on me. Through USA volleyball I've had chances to coach and teach kids. I love seeing the joy and fun kids get out of volleyball. Last summer while working with kids, a father came up to me and said he loved how enthusiastic and passionate I was with the kids. That had an impact on me. Who knows, maybe one of those kids loved volleyball so much that they want to play volleyball just like me. It's the thought that my actions can inspire someone to be great that give me pride."
"My opinion on men's volleyball is one of great respect and admiration. I don't think many people realize how hard it is to execute the very specific skills that we perform in men's volleyball at such a high speed. People may be turned off to the men's game because it is very terminal in regards to service errors, aces, kills and blocks. But I believe those are what make the men's game so unique.
The power and speed that allows for such little reaction time is a battle against physics and gravity that is one that is undeniably entertaining. Think about it. We are fighting the forces of gravity, trying to keep a leather ball from hitting the ground in a certain area. Most people can't keep their phones from hitting the ground on a daily basis. We are trying to stop someone else from hitting a ball at speeds up to 132 kph (82 mph) on our side of the court, doing everything we can to stop them.
Whether it is throwing our hands, fingers, body and even sometimes our face in front of that high speed ball just to get a single point. That's pretty entertaining to me and that's the reason I LOVE #MensVB!!!"
Middle Blocker, UC Irvine
"#MensVB is important to me because it continues to teach me the importance of being a good teammate and how to work with others to achieve a common goal. The heat of competition brings out who we really are on the inside and forces us to continually work on improving ourselves, both for the sake of our game and for our lives outside of it."