Get Inspired By 8 Pro Volleyball Players Personal Volleyball Stories

Get motivated by the volleyball stories told by inspiring pro volleyball players with their personal stories of overcoming obstacles. Be inspired!


Pro Volleyball Players Tell Their Inspirational Stories of having to overcome obstacles in order to obtain their goals. 

There are many famous American female volleyball players in the history of the sport.

I was fortunate to play with and against and to be taught and coached by quite a few of these players in my college, beach and professional career.

What I want to do on this site is to share with you information, from the most inspirational players  to play the sport.

Why is it important to learn from other female professional volleyball players experiences?


             Pro Volleyball Player Courtney Thompson,        star of the movie.  "Court & Spark"


One of the best ways to be and to stay motivated to excel at this sport is to learn from the experiences, stories and even the mistakes learned by some of the champion female players who competed and excelled before you did.

Whether it's something 

  • they say about the way they train, 
  • the way they think
  • what they eat or 
  • how they explain who their heroes were and what motivates them, 

we can learn from the habits of the world class, inspirational female players that played and continue to play and coach the game.

As athletes, we learn things in many different ways. 

By spending hours in a gym with a coach, we hear  them explain to us how to perform a specific drill over and over again.

But sometimes, really understanding how our coach wants us to perform that drill really comes across to us if someone else explains it in their words, in a different way.

This happens all the time.

One person may tell us how to do something one way and we may not fully understand what they are trying to say.

But when another person says it using different words,a different tone of voice or even communicates with us during a different time of day then for some reason we can understand what they are saying right away. 

That's the moment when we respond with the famous "Ohhh so THAT is what you were trying to say."

Hopefully, by listening and reading about some of the lessons these champions and professional volleyball players learned in their lives their information may help you learn the lessons and tips you need to understand in order to perform well during your volleyball drills, practices, games, tournaments and competitions.


  Once upon a time...


When I was playing volleyball professionally, I decided to ask female players who were my teammates, friends and coaches to write their own stories of the greatest personal obstacles  they had to overcome as teens or young female adults in club, high school or even college.


Elaina Oden and I were teammates in Fidenza Italy. Elaina Oden won the bronze medal as a starting middle blocker with the USA Women's team at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.Elaina Oden and I were teammates in Fidenza Italy. Elaina Oden won the bronze medal as a starting middle blocker with the USA Women's team at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.

I asked them to describe how that particular obstacle helped or motivated or inspired them to become the pro players or Olympic players they had become.

UCLA Bruin legends Liz Masakayan (indoor Olympian/beach world champion/Olympic beach coach) Merja Connolly Bruin legend/pro player. My World University/USA National team/pro Italy teammates.UCLA Bruin legends Liz Masakayan (indoor Olympian/beach world champion/Olympic beach coach) Merja Connolly Bruin legend/pro player. My World University/USA National team/pro Italy teammates.

Here is a list of questions these professional volleyball players chose to answer and share in their stories:

  • Did the obstacle help you grow emotionally? If so, how?
  • How did it motivate you (or not?)
  • How did it make you stronger (or not?)
  • What did overcoming that obstacle make you realize about yourself?

#3 middle blocker Paula Weishoff and I played together in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Paula a silver and bronze medalist and Olympic MVP played in the 1984, 199 and  1996 Olympics as a player.#3 middle blocker Paula Weishoff and I played together in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Paula a silver and bronze medalist and Olympic MVP played in the 1984, 199 and 1996 Olympics as a player.


The players chose one of the following topics that they personally experienced and described it in their story:


Pro Volleyball Players
Body Image


Were you ever told you were too tall or too short to play volleyball?

Did you have a coach or player tell you that you were too big or too small to be on the court? 

Have you dealt with eating disorders like taking pills, binging or anorexia?


Click here to read Debbie Green's story about having to work harder than other players since she was always the shortest player on the court.

Debbie Green-Vargas is considered the greatest American women's setter of all time. She was the starting setter on the 1984 Olympic team that won the first silver medal ever for an American team.Debbie Green-Vargas is considered the greatest American women's setter of all time. She was the starting setter on the 1984 Olympic team that won the first silver medal ever for an American team.

Professional Volleyball Players
Race


Have you been the first female volleyball players and/or only person of your race on your club or high school team?

Were you ever told that you wouldn't be good at a particular skill in volleyball because people of your race usually weren't that good at doing that skill?


Click here to read Kim Oden's story about being the tallest player on most of her teams and how she was challenged by a person at Stanford who felt she wasn't smart enough to finish school there. 


Professional Volleyball Players
Economic


Have you had to overcome poverty or economic hardship in order to play and excel the sport that you love?


Professional Volleyball Players
Social


Have you had to overcome homelessness, or alcoholism personally or in your family in order to play, enjoy or excel at volleyball?

Have you had to overcome feeling isolated or were you treated as an outcast because you decided to be one of the best female volleyball players in your hometown to play or compete at a higher level in this sport?


Click here to read Mary Jo Peppler's story on how she had to practice and train with very little of her family's support once she announced her plans to play Olympic volleyball.

Read Mary Jo Peppler's story on how she had to practice and train with very little of her family's support once she announced her plans to play Olympic volleyball.Read Mary Jo Peppler's story on how she had to practice and train with very little of her family's support once she announced her plans to play Olympic volleyball.

Mary Jo Peppler is one of my long time mentors and coach.

She was an Olympian on the first American Olympic team and one of the greatest American players ever.

She was my coach when I was the first round draft pick for the New York Liberties in Major League Volleyball, the first professional women's league in the United States. 


Professional Volleyball Players
Psychological


Has playing volleyball helped you to overcome depression or a poor self image?

How did you feel about yourself before you played the sport and how has it helped you gain confidence in who you are and how you carry yourself on and off the court? What other professional volleyball players helped you along your journey?


Click here to read Heather Bown's story about how she had to prove herself worthy of being on the court.

First to herself and then to others and how her journey helped her build her self confidence.


Professional Volleyball Players
Physical


Have you had to overcome physical issues, birth defects or abuse?

Has the physical requirements of this sport helped you to overcome any disabilities you were born with?


Click here to read April Chapple's story of an early childhood spent having to wear leg braces helped form her decision to play and grow in the sport.  


Professional Volleyball Players
Familial


Has playing volleyball helped you deal with divorce in your family, or have you had to deal with being raised by a single parent or sibling rivalry and how did that affect your attitude towards playing the game?


Click here to read Liz Masakayan's story about how growing up in a single parent household affected how she dealt with teammates, how she trained and the lessons she learned about herself.



Inspiring Pro Volleyball Players Stories


Follow Elaina Oden's story of her journey to accept that despite not having the physique of the "typical" volleyball player, she was determined to be an Olympian.

Pro Volleyball Players Stories: 

Middle Hitter Elaina Oden 


Elaina's older sister, two-time Olympic team captain  and middle hitter Kim Oden was always the tallest female volleyball player on her team, until she made the Olympic team, then things changed.

Pro Volleyball Players Stories: 

Kim Oden


Despite having dreams to play in the Olympics, Debbie Green Vargas, spent hours in the gym because she had to improve her setting skills since she was always the shortest girl on her team.  

                  Debbie Green Vargas                               

The Shortest Player on the Court


Olympian and beach volleyball legend Liz Masakayan was raised in a single parent household. She felt that led to her compulsion to overtrain and over perform in order to get her teammates and others to like her.

Are you guilty of doing the right thing for the wrong reasons? 

Pro Volleyball Players Stories: 

Liz Masakayan


Not all families members may be happy when you tell them that you want to play in the Olympics. Mary Jo Peppler told her family and was kicked out. Read how she handled the situation in the

Mary Jo Peppler Volleyball Story


Nina Matthies worked hard to accomplish her goals. The founder of the Women's Pro beach Volleyball Association, the first womens beach volleyball tour admitted that she had very few obstacles to overcome. 

Pro Volleyball Players Stories: 

Nina Matthies


The first American Olympic women's volleyball team to win a silver medal did so at the Los Angeles, California Olympiad in 1984. 

One of three black females on the team and to this day still considered the best female volleyball player ever was 6' 5" Flo Hyman, born in Inglewood, California.

Pro Volleyball Players Stories: 

Flo Hyman


Olympian Rose Magers was a teammate of Flo's and played on the 1984 silver medal winning American women's team as well. 

In 2007, USA Volleyball awarded the "All Time Greatest Player Award" to Rose at the USAV Nationals. Read her story as told by her friend, coach and mentor, Ruth Nelson.

Pro Volleyball Players Stories:

Rose Magers


In many situations when growing up, Laurel Brassey Iversen played with and against and was surrounded by boys her age.

She had to learn how to outplay them and how to compete against them. She did. 

She did it so well that during her career she played on many men's teams. 

Pro Volleyball Players Stories: 

Laurel Brassey Iversen



I was one of the pro volleyball players who had to overcome several physical obstacles before being able to pursue my goals of making the US National Team, earning a college scholarship and playing professionally in Italy.

Pro Volleyball Players Stories: 

April Chapple



Read The Pro Volleyball Players Stories On Improve Your Volleyball.com!

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I share alot of individual, partner and easy-to-do volleyball serving drills we do in class with my followers.

Many of these volleyball practice drills you can do at home by yourself or try at your next practice with your teammates.

If you're a B team or JV player trying to make varsity next year...your goal should be to complete 1000 reps a day of at least three of the basic skills on your own...volleyball passing, serving and setting should be at the top of the list. 





  1. Improve Your Volleyball Performance with Vegas VB Coach April Chapple
  2. Pro Volleyball Players Tell Inspirational Volleyball Stories





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MY PASSING EBOOK QUICKLY HELPS YOU IMPROVE YOUR PASSING SKILLS.   
Learn how to perform one of the most important skills you need to know to gain more playing time on the court!MY PASSING EBOOK QUICKLY HELPS YOU IMPROVE YOUR PASSING SKILLS. Learn how to perform one of the most important skills you need to know to gain more playing time on the court!

  Coach April Chapple's Volleyball Passing Tips For Youth Volleyball Players


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