Interview with an Olympian
CarrieAnn Randolph, Sports Editor
August 26, 2012
Filed under Top Stories
With fall sports and the new school year getting underway, I wanted to share some thoughts I got from Olympic Silver medalist, Tamari Miyashiro, of the United States women’s volleyball team. She happened to be at the girls’ varsity volleyball team’s practice watching her cousin Anela Apo ’15. Miyashiro, affectionately called “Tama” by her family, was born and raised in Kane’ohe and graduated from Kalani High School in 2005. She attended the University of Washington and played for their volleyball team first as a walk-on setter and then switched to libero and quickly became one of the best defensive players in the country. She was named National Defensive Player of the Year by Volleyball Magazine in 2007 and 2008, was part of the American Volleyball Coaches’ Association (AVCA) All-American Second Team, and was named a Volleyball Magazine First Team All-American during her senior year of college. Upon leaving Washington in 2009, she held the school’s record for career digs with 2,382.
After practice, I congratulated her and asked, “How do you keep herself motivated, and how can I and my teammates keep each other motivated?”
She replied, “Well, I’m self-motivated. That’s just how I am. For your team, I can understand that for everyone, volleyball may not be their first sport, but when you are on a team you make a commitment.” She continued, saying, “You should always want to give your best and do your best to see your team succeed.You control your effort so I make sure I’m taking care of my role on the team.” In essence, if each one of us is giving 100% effort, it’s like iron sharpening iron, we will all make each other better and improve.
Some athletes may not know what their exact role on the team is yet, but they should all try to contribute something positive each day. One of the things that stuck out in my mind that Miyashiro shared was that “time is precious.” If you really think about it, we athletes only have about two hours to devote to our respected sports each day. We should treat each practice and game with a sense of urgency, always striving to be better than the day before. Don’t think, “Ah, no need rush!” or even, “It doesn’t matter. I can practice tomorrow.” The same principle applies in school: you don’t want to be the one that brags and says, “Yeah, I didn’t try and got a B.” All that means is
you could have tried and gotten an A. I encourage everyone, athletes and students, to give their best effort in all that you do this year. Benched players that play like starters become starters. Step it up and watch what happens.