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USA M: Five Questions with Erik Shoji

by WoV
source: teamusa.org

Erik Shoji, libero of USA plays in Berlin this winter for the Recycling Volleys club along with his brother Kawika Shoji. He took time to answer some questions for USA Volleyball.

Erik Shoji

Erik

What has been your favorite experience with the U.S. National Team thus far?

“Winning World League has to be my favorite experience with the National Team thus far. We had our backs against the wall 4 times that tournament where we needed to win or we were done for the tournament. We came together as a team and won every match and eventually won the gold medal. To be a part of something special like that and to see how our team came together at those moments was an awesome experience.”

Do you have a pre-match routine that helps you get ready to compete?

I do have a pre-match routine that I try to follow before every match, although it doesn’t always follow the same order. I always study the scouting report, take a nap (sometimes matches are early and a nap isn’t possible), shower, eat a snack, visualize, and pray before every match. This routine helps me get focused and mentally prepared for each game.

If you make a mistake during a tough match, how do you recover to prepare for the next point?

Mistakes happen all the time at every level. What’s important is to learn from the mistake and move on as quickly as you can. Ask yourself questions like, “Where should I have been?” or “What could I have changed about my technique to make that play better?” Ask questions like these, answer them, and then move on to the next point. When you can learn from your mistakes and move on to the next play as fast as possible you are focused and better prepared for the next point.”

What is one thing that few people know about your history with the sport?

People always assume that volleyball was the only sport I played. However, that is not the case. Before volleyball I played soccer, baseball, and basketball. Throughout high school I also played tennis. Volleyball was never a full time sport until I got to college.

Can you describe a major setback or turning point in your career and how it has shaped you into the athlete you are today?

A major turning point in my career was when I decided to attend to Stanford University. Despite its outstanding reputation, I had never even thought about attending Stanford to play volleyball because of the work I knew I would have to put in to both school and volleyball. When I chose Stanford as my college, I knew my work ethic needed to improve to succeed in and out of the classroom. So that’s what I did. I started studying harder in school and working harder in the gym. If I didn’t attend Stanford I don’t know if the change in work ethic would have happened, and I don’t know if I’d be where I am today without it.

 

See Erik’s WoV profile.

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