A couple of hours ago, Kerri Walsh chatted with fans on UStream from the Gatorade Performance Lab. She’s the epitome of an awesome woman in sports, so of course, I tuned in. The video chat was open to anyone, but for those of you who missed out, here’s an update on what Kerri told us about Gatorade, volleyball, her favorite foods and everything in between.
One of the first questions that came up was what’s on the volleyball queen’s iPod. Answer? Lots of Bob Marley, and her favorite band at the moment, Kings of Leon. Some more favorites of Kerri’s included…
Her favorite Gatorade flavors: Grape and Orange
Her favorite place to play: In the US, Manhattan Beach. Outside the US, Switzerland
Her favorite country to play against: Brazil, with China as a close second. She said Brazil is the country that gives them the biggest battles, and it’s always fun to play against the best because it really shows what you’re made of.
Her favorite TV Show: Anything on Bravo, and The Biggest Loser
Her favorite post-game meal: She doesn’t love to eat after a game, but knows she should. So it’s usually something light, like chicken or salad.
Obviously, most of the questions were about volleyball… when she started, how she chose it, who her biggest inspirations were, etc. From her answers, it’s clear she loves the game, and to her that’s what is most important. Kerri started playing volleyball when she was 10 and “fell in love on Day 1”. She claims that even if she weren’t playing volleyball she’d be playing another sport professionally (or at least trying to) because she just loves to be fit. She said that growing up she was sure she would be the first woman in the Major Leagues… not exactly what happened, but I don’t think I’d be going out on a limb to say she’s pretty happy with the way things turned out. The other sport that people would expect her to play would be basketball, because of her height (trust me, when you’re tall, everyone either asks you if you play basketball or volleyball). But Kerri says while she respects the people who play basketball it was never for her, she always had to play center and was a little too scrawny to be in there with the big girls.
Her main inspiration has been her family as they have supported her through the good and tough times. Outside of her family, even though she knows it sounds cliche, she said she had to go with Michael Jordan and Mia Hamm. Her reasoning was that they simply were the best at what they did, while being confident yet humble, and they worked harder than anyone else in sports.
I loved what she had to say about Mia Hamm, especially because as a female athlete looking back, she was the first woman in sports that I looked up to. Kerri called her the perfect example of a woman in sports… she’s an athlete, she’s gorgeous, she’s a wife and a mom. The whole package. Not to mention, she never stopped working hard until she got what she wanted.
She gives credit to her hometown of Manhattan Beach for where she is today because she said without volleyball who knows if she’d even be playing. The community there just loves volleyball and it’s the true California lifestyle, centered around being fit and healthy.
Lastly, her advice to young athletes? Put yourself out there! It’s scary at first and everyone messes up, but if you don’t put yourself out there you won’t be able to get better and be the best you are capable of being.
Originally posted at WomenTalkSports.com