Walsh Jennings on what it takes to be a world champion
Kerri Walsh Jennings with Misty May-Treanor at the 2007 FIVB Volleyball World Championships
So we asked her to break it down for us on what it takes to be a beach volleyball world champion.
“Everything,” Walsh Jennings said. “It takes everything you have as an individual. It takes a lot of humility and love, patience and belief as a team. Above all, every time I’ve won a World Championship it is because all the physicality is being equal with the heart and the mind.
“Being ready to win and being comfortable, being ready to come back after giving up a couple of points and never feeling defeated. Champions know that better than any other, so belief is No.1.”
Walsh Jennings won her first World Championship title with Misty May-Treanor in 2003 and she was not aware of its impact at the time.
“In my first World Championship, I had no idea it was a World Championship,” she said. “I only thought it was a tournament, it was in Rio and it was a big one. The awareness grows as you keep playing the game and you understand the stakes.
“We all know how big this tournament is. It’s almost bigger than the Olympics because you compete against 47 other teams, but the growth is just maturity.
“The more reps you get on big games then the more comfortable you get with them, and then it becomes putting yourself into a position to get into the big game because you feel at ease. The hard work comes in the early rounds and once you get there, you just play, have fun and believe."
Quick links - Beach volleyball:
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour – Kuala Lumpur
Walsh Jennings is competing with Brooke Sweat at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Port Dickson Beach Open in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The American pair is playing in their first FIVB World Tour final together.
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