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Episode #01

Find Your Power

with Kelsey Robinson

12 May, 2020 · Volleyball

Kelsey Robinson, Pro Volleyball Player, describes her journey in sport as one of discovery, passion and commitment. Kelsey shares the obstacles she overcame and the importance of confidence and nutrition in finding “your power” on the court. 

Transcript

(background music starts)

Stef

Welcome to the Voice in Sport podcast. I'm your host, Stef Strack, the founder of Voice in Sport. As an athlete, professional and mom, I have spent the last 20 years advocating for women and innovating across the sports industry. Now I want to bring more visibility to female athletes and elevate their voice  At Voice in Sport we share untold stories from female athletes to inspire us all to keep playing and change more than just the game.

 (background music stops)

Today our guest is Kelsey Robinson. She's an American pro volleyball player and member of the US women's national team. Kelsey grew up in Illinois as a multisport athlete. She played Division I Volleyball at University of Tennessee and University of Nebraska. After college, she joined Team USA, and won a gold medal at the 2014 World Championship, and a Bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games. She has played professionally in the pro-leagues across Italy, Turkey, and China. I’m excited to share our conversation about the power of intangibles that can make a great player, her battle with confidence, and how it led to an incredible level of commitment. Kelsey describes her journey in sport as one of discovery, passion, and commitment. Kelsey, Welcome to Voice in Sport podcast.

Kelsey

Thank you for having me. Happy to be here.

Stef

Let's start a little bit with your journey. Every journey is different. So tell us about when you started playing sports at a young age to where you are now.

Kelsey

So my family is a very sporty family, and I grew up playing basketball and softball just out in the yard with my parents and we would have big softball tournaments as a  family and stuff. And so I got my start into sport very, very young, but it wasn't until I was 10 that I tried out volleyball and that was originally to do cross training from basketball because I always wanted to go to college for basketball. So I was playing basketball, softball, and volleyball, and then when I was 16, I dedicated myself solely to volleyball because I really loved the team dynamic of it, and I loved the idea that I could go really far with this. I still don't know as much.

And so I was really craving, like learning the game, whereas basketball, I'd been playing for a long time, so I was like, I still really want to play this sport and kind of learn and see how much better I could get. So, I got a scholarship to the University of Tennessee, and after my third season there, I finished my senior year at the University of Nebraska. And then I was invited out to the national team and we won gold that summer, 2014 at the world championships. And I've been a pro ever since.

Stef

Amazing. What a great journey. Let's talk a little bit about the importance of playing different sports when you're younger. You played basketball, softball and volleyball. So what do you think that gained you in that in the long run?

Kelsey

Yeah, I think, you see a lot of girls and boys now just dedicating to one sport. And I feel almost really sad for them because I'm playing so many different sports and learning so many different parts of different games and different muscles, and,I don't know, you learn your body a little bit better from playing so many different things. And I think, when it came time to play volleyball only, I still had so much room to grow and I still had so much to learn in the sport.

I was pretty athletic, but I was really raw in skill. And, I think that kind of set me apart long term because when most girls were plateauing or maybe, quitting, and even in college, I know I was still really hungry to learn and still really hungry to get better, whereas some girls were like, I'm over this cause I've been playing forever and that's all I've ever done.

So it was a really big blessing for me that my parents were like, you know, you have the chance to play at the top team in your volleyball club if you focus on that or you can play all your sports. And I was like, I'm going to play all my sports, like I don't care. My mom is like a saint because she would run me to volleyball practice and then go grab me food. And then after volleyball practice, run me to basketball practice and then it'd be like 10 o'clock and we'd be running home, and then I would have softball the next day. I remember one day, the day she made me pick two instead of three sports was because I had three tournaments for three different sports in one day. And I was changing my uniform to go to the basketball game and then changing it back to go to the softball game, then changing to go to the volleyball game and she was like, "I'm done”

 (laughs) 

I'm done driving you around." You're going to pick two sports. And I was like "okay fine".

Stef

Bless your mom. How old were you at that age or at that point?

Kelsey

I was like 14 and I was devastated because I wanted to play softball in high school, but she was like, “I can't do it Kels, you gotta pick.” And I was like, "okay, fine".

(chuckles) 

So basketball and volleyball, it was.

Stef

Wow.

Kelsey

It was fun. I miss it now that I'm thinking about it.

(laughs) 

Stef

Yeah. So if you weren't a professional volleyball player right now, would you go out for the WNBA or would you be going for the softball league?

Kelsey

I would definitely be winning basketball. I think that was like my first love.

Stef

Well, maybe after your amazing career in volleyball, we will see you on the court in the WNBA.

 (laughs) 

So, let's go back to your journey a little bit. So what was your biggest challenge during your journey in sport? Whether that's all the way back, when you were in middle or high school, or have you found bigger challenges later in your career?

Kelsey

I think my biggest challenge in sport, and this has kind of kept with me the whole time is just this idea of maybe, I didn't always deserve to be where I was, or I wasn't as good as the other people around me. I think a lot of disbelief in myself, and I think that ultimately pushed me and I think that got me to where I am because I was really hungry and I wanted to get better, and I didn't think I was good enough. And so, long hours and first in the gym, last one to leave and those things, that really helped me. And so that was always a really big struggle for me. And it's definitely a battle, like that hasn't really truly left.

Stef

This is one of the biggest reasons why girls fall out of sport is confidence. And we know that boys don't fall out as fast as girls, we know we're all having those doubts, so how do you push through and build up your confidence, especially when you're having those down days where you're not performing at the way you want to perform?

Kelsey

I think the one thing that I've always leaned on, is just, you know, maybe, I didn't believe I was good enough, but I was for sure going to outwork everyone around me. And my mom really instilled that in me when I was young. It's just, you know, you can't control everything, but you can control how hard you work. Putting in the work and putting in the effort allowed me to have, you know, that peace of mind when it came time to play that I was going to perform.

And I also think that learning to not put so much pressure on yourself. Your good is good enough, you don't have to be perfect, you don't have to be great, you don't have to be the show, but what has made me successful long term and having such a long career is that I've always been a player that's been good in every skill. Maybe not the best, but good. And you can rely on me, you know, my teammates can lean on me and also bringing the intangibles. You know, nobody wants a bad teammate. And so those are things that you can control, whether you're the most gifted one or not, you can totally control, how great of a teammate you are, how much you motivate the people around you, how much you lift the people up so that they play better.

Stef

I love the idea of intangibles being like a secret weapon for any girl out there. That might be doubting themselves about their skill level because there's so much to sport, not just the physical side, but also the mental side. And I've been on teams where there are girls that might have amazing skill, but lack ability to lead. And they can bring down the team just as fast as someone whose skill isn't very good.

Kelsey

For sure. And I've been on those teams too, and think it's toxic for the rest of the team, and you're always going to have players like that. But, I just think I was never the big stack girl, you know, like I wasn't scoring the most points. And I knew that, I knew I wasn't going to be that player. I'm tall, but I'm pretty average height in volleyball. I just really relied on the things that helped the team and maybe weren't the biggest stat number, you know, like having really great ball control, being a good communicator to the people around me and those things.

Stef

So how did you build up all those things over the years? Would you say your biggest success in making it this far and this long was never just never giving up, or were you putting in more work than the rest of the people around you? 

Kelsey

I think I've been super fortunate because I've had a lot of good mentors in my career and kind of guided me, you know, at whatever stage of my career I was at. They saw that and they knew, and they knew where I needed to be and what I needed to get better at. And, at Tennessee, I was a leader for our team, and I did score a lot and I did do those things. But when I went to Nebraska, I had a very young team of all, like freshmen and sophomores. And also this was my first season. So I'm a senior and I have to get these girls to follow me and they don't even know me. So that was a really big challenge and task presented to me by John Cook, our coach. My positioning on it was, I'm going to make every single day count for the year that I have, and I'm going to put myself last and I'm going to try to earn their respect and try to elevate them and give them confidence to play well.

And so my brain was literally like, how do I help, that’s all I want to do, ishelp. That was a really big lesson for me cause I had never done that, and I really learned from that. Then when I went to the national team, I was the third outside, my first time around cause I was the youngest and just really fresh and new. I just learned from Jordan Larson and Kim Hill and the people in front of me and I watched and I learned and I soaked it all in and I kind of took parts of the game from each player, and then took the things that I'm good at and kind of decided who I wanted to be and what my identity was in sport.

Stef

That's when you're actually out of college at that point?

Kelsey

Yeah. That was my first season, but then also going into the next three years until the Olympics. And, even now, you know, things are changing for me. I'm going into my hopefully second Olympics next summer, and it has been a different process because now I'm an older member of the team and I've always considered myself young, so it's very hard for me to like see that I have value and that girls look to me for things. I've had to learn how I'm going to do that and navigate that because I guess I haven't had to do that on the national team. And so, that's a challenge and a process I'm going through right now, but I have a lot of women around me that have helped me and are helping me in that process.

Stef

I mean, at each stage of your career, even all the way back to when you were like 12 and 13, had you known that you can identify sort of your role on the team and there's always a role for you on the team, but you just sort of have to figure out how you're framing up your role is an interesting lesson to think through. 

Kelsey

I think it's really powerful. That was something that gave me a lot of power going into the first Olympics was I knew my role. I was the third outside and I was going to go into pass pretty much every game and then play if anyone needed help. So, I knew that role and I made the decision like I'm going to be the best third outside in the world and I'm going to come in and nail passes completely cold because you're coming in after 16 points sitting on the bench and then you have to nail it and they're going to serve you because you're cold and they know it. And so I remember like leading into Rio, I was meeting my coach in the gym before everyone else and not warming up. And I was like, I want you to serve as hard as you can at me for 30 minutes cold so that I could replicate what my job would be in Rio. And then I ended up passing like one of the top passers in the tournament. So, it was a really cool outcome of it was like, “hey, I did the work”, but also it gave me so much power to know like, this was my role and I'm contributing and I'm going to give everything I have to not only the team, but to the two outsides in front of me and I'm going to let them know like I'm supporting them.

Stef

That's super inspiring and really good advice. Let's talk a little bit about the mental side of the game. Cause I think we all know it's just as important to have strong, mental muscles as it is to have physical muscles to be successful in sport. So how would you describe the mental challenges that you've faced progressing through the various levels of your career? And what are the tools that you go to now that you have been on your journey for longer?

Kelsey

Well, I think the mental challenges for me were, you know, lack of confidence or, you know, not believing and having a lot of doubt in myself. But even in the biggest moments, I think the one thing that has helped me a lot was my breathwork. We had a great sports psych who helped us in the previous Olympics and just taught me how powerful breath is and how when you're playing, it's almost like meditation to try to get your mind back into the game. For example, if you have a ton of nerves going into a finals, it's normal to have those thoughts and those fears and those butterflies, a hundred percent. That will always be like normal, I’m always going to have a pit in my stomach before big matches. but I think the one thing I've taught myself is that my body is just preparing me for battle. Like those butterflies are me getting ready. And it's kind of a comfort at this point knowing like I have those butterflies cause I'm like, “Oh, I'm going to get there, I'm going to have a lot of adrenaline and I'm going to be able to play at a high level”. 

And then when you're in the match, it's like you have constant thoughts. A lot of players play differently. But there's a lot going through my head like, “Hey, I have to serve this person, or I have to take this in the block and then I got to do this and then I got to do that.” And it's like the only thing I need to do is focus on the next point. So it's like this meditation when you're playing and allowing yourself to get wrapped up in it and enjoy the crowd and enjoy the emotions and enjoy the moment, and then bringing yourself right back to like the task at hand. You'll go like this throughout the match. But I've really enjoyed that process of getting to this place where I feel a lot of peace of mind in my performance.

Stef

It's really amazing, how you just described that. Can you teach us a little bit about the breathing techniques that you do practice now? Is it something you do every day? Is it something you just do on game day?

Kelsey

I didn't really know where to start, but we have this great sports psych coach come in and teach us. Originally, he sent me like his voice kind of guiding me through it and so I would listen to that like every morning, so it kind of became natural. I would say just start off with taking a deep breath and trying to get like five seconds of breathing it in and then holding at five seconds and then letting it go for five seconds and then just doing that series. I mean, you can do it for as long as you want, but anywhere from like two to five minutes would be great, where you're just really extending it, holding and extending longer, and just allowing the thoughts to come in and then allowing the thoughts to go out. And that's like all meditation is, just not trying to fight them, but coming in, accepting it, and going out and I think that's why it's really translated to the court and allowing me to recognize like that is what I'm doing on the court. It's the same thing.

Stef

Yeah. I love that. Like one point and then like let it go, move to the next point.

Kelsey

You can use it on the court, even if it's like I made a hit into the block and lost the point. Like when I walk back to go into service, if I look at the corner on the end line and I find that point and then I do it, and I hold the breath and I let go. And then when I turn around, I'm focused on the moment.

Stef

So finding some sort of like cue within your space or your game that reminds you to do it.

Kelsey

Yeah.

Stef

One of the best techniques I learned when I started getting into meditation was when you see the thought come in, you imagine it as a cloud and then allow the cloud to just disappear. When I did that, it really helped. And there's a lot of ways you can do meditation. You can use objects like a cloud, or you can use colors. So, is meditation today something that you're doing every day and how is that helping you with your game?

Kelsey

Yeah, I think that, obviously like the breath work is good, not even just for your brain, but for your body and to engage the muscles and stuff like that, those are always great ways to start your day. And then what I'm doing in quarantine right now, I'm doing a lot of weight training, but obviously I know, not everyone has access to a weight room. but I think you can always find, you know, you can find bands. You can practice against a wall or there's hills, there's always a way to get the training that you need.

And then lastly, I would suggest really diving into nutrition, because I think the more you fuel your body and the more you put the right things in, the more, not only you'll be able to perform, but I think your mind is just fresher. You're more aware and you're able to recognize, you know, what helps you get to the level you need to be at. For a while, I was just eating whatever I wanted out of college cause I lived in Italy and I was like, pizza, pasta and wine, whatever. Like I can do whatever I want. I'm a pro athlete. But you eat so much of it that you block the signals your body is actually trying to tell you. So you can't even tell if something is causing a headache or if something is causing a reaction in your gut. And the more you fuel your body with natural things and the way it's supposed to be, you just become way more aware of how your body is affected and how you react. It's really taken my game to the next level, and so I think it's very important.

Stef

So when did that sort of turning point where you really paid more attention to nutrition start to happen? If you were a girl in college today, what advice would you give her?

Kelsey

It’s actually really interesting because when I was at Tennessee, I was about like 180 and I went to Nebraska, and I was doing the same thing, eating the same way, like I ate whatever I want, really didn't care that much, but like, I was just like not as explosive as I wanted to be and not as powerful. I wasn't allowing myself to use the tools that my body naturally gave me, and so I really wanted to lose weight. I wanted to get in shape, and I did it. I dropped down to the weight I needed to be at. I was leaner, faster, more explosive, all these things, but I did it the wrong way. I was doing a lot of restriction and you know, just like this many calories and it didn't matter what type of calories they were. I was just like, I have to hit this calorie number and track and just doing it in a way that was very toxic mentally. 

But when I went to be a pro in Italy, I gained all the weight back, obviously not eating correctly, but I just couldn't do it anymore. I can't do the tracking, I can't do all these things, so I just gained everything back because of how restrictive I was. So then leading into the summer of the Olympics, same thing, I was like, “I want to be lean. I want to be explosive. I want to be powerful and I can't be at this weight”. I just perform better at a different weight, and I know that about myself, I know that's how I am, and I'm going to do it right. I'm going to do it in a way that's sustainable, I'm going to do it in a way that's healthy, and that doesn't cause me mentally to, you know, rebound. 

Stef

Yeah, that mental fatigue part of counting and tracking, I think that can really be hard on anyone.

Kelsey

Well, cause you have to perform. And then you're not allowing yourself to have fuel. So you're burning it from both ends, and that was really difficult. And I think a lot of girls go through that cause they don't know how. For me, I had to relearn hunger signals and relearn my relationship to food. I just would look at dessert or look at alcohol or look at carbs and be like, “no, I can't have that”. And I can't even imagine living like that anymore because I'm so far away from that point, where now I look at food, and I will eat the good calories, and I will allow myself to have as much as I want because I know when I'm full. It was a really long process that took two years to get to where I'm at. I think that's really difficult for a lot of girls, especially girls in college who have social media and you have to look a certain way, but then you have to play a certain way. And so everyone's telling you have mixed things and then how do you feel? And so it can be all-consuming and you're not even thinking about your sport at some point, and I definitely know that route and I definitely know that path.

I would really encourage people to rediscover their relationship with food and realized like, I'm an athlete first and me being powerful and me being explosive and fueling my body is the most important thing. As far as carbs and chocolate and sugar, you can have those things, but allow yourself to do it in moderation and in smaller portions so that you don't just binge. If you restrict for so long, then you're going to binge. I keep chocolate in the house all the time, but that doesn't mean I'm going to eat it all the time. And I think like with my fiance, he's super in shape and he's super fit and can eat whatever he wants. He could eat a burrito every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and be like “eight pack, no problem”. But he's really into nutrition. And he was like, you know, like, “Hey, we're going to eat better. Like, look, we're not going to buy a chocolate or like do all these things.” And it's like, for me, it's not even buying it or having it in the house. If you were to take it away, I would binge on it. It's just having that option that I can go to the pantry, grab a little chocolate square and have it and be okay. But that doesn't mean I'm going to have the whole bag.

Stef

Your body is going to start craving things if you're not actually fueling it right. And so learning how to fuel your body is something I wish I would have learned a lot earlier in my journey through sport and the last part of high school and the beginning of college. That was probably the roughest time. I think one of the biggest things we can encourage girls to do in sport is to educate themselves and really learn and understand the types of foods that are going to help keep your body strong when you're on the court. But throughout your journey of this, with food and sport, what now do you look to for tools and is there anything that you would suggest that these girls use?

Kelsey

I think nutrition and food and your relation to it is a self journey because like what works for me is not gonna work for you and for another person. So, I wouldn't sit here and say like, “do what I do”, but I think, educating yourself is really important. I did a lot of research and I started with eliminating dairy and honestly, I went, I was like, “okay, I'm trying keto, then I'm trying paleo, and then I'm trying this and then I'm trying that”. I just did so much research that I kind of took nuggets from everything, and now I eat everything, but I just eat it listening to my body. 

Stef

It's through looking at different resources and educating yourself and then really trying different things that work for your own body, because everybody's body is different.

Kelsey

100% and also like everyone has a different mental threshold where having everything titled like paleo or vegan really affects me. I don't know why, but that's just how I ended up putting myself in this box, it really makes me want to not be in the box.

 (laughs)

Stef

I thought the same way.

Kelsey

It's such a journey and you know, it has taken a long way to get here, and so, yeah, I know it's not easy for a lot of females because there's a lot of pressure from outside sources to be, and act, and look a certain way. So I think it's self discovery and really educating yourself.

Stef

I love that. Let's talk a little bit about body image because we know there are, there is a lot of pressure on female athletes, to look a certain way, and a lot of the sports that are more visible actually in the United States around female athletes tend to be the ones that don't have as much coverage. So whether that is volleyball or gymnastics or ice skating, those get a lot of attention in the media. So there seems to constantly be this pressure, put on by society to these female athletes. So can you tell us a little bit about your journey when it came to your own body image and in your journey in sport? And what advice you would give to girls right now that are in it. 

Kelsey

I think as women it's, I mean, it's so difficult. You have the pressures of, you know, performing for your sport and what does that look like? I mean, that looks like muscle and being physically strong and you're naturally not going to look the same as maybe somebody who doesn't work out. And then you have the pressures from the media and, you know, social media, Instagram and like, “Oh, maybe that's like what I should look like”. And so there's all these things telling you what to look like, and, again, like food, it can be all-consuming. I think they go hand in hand. But I've dealt with a lot of body image issues, which I haven't really ever spoke about just because it's not something that people talk about and especially as women, you don't want to let anyone know that. And you don't want to let people see that, you want it to seem natural. Like, “I look this way”, you know.

Stef

And like, “I feel great and I never have any bad thoughts.”

(laughs)

Kelsey

Yeah, it's fine. Just do what I do. Whatever. I don't even know.

Stef

And that's why we're talking about this cause. 

Kelsey

Exactly. It's even at the highest level. It's hard. and I've dealt with it because, you know, I think when I was younger, I was still really lost in who I was and what my purpose was. And I felt like the only time anyone noticed me was like, if I was winning, and I wanted to look the way that people wanted to see. Because I wanted to have value, I wanted somebody to want me. I wanted to find acceptance from other people, and so body image went hand in hand with competition in sport and having people value me for external things.

I would say as an athlete what you do is beautiful. You're creating art in your sport, and so who you are and what you look like is beautiful, and no matter what shape that is, and maybe it's not easy to convince yourself that, but I think it's incredibly strong to look at a woman pursuing and see how she's doing it and see how incredible her body is to allow her to do that, then to see somebody like skinny and petite, showing themselves off on Instagram just to get a like. At some point you have to decide, what I want to give to the world is beautiful and really believe that and really trust that. And it's not easy for sure. The most important thing is like, you're not alone. You know, you're not alone in having those thoughts. And it's, it's definitely, it's normal to have those thoughts, but I think there's a lot of power in pursuing something and your body is allowing you to do that.

Stef

What would you tell your younger self around this topic? I was a ski racer and soccer player, so I had really strong legs and heading into college, it was really hard, after the first year of weightlifting and I wish that I could have had a different view of myself back then. But I was so in my head. So what would you tell your younger self while you're going through those things?

Kelsey

Well, I would tell my younger self, like those long, skinny little legs and like a little flatter butt than we have now are going  to get you everything you've ever wanted in life and that's really powerful. And who you are is completely unique. I think there's nobody else like you and to all the girls, like there's nobody else like you. And so find your power in that and like find the power in those little skinny legs and those scrawny little arms and you're going to grow into your body and you're going to get incredibly strong.

Stef

Love that. Love that. Thank you.

Kelsey

Yeah. 

Stef

Okay. Let's talk about what you think your super power is because playing sport, you gain so much, whether that's leadership or determination and focus, there's so many great things you gain from staying in sport. So from your perspective, when you take a step back and look at yourself now, what do you think that super power is that you have gained that you're now going to use to drive something outside of sport?

Kelsey

I think my super power would be my passion,  hands down, whether that's the passion I have for competition or the passion in how I love people, or, the passion and pursuit of other things besides volleyball. I think that's carried me throughout my life and propelled me into my sport and propelled me to be successful. But I also think that there's deep down, there's this desire and craving of other things beyond volleyball. And it's really forced me to find that balance of allowing me to pursue art and photography and my love of travel because I felt like if I was only Kelsey, the volleyball player, I would have retired a long time ago. But, being able to navigate that and finding that balance and allowing myself to enjoy the other parts of Kelsey. I know that I'll be okay in whatever I do outside of volleyball and when this is all said and done, I know I'll be okay because I'm willing to work for that passion. And the more that I'm in this sport, the more that's the one thing I want people to know and the one thing I highly suggest to all girls or all athletes in their journey is finding balance. Because ultimately that's given me peace of mind in how I play and how I perform, because I know I have other outlets

Stef

So what advice would you say to find balance when you're in college and you're a student athlete?

Kelsey

I was a journalism major. And I loved journalism. I was a kid growing up watching Great Hotels by Samantha Brown on the travel channel and like that was like, I'm going to do that. And a very, very passionate person. And so I think you have to  choose things  that you love; choose the major that you're interested in. The only way for me to be able to do something is if I'm interested and I want to do it. And so that was kind of how I found balance  naturally was just because I was really creative and I really loved journalism and then I really loved volleyball. And so it was pretty easy to balance those things. But I also think simple things like time management and you know, you have to put in the work educationally to, you know, put everything you have on the court. 

Stef

I think you go into college sometimes and you're thinking, okay, I have to do this major, I have to do that major. And the idea of following your passions in the end is really going to pay out for you. Cause not everybody ends up actually working in the fields that they studied. And I think a lot of that is rooted in because it maybe wasn't what they wanted to study, but they felt like they had to, they had to study that.

Kelsey

Yeah. A hundred percent. And I think like when I talked to all my teammates, like a lot of them don't use their degree at all, whereas I have a YouTube channel and I have a website where I write, and so I'm still using those skills and I'm still doing those things that I love to do.

Stef

That's amazing. Okay. So I have two final questions for you. What are three words you would use to describe your journey in sport as a female athlete? 

Kelsey

I would say discovery is one because a lot of it was obviously discovering who I am as a player, but I think all of it was who I am as a person, for sure.

Passion. I wouldn't be here without it. And I would say commitment. You don't get this far without committing to a life that's going to be different, a commitment to pursue excellence and a commitment to be a better human being every day.

Stef

Those are three really good words. Thank you .The last, the last question we have, as you know, our platforms to inspire young girls to keep playing sports, so, what is one single piece of advice you would give to all the girls in sport out there?

Kelsey

I think who you are at 15 and 20, when you're young is not who you will be, at like 30 or 40 and beyond. And so. I would just say, do what you love and do it with passion because that's the only thing that matters, no matter who's telling you you can't, no matter who is in your way, maybe there's like people bullying and telling you you're not good enough, do it anyway because you love it and that's going to get you really far.

Stef

It's really inspiring to hear your journey and thank you for being so open to share some of the struggles you have had along the way.

Kelsey

Thank you for having me. If I can go back in time and tell myself these things and just have a voice to anybody out there who needs it. I'm happy to do that.

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Stef

A big thank you for Kelsey Robinson  for sharing her untold stories about her journey in sport. You can follow Kelsey on Instagram @krobin32 and her YouTube channel, KelseyRobinson23. Thank you for joining us at Voice In Sport Podcast. You can follow us @voiceinsport Instagram and Twitter, and if you are interested in advocating for female athletes check out voiceinsport.com and voiceinsporfoundation.org.

Host: Stef Strack

Producer: Stef Strack

Kelsey Robinson, Pro Volleyball Player, describes her journey in sport as one of discovery, passion and commitment. Kelsey shares the obstacles she overcame and the importance of confidence and nutrition in finding “your power” on the court.