COLORADO SPRINGS — USA Volleyball’s middle blocker, Haleigh Washington grew up in a small town in Colorado and never in her wildest dreams did she think she’d be on a team that’s ranked no. 2 in the world right now.
Haleigh says she started playing volleyball because she was looking for a way to stay busy after school. She said she really wanted to go out for the football but team but her dad helped her realize that volleyball was her true calling. She says the feeling she gets while playing volleyball makes her feel like she’s flying and is completely free. She says this passion has led her to pursue volleyball as a career. And she’s happy to represent her home state of Colorado at the elite level.
“There’s just something about, one, the mountains, I was born and raised in a really small mountain town, Clear Creek County, and the mountains have a really strong place in my heart and I think that’s a big thing that Colorado’s really known for, is the nature and the outdoors side of it. And I love being able to represent that state. We’re not really the most prominent volleyball state, you have California and Texas where volleyball is really big so to be able to represent that smaller scale state means the world to me,” said Washington.
Haliegh has advice for young athletes who wish to become professional athletes.
“Being coachable is huge and listening is huge and being uncomfortable is really important. I remember my first ever winter in national team gym, I came out here and they were teaching us all these new skills and I remember being so uncomfortable. They would give us critiques and they’d be telling us to change the aspects of our game and I hated it. It didn’t feel right, it wasn’t how I normally played but it was better,” said Washington.
Haliegh’s current goals are to improve her technical side of her game. She said as she’s advanced her goals have become to clean up her blocking game and she wants to become a very efficient hitter so she can master the sport.
Haleigh says setting small goals led to larger goals and putting in the work to reach those goals is what has shown her success. She’s feeling hopeful for the Tokyo Olympics and she hopes that you will follow USA Volleyball’s journey.