Lindsey Berg Video Interview, U.S. Olympic Volleyball Captain
Lindsey Berg, 32, captained the U.S. Women’s Volleyball team to a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics. Team USA fell to Brazil in the gold medal game, a crushing defeat considering the Americans entered the Olympics ranked No. 1 in the world and had won every match in the 2012 Olympic play leading up to the defeat. However, a second straight silver medal remains a tremendous accomplishment for Team USA after their silver finish in Beijing four years ago.
"I think that if there's any pressure, it's pressure that we're putting on ourselves," Berg told Uinterview in an exlcusive video interview at the time. "We always feel the support of everyone out there, and obviously gold is always our goal, and if we didn't want that and didn't put the pressure on ourselves, I don't think that would be okay."
Growing up in Honolulu, Hawaii, Berg was an avid surfer in addition to being a star on the volleyball court at Punahou High School, which is ranked the No. 1 high school athletics program in the nation by Sports Illustrated and is also the former high school of U.S. President Barack Obama. Berg accepted a volleyball scholarship to the University of Minnesota, where she would go on to be named First Team All-Big Ten three times in her Gopher Career. She graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in Business and Marketing. Berg has also played professionally in Italy in the Italian Series A League.
A member of both the 2004 and 2008 Women’s Olympic Teams, the London Games marked Berg’s first Olympics as team captain. Heading into the games, Berg understood the magnitude of such a title, but believed it wouldn’t change her role as a teammate.
“I'm a leader no matter what on the court,” Berg told Uinterview exclusively. “It's what's inside of me. I don't know how to not help people, not lead people, but it's a great honor to be named captain and it's a great honor to lead this team.”
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Volleyball is interesting. Obviously, it's a team sport and you're doing most of your work as a team, so we normally have our practice together for three to four hours, and three times a week we're also doing weight training, fitness training, any type of therapy to keep our bodies ready and healthy for every day — not only the games but every day leading up to it to be our best.
Everyone is definitely different. I'm a big mental player, so it's keeping calm, keeping focused and having that control of being able to play every point with the highest level of focus that you can, and not losing that during the match, and staying at that for that period of time — an hour-and-a-half to two hours.
I'm definitely a protein, veggies girl. Every day going into the match, if I feel like my energy is low, I will put some carbohydrates in there. But throughout my years I do splurge, when you need to splurge or want to splurge, because that keeps you on your regimen and healthy and not splurging all the time.
Throughout the whole day I actually have a routine. Waking up, eat breakfast, we do a serving pass which is a small practice. Nap and then wake up. I actually wash my hair every day before a game and mentally visualize while I'm in the shower. Then it's stretching and warming up your body and just getting ready for that game.
We're six days a week, and every morning from about 9-12 we're a team and that's with the ball, and after that we do individuals if you want to or weight training or therapy. It kind of individualized after our team practice, so who needs more, what you need to do, how your body is.
I think that if there's any pressure, it's pressure that we're putting on ourselves. We always feel the support of everyone out there, and obviously gold is always our goal, and if we didn't want that and didn't put the pressure on ourselves, I don't think that would be okay. But if anything the pressure is going in as "Number One," and everyone is out there to beat you. But I think we're in a great position and are handling that pressure well.
I definitely have a different role. I am the captain, and a starter as of now. But I'm a leader no matter what on the court, whether I have that title as well. It's what's inside of me, I don't know how to not help people, not lead people, but it's a great honor to be named captain and it's a great honor to lead this team to a possible gold.