Matt Anderson: "Our goal is simple. We want to win."

Lausanne, Switzerland, February 14, 2018 - Matt Anderson is one of the stars of the US volleyball team. The outstanding hitter led the United States to success at the FIVB Volleyball World League (2014), to victory in the FIVB Volleyball World Cup (2015), and bronze at the 2016 Olympic Games. For his club, Zenit Kazan, Anderson was a key player in the team’s three back-to-back titles in the European Champions League and in their victory at the FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship last December. In this exclusive FIVB interview, he talks about the importance of the new Volleyball Nations League and his goals for the future.

How important is the new Volleyball Nations League to you and your team this year?
Matt Anderson: I don’t think that we will be taking any different type of approach towards the Volleyball Nations League tournament to how we went about preparing and competing in the World Leagues in previous years. We have one goal when we get back together and that is to improve every day in training and do what we do best when it comes to competition days. We want to win the Volleyball Nations League.

What are your goals for the Volleyball Nations League? Which teams will be the toughest opponents?
Anderson: Our goal is simple. We want to win. I don’t think any weekend will be less difficult than any other. It will be a long tournament, accompanied by a lot of travel and physical work.

How important is the Volleyball Nations League as preparation for the 2018 FIVB Volleyball World Championships?
Anderson: It is competition. You can always learn from matches of all kinds: exhibitions, friendlies, Volleyball Nations League, Olympics, etc. We will get a chance to play some of the top-ranked teams in the world and those will be the teams we will need to defeat to win the World Championships.

What are your goals for the FIVB World Championships?
Anderson: Again, it’s simple. We are going there to win.

How could volleyball be made even more interesting for players and fans in the future?

Anderson: Continued exposure throughout the world. I don’t think it’s a matter of making it more interesting for the players, because we are in the sport for the love and passion. Reaching current fans and creating more fans is the future of our sport. Without the fans, we don’t have much to play for.

What do you think about the technical innovations in volleyball and how could the FIVB make the show even better for fans?
Anderson: Anytime you can explain the game of volleyball in greater depth it gives the viewers a better understanding of how intricate and powerful our sport can be. The commentators need to continue to bridge the gap between the extreme technical side of our tactics on the court and the viewer sitting at home flicking through the channels. I like how the slow-motion cameras have been able to accentuate the power and finesse behind some of the best players of our game.

Which of your many successes do you rate as the biggest?
Anderson: All of the championship moments of my career have a special place in my heart. They all came with a great team that at times had to overcome some major obstacles to get to the point of playing for the championship. The bronze medal in the Rio Olympics is just slightly above the rest though.

Which dreams and goals do you still have as a volleyball player?
Anderson: An Olympic gold medal

How is your life as a volleyball player from the USA in the middle of Russia?

Anderson: A lot of my life is the same here as it is when training in California with Team USA. There is no off-season for us national team players. Therefore, maintaining injuries, the physical preparations, the rehabilitation, fueling of our bodies, rest, training volume, game planning, etc... is always on our minds in some capacity. We can’t put something off for a month knowing that we will have two months of rest after. Unfortunately, we don’t have that luxury in our sport. So, along with the schedule of my pro-club, I communicate with my coaches in the USA about how to use my days off here to supplement my workouts and prepare my body for the grueling physical life of a pro-volleyballer.

Which of your many tattoos are the most important to you?
Anderson: All of my tattoos are for my family, or I use them as a reminder of the type of person I want to be known as. Therefore, they are all equally important.

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