Welcome to SPORTY GIRL BOOKS. At SPORTY GIRL, we want to give all girls the chance to love, watch, play, read, and write about any sport that interests them. We look forward to the day when the words, "You play like a girl," is the biggest compliment anyone can receive.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Athlete Spotlight with Star Volleyball Player Natalie White

Like Erin, who I interviewed last fall, I met Natalie at my church when I worked as her youth leader. Natalie is quick to smile, volunteer to help, and kind enough to take the time out of her extremely competitive schedule to answer a few questions on the blog. She comes from a family of athletes. Her older sisters played collegiate volleyball for St. Mary's in California, Utah Valley University, and Brigham Young University Natalie hopes to follow in their footsteps.

Could you tell us about yourself? 

I am 16 years old. I live in North Carolina and go to Apex High School. I have been playing competitive volleyball since I was 10. 

I mentioned your sisters above, could you tell me about your parents?

My mom played intramural volleyball and football for BYU and my dad played basketball and baseball in college for Long Beach State. He then went on on and played minor league baseball as a pitcher for the Padres. My dad is my biggest supporter and makes the time to come to as many games/tournaments as he can and is never afraid to tell me what I need to work on as an athlete.

You have an impressive sporty family. I'm glad you all support each other so well. You're really tall, right? Are you the tallest girl on your team? How does it feel to tower over most people? 

I am a 6'2" and there are many tall girls on my team who are over 6'1". We all love it when we are together; however, when we are alone at school it's not always something that we absolutely are proud of. 

I had a roommate in college who was 6'2". She struggled sometimes with towering over so many people...especially the guys, but she taught me that whatever height I do have, to stand tall. I hope that you can do that too, but I can image what you mean about that being difficult!
You come from a really athletic family and I know you're also good at basketball. What sports did you play growing up and why did you choose to play JO volleyball? 

#3 with her teammates
Because I was always supporting my older sisters at national tournaments, I have never really played anything else besides volleyball. I did swim for a short summer season when I was 12. I loved both sports and I do regret not being more well rounded sports wise, but I do love where I'm at with volleyball. It was something that I have always enjoyed watching and it was in my blood. 

What position do you play? I bet you're a formidable blocker. Do you have a wicked spike? I imagine you doing those quick center 1 kills. Do you find you work well with your team's setter? Are you able to read each other well? 
I am a right side hitter and set here and there. I'm convinced that I have a powerful swing. The team that I am playing for does some crazy plays through out the game. I love the setters that I have because I realize how difficult the good sets can be. Because I have a good relationship with my setters, I can tell which directions they are going or if they might need help when in a difficult situation. 

I was a setter and a weak side hitter, so yes, having a good relationship with your hitters is key. I'm glad you guys work so well together. Could you tell us about your favorite tournament and why?
My favorite tournament was when I was 14 years old and we went to D.C. for Presidents Day Weekend. The tournament is called Capitol Hill. It is a three day tournament with heavy competition every match. We went undefeated and didn't lose one set!! It was the most rewarding experience I have very been a part of and it will never be forgotten. We played so hard every single day and I loved every second of it.
Spiking over the block.

That sounds wonderful! Being on a traveling team, how do you squeeze in everything you do? I know you're an honor's student and you're active in your church's youth program and even wake up early for seminary before school each day. Is there anything else you also juggle during this season? 
Honestly I don't know how I do it. When I am traveling I try and get as much school work done in small amounts of time. It usually leads to late nights and not so much sleep. When i was 13 I made it a goal that before I turned 16 I wanted to accomplish all of my youth responsibilities so that I could have the joy of something being done and having one less thing on my plate. 

Wow. I know turning 16 was pretty recent. Congrats on reaching those goals! 
What is your favorite book? Do you read sporty girl books?
I do not read many books, but one trilogy that has caught my eye lately is Divergent. Its nothing sporty or anything. I just love the physical and mental strength that she receives through out the whole experience. There is also another book that my Varsity Coach has some girls read that really caught my eye that I would love to read at some point in time. Its called A Mental Thing and it all takes about becomes mentally strong is just as important as being physically strong. 

The Divergent trilogy is really good. I struggled having to wait so long in between books. I'm a little jealous that you can read them all at once (when you have time, that is). I'll have to look into A Mental Thing. Thanks so much for being on the blog today, Natalie! We wish you to best of luck with all your endeavors, athletic, or otherwise:D


  1. Great interview! Thanks to Robin for sharing Natalie's story with us!

  2. Thanks for being on Sporty Girl Books, Natalie. I'm amazed by all that young athletes can accomplish with all the demands on their time. Next time you have to travel, download a new book from our Sporty Girl Book lists.

  3. Thanks so much for doing this interview. I think Divergent is a great example of sporty girl book. Tris learns how to box, run, plays paintball, etc. What's more sporty than Dauntless?