Volleyball superstar Bartosz Kurek is fiercely competitive and always driven to win, which got his team’s feet in the door of success on many occasions. For him it is not only about the destination, it is also about the journey and making every experience count.
His role started off as just another player on the team, but he has evolved and has turned himself into a leader over the course of his career. Kurek still believes that he is both a follower and a leader.
“I think I am both or at least I try to be both,” Kurek said. “If I see that my team needs one true leader at that moment, then I try to fulfil that role and with time I found that I felt more comfortable doing it.
“On the other hand, every great leader is not afraid to listen and share their power of leadership with others. Listening to other people’s ideas and working together as a group by following those ideas – that’s how great teams should operate, in my opinion.”
This collaborative leadership of Kurek has made him an even better team player. His achievements become even more special if he gets to celebrate it with the people who are dear to him.
“After each great achievement, we all try to spend some time together. After months or sometimes years of hard work, it feels great to see everyone happy and relax, but for me the real celebration is the moment I can sit down and enjoy a glass of wine with my family and loved ones.”
Each victory and loss mattered to Kurek because that became his drive for greatness.
“For the past 10 years, there’s not one inspiring story that I can tell, but there are probably a thousand moments when I wanted to give up because of an injury, bad performance, personal problem, or just being tired or because success seemed impossible to achieve, but I never gave up and I never will.
“When you see somebody succeed, remember that for sure it didn’t come easily. And if you struggle or you have problems right now, it doesn’t mean it will be like this forever. Good things are just around the corner and you have to fight for it.”
The world champion and MVP still has a lot more to offer, and he has yet to achieve more, when he returns to the national team next year at the FIVB Volleyball Nations League and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. For now, he is competing for Japanese club Wolf Dogs Nagoya, which is helping him keep his form for upcoming tournaments.
“There is an incredible group of players, management and coaching staff that is working hard every day to see Wolf Dogs Nagoya winning, which is so inspiring for me.
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