Fire in the eyes. What does that thought conjure up for you? Katie Holloway describes it as what she feels like when she’s at her best. She outlines how she thinks and trains her mind to advance her abilities to become more resilient in the face of adversity. Katie is a competitor.

Every single person on the planet faces real challenges. Whether that be managing difficult information from a family member, or loss of a loved one, or coming up short for the experience you wanted most.

We cannot predict the future — but we can bet on our ability to adjust to what we have yet to experience. Would you bet on you to be the person in the center of adversity? Those that understand how to be resilient tend to understand how to stay committed to the process of growth, tend to focus on controlling what’s in their control, and tend to love challenges. Researchers have called this the three’s C’s to resiliency and hardiness; Commitment, Control, Challenge.

Katie Holloway was born without a fibula in her right leg and had her right foot and ankle amputated when she was only 20 months old. However, her impairment did not stop her from amassing an impressive athletic collegiate career in both volleyball and basketball. After lettering in both sports in high school, Holloway was recruited to play NCAA Division 1 basketball at Cal State Northridge. At Cal State, she became the first and only woman with a prosthetic limb to play NCAA basketball.

She is the face of the USA’s sitting volleyball program, and is aiming for gold at Rio 2016, after winning silver in her previous two Paralympic Games appearances.

Described by her coach as “an all-round player” Holloway has twice been named USA Volleyball’s Female Athlete of the Year (2011 and 2012).

Katie has fire in her eyes.


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“I’m so grateful for my disability because I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.”Click-To-Tweet


In This Episode:

  • Growing up with one leg in pain and externalizing her frustrations
  • Family involvement throughout childhood
  • Persevering through constant bullying
  • What strength means to her
  • Becoming comfortable in her own skin
  • Finding her purpose
  • Her burning desire to prove others wrong
  • The meaning behind “heart”
  • Inviting stress into her life to grow
  • What it’s like having one leg
  • The rewards of embracing who you are
  • Implementing imagery to improve one’s craft
  • Surrounding yourself with the right people
  • Dealing with her inner critic
  • The ideal competitive mindset
  • Her biggest fear on the court
  • Habits that have allowed her to be the best in the world


Paralympic Volleyball Player

Sitting volleyball player Katie Holloway is a two-time Paralympic silver medalist (2008, 2012) who also starred as a basketball player at Division 1 Cal State Northridge from 2004 – 2008.