Tuesday, 23 Jul 2024

Men’s Update: Five Questions for James Shaw

A new Olympic quadrennial brings new players into the spotlight for the U.S. Men’s National Team as it looks forward to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.


In this article, we sit down with James Shaw, a talented setter from Woodside, Calif., who has been training with the U.S. Men’s National Team for the past three years. We discuss his thoughts on the 2016 Olympic tournament, his progress since leaving Stanford, his experience playing with an Italian team, his hobbies outside of volleyball, and what he’s looking forward to in 2017.

What were your thoughts as you watched the 2016 Olympic tournament?

James Shaw expresses his pride in watching his friends, Tom and Aaron, compete in the Olympics. He admits to feeling a competitive desire to be in their shoes but acknowledges that he hadn’t earned a spot on the team. Shaw recognizes the gap between himself and the second setter spot and understands why he didn’t make the cut. He emphasizes his pride in seeing his teammates achieve their dreams and perform well in the Games.

How are you feeling about your progress as a setter since leaving Stanford?

Shaw believes that becoming a professional player has allowed him to grow both as a player and as a person. He highlights the importance of gaining valuable experience in one of the world’s most challenging leagues. Shaw explains how each summer with the national team has presented major areas for improvement, and he feels that focusing on these skills in Italy has been invaluable. He expresses excitement about measuring his progress upon returning to Anaheim.

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What are you enjoying about playing with your Italian team? What are some of the challenges of playing for an international team?

Shaw appreciates the passion for volleyball in Italy, which differs from what he’s experienced in America. Despite his team’s youth, Shaw mentions that they have had no issues with ego or locker room conflicts. However, their age has posed challenges in terms of leadership and experience compared to other teams. Adjusting to a new culture has been difficult, but Shaw recognizes that it’s a common experience for American athletes playing overseas.

What do you like to do in Italy when you are not practicing or competing?

Shaw reveals his love for exploring the beautiful cities in Italy during his downtime. He enjoys embarking on adventures with his teammates, cooking, listening to music that reminds him of home, and delving into books. Shaw finds solace in these activities while being away from home and facing the personal struggles that come with it.

What are you looking forward to in 2017?

Shaw is excited about being healthy and making the most of every opportunity in the upcoming season. He looks forward to training and competing alongside his talented teammates, living in Newport Beach with his friends, and exploring different parts of the United States. Shaw expresses a desire to visit all 50 states and create lasting memories along the way. He’s also eager to soak up the California sun again.



In conclusion, James Shaw’s journey as a setter has been one of growth and determination. He acknowledges the challenges he’s faced and the progress he’s made since leaving Stanford. Shaw’s experience playing with an Italian team has broadened his perspective on the game and exposed him to a different kind of volleyball culture. Looking ahead to 2017, Shaw is excited about his future endeavors and the opportunities that lie ahead.

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