Without Kageyama, Hinata Might Have Quit Volleyball

Hinata Shouyou was first inspired to play volleyball when he watched The Little Giant playing on the National stage. Hinata was still in elementary school when he saw this, and he decided he wanted to try that, he also wanted to fly.

So as soon as middle school started, Hinata rushed to join the boys’ volleyball club, only to find that there wasn’t one. He spent the next three years building the boys’ volleyball club himself. At this point, Hinata had no personal experiences with volleyball fueling him, only that image of The Little Giant flying and his own stubborn determination.

He arrives to his first and last official match having spent the last three years doing everything he could to build a club and learn to play, just for the sake of this one moment. On that court he meets Kitagawa Daiichi, he meets Kageyama Tobio, genius setter and “King of the Court”. On that court Hinata’s team is utterly crushed.

Had he been faced with any other team, Hinata might have given up on volleyball after that match. He might have even been satisfied with his attempt. After all, he’d done all that was within his power, he’d tried it, he’d gone as far as he could. But his opponent was Kageyama, and although Kageyama was nearing his own lowest point, he recognized the wealth of untapped potential in Hinata, he called him out and challenged him.

Instead of giving up after that loss, Hinata gained a new reason to play: his greatest rival.

The image of The Little Giant was enough to inspire him to try the sport out, even to carry Hinata through three difficult years of fighting against all the odds for that single chance. It would not have been enough to keep him going past that — even with all the fond memories Hinata had of the help he’d received along the way.

Oftentimes the reason you start something isn’t enough to get you to the finish line. You have to find a new reason along the way. Or that reason needs to find you. But neither will happen if you don’t get out there and try.

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