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How Olympian Alix Klineman Regains Control When She Feels Powerless

Alix Klineman started her volleyball journey playing the sport indoors. When she didn't make the 2016 Olympic team, she decided to switch to beach volleyball — and thrived. This year, Klineman will be representing Team USA in Tokyo for her very first Olympic Games with her teammate, April Ross. Here's what makes her feel powerful.

I feel most powerful when...

I feel really prepared and really invested that I'm doing something with a lot of conviction and a lot of motivation. I think that's when I feel that the best is brought out of me and I'm really doing something 1000%, not just going through the motions.

Power to me means..

Taking control over your journey or your path and not letting somebody else dictate what you can or cannot do or what you should or should not do. For me, I feel really powerful when I do things that are important to me that I found a way to make happen.

What do you do when you feel powerless?

I go back to the things that are in my control. There are a lot of times where I don't feel like I did my best or that things are going my way. There are a lot of reasons to feel hopeless or frustrated, and I think going back to the drawing board to figure out what matters and what steps we can take to really move towards this goal and in the direction that you want to be moving in [can help]. So getting organized and getting in a mindset where I feel like I can put my best foot forward, and then knowing that that's really all I can do.

What's your power anthem?

I always listen to Headlines by Drake, that's one of my pregame songs that I like a lot.

Who is your power icon?

Growing up, it was always Kobe Bryant. To me, he always had so much conviction and so much perseverance. He did not care what anyone thought he could do or wanted him to do, he really just forged his own path and he made things happen and he worked harder than everyone else. He has always been my idol growing up and an example of the most fierce competitor that there is.

What do you wear when you want to feel powerful?

What you wear is such a form of self-expression. I have a certain day-to-day style, but I also like dressing for my mood. Some days it's like, okay, I want to wear something neutral, basic, and timeless and sometimes I want to be a little more edgy. I always go with the flow of how I'm feeling and what I'm in the mood for, and I think that helps me feel like my most true, powerful self — knowing that I'm dressing the way that feels true to me.
To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. The Tokyo Olympics begin July 23rd on NBC.

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