Pain and discomfort are what makes us grow as humans, but as parents it is one of the hardest things to watch our kids encounter. Jason’s childhood story is very different from most of the kids he coaches in Southern California, but the perspective he gained from it is invaluable to their development. One of the greatest things kids from more privileged backgrounds can get from sports is a sense of adversity. In this conversation, I asked him what it was like to coach kids whose day to day existence was much different than his own at their age. His stories of coaching to build character and team cohesion might strike a cord, but a trusted coach has the ability to build mental toughness that will serve players well into their futures. I was also reminded in this conversation how little we know about people and their backstory until we take the time to ask. Every sports career has a story behind it and Jason’s is a compelling one. His players and the volleyball community at large are lucky that he uses every bit of his intelligence and perspective to help grow each player and the game.