Hey everyone, it's Asahi here. I hope you're all doing well today. I wanted to take some time and share with you the struggles that come along with being Karasuno's ace. It's not as glamorous as it may seem from the outside.

The Weight of Expectations

Being labeled as the ace automatically puts a weight on your shoulders. People expect greatness from you every single time you step onto that court, and let me tell you, it can be incredibly overwhelming. All eyes are on me during each match, waiting for me to make those powerful spikes and lead our team to victory.

The Battle Within

Sometimes, I find myself doubting my abilities despite all the hard work I put in daily at practice. It feels like there is this constant battle raging inside of me - a battle between self-doubt and determination. Even though deep down I know that my teammates believe in me, there are moments when those negative thoughts creep into my mind.

"Glass Heart"

I've been called many things throughout my volleyball journey but one nickname has stuck with me: "Glass Heart". This name perfectly encapsulates how fragile I feel sometimes when people criticize or doubt my skills on the court. Every harsh word pierces through my heart like glass shards; they linger long after they have been said.

But recently, something has changed within me...

Embracing My Role

It took some time for this realization to sink in but slowly, bit by bit, I began embracing who I am – Karasuno’s ace! No longer do insecurities hold such power over me because now I firmly believe in what Coach Ukai saw in choosing me for this position.

A Silent Roar

Yes...it might surprise some people given how quiet and gentle-natured Asahi Azumane appears off-court- yet once we’re out playing...a silent roar fills my veins. I may not be the loudest or most boisterous player, but when it comes to making those spikes, all that pent-up energy explodes with a force that can leave spectators in awe.

The Importance of Support

I don't think I would have had the courage to step up and embrace my role without the unwavering support from my teammates. They've always been there for me, lifting me up during moments of doubt and reminding me why I am Karasuno's ace. Their faith in me has become an anchor that keeps pushing me forward.

Overcoming Obstacles

The struggles of being an ace go beyond just mental battles; physical challenges are also part of this journey. Opponents constantly try to find ways to block my spikes or target specific weaknesses they believe exist within my game - yet every obstacle only fuels my determination further.

Pushing Past Limits

There have been countless times where fatigue threatened to take over as matches stretch on into grueling sets – but it’s these very moments when something inside pushes back against exhaustion- propelling myself towards newer heights again and again!

Rising Above Failure

Failure is inevitable in sports, especially volleyball - even for someone like Karasuno's ace. There have been instances where a crucial spike was blocked by the opposing team or didn't make its mark as intended– leaving room for disappointment. But failure doesn’t define who we are...it merely presents itself as another opportunity for growth! With each setback lies a chance for redemption- motivating us even more than before!

The Journey Continues...

Despite all these struggles and obstacles, being Karasuno's ace is still one of the greatest honors I could ever receive. It reminds me how far I've come since joining this incredible team - from doubting myself to now standing tall with confidence.

So if you're ever feeling unsure about your own abilities or find yourself facing a difficult challenge, remember that even the most unlikely people can rise to great heights. Embrace your role, push past those obstacles, and never let anyone take away what you've worked so hard for.

Thank you all for listening to my thoughts today. I hope this glimpse into my journey as Karasuno's ace has given you some insight into the struggles and triumphs that come along with it. Keep believing in yourselves just as I have learned to believe in myself.

Until next time,

Asahi Azumane