Saturday, 13 Jul 2024

Bionic Warriors: The Unstoppable Heroes on the Volleyball Court

The Wounded Warrior Games, held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, is an event that holds immense significance for the volleyball community. Among the teams competing in this event is the Special Ops Command (SOCOM) team, coached by Cody and Andy Pai. However, due to prior coaching commitments, I had the privilege of stepping in to train these remarkable individuals.

The Special Ops Command team, known as the Bionic Warriors, consists of eight wounded warriors who will be going head-to-head against teams from the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines. What sets this team apart is their unique training approach and the challenges they face as they adapt to the game. With a logo that exudes intimidation, the Bionic Warriors are a force to be reckoned with.

Focusing on the Fundamentals

So, what are the Bionic Warriors working on? As expected, serving and serve reception are crucial aspects of their training. But they also prioritize making their motions as simple and repeatable as possible, and approaching mistakes with a positive mindset. Their game plan revolves around a 6-6 formation, but there are a couple of modifications unique to this event. They are allowed to have two serve blockers, and they rely on hand movement rather than footwork. Adapting to this change is a process that takes time and practice.

Overcoming Challenges

Playing on a low net and a small court means that reading the game and quick movement are of paramount importance. The Bionic Warriors recognize that their Achilles heel lies in using their hands effectively to move. Those who have more experience in this regard tend to excel, as they can get to more balls. With their system mostly being “out of system,” their strategy revolves around hustling and retrieving as many balls as possible. Backrow attacking is a key component of their game, with all six players ready to contribute to the attack whenever the ball is on their side.

The Spirit of the Bionic Warriors

Among the exceptional individuals on the team, Mike Day stands out as a remarkable player. Although the details of his journey as a Wounded Warrior remain undisclosed, he shared a chilling anecdote with me during a water break. Mike survived a firefight in Iraq, where he found himself outnumbered by four enemies. Despite being shot twenty-seven times, he managed to eliminate three of his opponents using only a pistol. His resilience and story serve as a testament to the bravery and determination of these warriors.


The Wounded Warrior Games serve as a platform to honor those who have made immense sacrifices for their country. The Bionic Warriors, with their indomitable spirit and commitment to the game, inspire us all. It is an honor to be a part of this event and witness their extraordinary display of skill and determination.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the Wounded Warrior Games?
A: The Wounded Warrior Games is an annual event held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, where wounded veterans compete in various sports.

Q: How do the Bionic Warriors differ from other teams?
A: The Bionic Warriors, a team comprised of wounded warriors, have unique training approaches and adaptations due to their injuries.

Q: What is the significance of hand movement in the Bionic Warriors’ game?
A: The Bionic Warriors use hand movement instead of footwork to navigate the court, which requires practice and adjustment to become automatic.

Q: Who is Mike Day, and what is his story?
A: Mike Day is a member of the Bionic Warriors and a survivor of a firefight in Iraq. Despite being shot twenty-seven times, he emerged victorious and serves as a true hero among his teammates.

Q: How can I watch the Bionic Warriors in action?
A: The Wounded Warrior Games take place at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Check the event schedule for the dates and times of the matches.

Q: How can I show my support for the Bionic Warriors and other Wounded Warriors?
A: Attending the Wounded Warrior Games is a great way to support these courageous individuals. Your presence and cheers will uplift their spirits and show appreciation for their sacrifices.