“You can’t win alone. That’s just how it is.”Kageyama Tobio
Volleyball is a team sport. In a team sport it is important to trust the other players and to use not only your strength but also the strengths of other people in your team to get the best possible outcome. Most people start to play team-based sports to motivate them and help them understand other people more or just want to have that feeling of satisfaction when playing together.
But not everyone is that way.
It is crucial in high-stress environments such as volleyball games to trust your team members. If there is no trust in the team the players won’t cooperate as well as they could. It is harder to set or pass to another person when they don’t understand you or when they are uncomfortable in your presence. Especially when timing and speed as well as being level-headed are as important as they are in volleyball.
Especially in the position of asetter it is important to make your team trust you so they can bring their A-game everyday. Being pushed positively and encouraged is a good way to make your teammates feel comfortable around you, even if they make mistakes.
Now it is of no question that winning and losing is a big part of sports. If you win you will get to go to bigger tournaments and more important games, if you lose you’re out of the season and you can’t continue your career in the worst case scenario.
Kageyama is a genius setter and known to have perfect control over the ball. People around him perceive him as a genius which makes him very confident in his own abilities. He knows that he’s good and everyone around him is aware of that fact as well. Even if it is annoying or rude or sometimes even deprecating to other people Kageyama will always be the genius amongst his peers.
He knows that makes him win. He is tied to the fact that his own abilities are what pushes the tide between win or loss.
Now we come to the important part of this quote.
It is important to say that Kageyama is the one who says these words to Asahi. One might think that Kageyama is a hypocrite, but he has learnt that he can’t do everything himself; he needs to learn that he’s not the only person on the court.
Even though in the first episodes of the season we see him complaining to Hinata that his technique is very bad and he would love to do everything himself, he also knows that that is impossible in volleyball.
You need six players on the field and you cannot win alone. This is the practical fact, something that might sound obvious but it’s important to say that this sentence has changed in Kageyama’s mind as well. In the beginning it meant for him that he had to rely on other people and he had to to push other people around to get them to the results and to the abilities that he wanted to see in them. But later at Karasuno he realises that he can’t do that anymore and as he realises that Hinata and the others are there for him.
Not there to be his play figures on his field, but the comrades he needs to win.
Daichi realised that Kageyama would be very difficult to play with if everyone else wouldn’t do what he said from the start, so he made sure that Kageyama knows that in this team, in Karasuno, there won’t be a tyrannical king or a dictator as a setter.
When Kageyama realizes that Hinata is the one he could set to as he likes he eases up and starts to think very differently about how a team can win together.
Not to say that Kageyama is now suddenly a less controlling person than he was before but it is safe to say that when he said these words to Asahi his perspective started to change.
What is even more memorable about this is that the quote shows that somebody who may not have considered other people’s feelings before can turn around and take care of his team members even though he doesn’t know them well. Because at this point Kageyama doesn’t really know Asahi but he believes that he is a great asset to the team so he shares his own wisdom of what he believes is right, and it is partly why he comes back to the volleyball team.
You cannot win alone. That is just how it is.
Not only stating a fact but it also shows the growth that Kageyama has already made in the beginning of season one. It is the start of the tyrannical dictator becoming a righteous King.