In 2004, immediately after the Japanese Men's National Team failed to qualify for the Olympics in Athens, the Japan Volleyball Association appointed as Head Coach Tatsuya Ueta, then coach of Japan's Junior Men's National Team.
Since then, Ueta, who is considered a hardworking and progressive coach, has not only been coaching his squad very hard, but also collecting and studying lots of information from abroad. Consequently, he has built up his present Volleyball philosophy and the success of the national team so far has been entirely due to his efforts.
Tatsuya Ueta was born in Shikoku, the smallest of Japan's four main islands. He started playing Volleyball at the age of 12 and developed into an astute middle blocker. He played Volleyball for high school and university teams and gained a reputation as a good player even in his school days. He joined Nippon Steel Blazers in 1987 and played for the National Team from 1989 to 1993.
He was assistant coach of Nippon Steel Blazers from 1995 to 1998, and Head Coach of Nippon Steel's successor, Sakai Blazers, from 1999 to March 2001 before joining the Japan Volleyball Association as coach of the junior men's national team.
His goal was to compete in the Olympics in Beijing and this aspiration was the motivation for his squad. In order to achieve this goal, he worked to improve his squad.
Although Japan's squad ended up ninth at the FIVB World Cup in 2007 -- this result disappointed everyone -- the JVA decided to let Ueta lead the National Team and pinned their hopes on Ueta guiding his players to Beijing.
Ueta has been discovering weaknesses in the team throughout all of the recent competitions and studying how to correct them and how to improve his team. He believed that Japan would have no chance to go to Beijing without solving those problems. He was rewarded when Japan claimed the Asian Beijing berth at the Olympic qualifier in Tokyo, Japan, in June, the first time they had qualified for the Olympics in 16 years.