Tuesday, April 1, 2014

You're Killin' Me Smalls

As our second co-ed volleyball league season starts up, I thought I would share my experience from when it all started last summer. Growing up, I played sports all the time. Sports were my thing and where I met most of my friends. I started basketball in kindergarden and was captain my senior year. I played on summer select teams that traveled all around the midwest for tournaments. I was our high school soccer goalie for three years and on our varsity tennis team for a year (prior to making the soccer switch). This is not me trying to prove how super awesome my high school self was, but I needed to set the stage for my current situation. Last summer, our good friends Mark and Molly invited us to play on their summer sand volleyball team. I was so excited and thought it would be a great was to get exercise and see friends! Plus, it's only a summer league, so it's probably not taken that seriously, right?

It was made obvious pretty quick that this was not just a casual volleyball hang out session. All of the girls on our team, and most of the guys, had some volleyball experience. They were warming up when we arrived and the chipper smile on my face was quickly replaced with a nervous one. We only had a few minutes to warm up and everyone was talking about league rules and their other teams, all while making perfect bumps back and forth to each other. Why aren't we talking about what we're doing this weekend, how the Twins are doing and the weather?? I was in over my head. Okay, so three people in front and three in back, I knew that. I got this. I'm in my spot and saying a quick prayer to Jesus that the balls don't come my way. Jesus must have had more important things to worry about (not surprising) and I was instantly tested. Like I said, I was athletic, so I knew how to bend my knees and get ready. It was the complete lack of technique that made almost every ball I touched plummet into the sand or straight into the net. It wouldn't have taken a genius to figure out who our team anchor was, and the other team quickly started aiming serves right at me every time. Is this a bad dream?! I had turned into 'that' girl in high school who everyone secretly hoped would roll her ankle so she didn't have to play. I was so embarrassed and would have faked an injury to put my team out of their misery, had they not been so supportive. My team is great and tried their best to teach me what to do on the fly. We all still had fun and actually did win most of our games (no thanks to yours truly). I guess it's been a wonderfully humbling lesson on patience. I appreciated so much how kind my team was and that even though I wasn't that great (understatement of the year?) they made me feel like an important part of the team. I did improve and ended up graduating to overhead serves and even got a few digs! I will never, however, be the same kind of player I had been in basketball. It's a lesson that holds true for life as well. In some areas, you will be the experienced one who has the chance to offer advice and show patience towards someone who may need it. There will also be times where you need to recognize your weakness and have an open mind about accepting someones help. It's something I am currently working on, as I naturally like to explain things to people and be the experienced one. I feel lucky to have had the chance not only to learn this lesson, but also be on a fun team with a good group of friends :)

No comments:

Post a Comment