Sunday, February 19, 2006

My inner volleyball calm

Getting back into volleyball has been one of the best things in my life. It's also been one of the most stressful things ever, as well. Between learning how to speak to my Scottish coach (never, ever say anything directly; you must propose things, always make suggestions and speak in questions -- makes no sense, but it somehow is working), co-operating with 15 women from various cultures and backgrounds and trying to develop my own skills, I'm a bit worn out.

I've been hurt by a lot of things this season. One is my coach. My coach is always with us on game days -- he plays for a team and he's not with us if he has a game away. On those days, I'm essentially the coach and I have to make major decisions, which is not my role. I choose who starts, how long they play, the substitutes, etc. It has done my head in on some games where we have 12 people to play a 6-person game. Yet, he doesn't like me to advise the girls during practices. Two is my team. The girls seem to like it when I do my boisterous American bit; they don't like it when I criticise them. I personally don't mind criticism and at times seek it, cos I want to be better. And I know it's important for me to encourage and praise as well as criticise. They want the former, without accepting the latter, which can't happen. I've been snapped at for 'yelling' at people. That really hurts, cos everything I say is to help people become better players, never to humiliate or demean. I'm a competitive and passionate player and it's ridiculous for me not to be able to say anything.

In the beginning of the season, it used to tear me up that we were doing not very well. We were capable of so much more... well, at least I knew I was. That made me very loud and probably scarily aggressive to my timid little team-mates. It was eating me up that I wasn't living up to my ideal. But my attitude has evolved and clarity has moved in, especially in the last few weeks. We have made tremendous progress this season, even if we are not at the level I would want. I have to work with people at the point they are at, not the point I want them to be or even think they should be. I think my team could be better if we pushed ourselves and weren't so lazy. But that's outside the box, they say. That means that is something I cannot control. I can only be a good influence and encouraging. There is no point in me raging at the level of play from my team; I'm beginning to learn that it is not helping anyone to get any better. It only stresses me out and makes me hate volleyball. And that's a nightmare.

So now when I go out to play, I try to do the best that I can. I'm going to still keep my high expectations, for myself and my team. But I'm going to accept the people around me for who they are and what they are giving. I'm hoping that learning to accept what they can give at the present can make us better for the future.

Now bring on the bacon sarnies.


Anonymous a.t.w. said...

you were destined to be a coach. mr. lacar would be beaming...

Monday, 20 February 2006 at 09:33:00 GMT  
Blogger Autumn said...

Mebbe, mebbe not. Now that I look back, I can't believe I fought him so much. I'm the same way with my current coach (though he is nowhere as good as DLacar)

Monday, 20 February 2006 at 16:52:00 GMT  

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