Volleyball Can Teach You About Having Faith and Trust In Others!
It has been said that volleyball is the sport that was created by men, but perfected by women. Who can argue with that? I know I am always surprised by my wife's skills as we play together! This sport is the preferred activity we enjoy to spend our quality time together - and we wouldn't have it any other way. But, there is a reason you can't play this sport alone. That is because this sport is dependent on teamwork. While you play, no matter how good you are, you have to rely on your team to help achieve victory. After you get an amazing pass, you then have to have faith in your Setter. Once the Setter sets the ball, they have to have faith that their Hitter will be able to react to the set properly and hit the ball. You get the memo, you have to work in tandem. Sure, the sport is as simple as "bump, set, spike". But, you cannot do all three tasks yourself. You have to have faith and trust your teammates to have your back!
For those who are unfamiliar with the sport, here are some important positions that will help you understand the sport a bit better:
THE LIBERO: This player is easy to spot as they play with a different colored jersey than their team (note, this is for 6 VS 6 volleyball, not the typical 2 VS 2 volleyball many people play). This player is typically the best passer on the team, and is proof that you don't need to be 6'5" to be an extraordinary volleyball player. This player's teammates rely on him/her to pass the opponent's spiked ball. Since the Libero is typically the play-starter for the team, the opponent will try to avoid hitting the ball towards this player.
THE SETTER: The Setter is offered referred as the most important position on the volleyball team. Not only does the Setter have to have great skill to properly place the ball on the court, but this player also have to keep tabs on his/her own player's play-styles. These are some questions that the Setter has to keep in mind:
- Does this player like the ball set high or low?
- Does this player like the ball far away from the net, or close to it?
- Is this player right-handed, or a lefty?
The Setter has a split second at times to have an answer to all 3 of these questions, while also making sure that they pass the ball with no spin (one of the rules in Volleyball is that the ball cannot have excess rotation while being set).
THE HITTER/BLOCKER: These players are typically the players who score the points for their team. Once the ball has been set, they must be prepare to be in position to hit the ball. Sometimes, the ball is not set to this person's standards (and this happens a lot), but they must adjust to make sure they can get value off of the set. These players are often the giants on the team. So they stay close to the net and prepare to save their teammates from being hit in the face with the ball (if you are an active volleyball player like myself, being hit in the face with the ball has happened to you).
Okay, great. We are all caught up on the basic responsibilities of volleyball, but can it teach me about having faith and trust in others. Well, it can teach you a lot. Here are 5 tips that are applicable to life on and off the court:
1. COMMUNICATION: There is nothing more embarrassing in volleyball than when a ball comes over that is easy to get and lands in-between you in a teammate. You both then look up at each other in confusion assuming the other player was going to attempt to get the ball as your setter glares from a distance in frustration. The biggest reason why this happens? BECAUSE OF LACK OF COMMUNICATION. When I am put into this situation, and I hear my teammate say, "I GO!", or "I GOT IT!" I will have faith and trust that my teammate will successfully pass the ball.
2. MAKING STRATEGIC DECISIONS: We briefly touched on this before while speaking about what questions the Setter has to think of in such a split second. But, for all those who may have skipped that section, if you're well versed in Volleyball - perhaps you will agree with this statement. Volleyball is such a physical and mental demanding sport. Not only do you have to react to the ball within a split second, your decision will also decide if you will either help your team, or allow your opponent's to earn a point. Off the court, you can apply your decision making skills in your families, at school, and at work. Just make sure some thought goes behind that decision.
3. PLAYING WHILE YOUR DOWN: There's almost no better feeling than to win a game when you have been losing most of it. Let's face it. We all go through trials in life, and at times it may seem all is lost. But if volleyball has taught me anything it is that things that matter most doesn't come easy. We have to keep our eyes on the prize and work towards our goal. Sometimes, we lose a game. Or rather, we don't get that job, we can't seem to understand a certain subject in school, or any other trial you may be facing. You should always to strive to play when life gets you down, because do have the strength to persevere, and achieve victory.
4. ACCEPT YOUR OWN MISTAKES: Like mentioned before, most volleyball plays happen within a blink of an eye. That being said, we will always have times where we make a wrong decision and will have to face our mistakes. Whether it is a lack of communication, a simply bad pass on an easily returnable ball, or serving the ball into the net - MISTAKES WILL HAPPEN! We will make plenty of life mistakes off the court as well. We need to learn to not place the blame on others and face the music. We will learn from them (hopefully), and perhaps when we find others about to make the same mistakes we have before; we can be that beacon of light to help them avoid it.
5. HAVE FAITH AND TRUST IN YOUR TEAMMATES: As an engineering student, I have learned that the reason why engineers are so smart are because they rely on their teammates. Okay, yes, a genius here or there may come through and outperform everyone, but chances are that they rely on those around them to help them with the workload. In volleyball, you cannot do the workload by yourself either. Even if you are a phenomenal passer, setter, and hitter. It's illegal to do all three of those actions without violating the rules. YOU MUST have faith and trust your teammates to have your back. Just like how the engineers must have faith and trust their own team.
I hope you have took something out of this read! Let me know in the comments below if you have learned something new. Want to know how my wife and I did the beach volleyball tournament shown in the picture above? Feel free to pen pal us and ask! (:
Have a great day!