volleyball girls

I’M NOT AN ATHLETIC person. I can’t run fast to save my life. My middle name may be Grace, but that literally means nothing. I am pretty much the most ungraceful person this side of the Mississippi.

When we moved to Michigan, the school I would be attending has a volleyball team. I wanted to play on the team and was even excited about it, but at the same time I was really concerned. I was worried I would be more of a hindrance to my team then a help. I knew that joining a volleyball team for the first time in my senior year wasn’t ideal. I only had one year to learn everything I could and then apply it. I couldn’t just say “Well, I can always work on that next year.”

The first practice I went to wasn’t a formal practice but just a sample of what practices would be like. It didn’t go too bad, but I definitely had lots of room for improvement! Then actual practices began…. at the start of every practice we would do warm up drills. Some involved improving coordination, other exercises were to teach us how to move correctly when hitting the ball. I was terrible at every single one! I guess I was expecting my coach to get upset at me for failing to do something so simple. Maybe I was just waiting for my team mates to laugh. They never did, they were patient with me, but yet told me when I was doing something wrong and helped me improve. I was waiting for someone to compare me to all the other players, because that’s what I was doing in my head.

Isn’t it crazy how we are so hard on ourselves?

‎I began to list reasons why I should be better at these drills than I actually was. I was the oldest player on the team. I was a senior. I should be setting an example, at least that’s what I told myself. Actually, I was being ridiculous and letting Satan win in the battle of my mind.  I was more focused on what I was doing wrong than what I should have been doing right.

‎All of the other girls had played at least two years of volleyball on an official team, whereas I had only played at youth camp and PE. I had no experience and no training in competitive volleyball. Yet I was beating myself up for not naturally being as good as everyone else. Why do we hold ourselves up to unattainable standards, and then get upset when we can’t meet those standards? Maybe that’s just me….

‎For the next few practices, I would continue this terrible routine of comparison, being too hard with myself, and negative self talk all thru practice, then crying to my parents on the way home about how I would never get this and how I should just quit. They always told me I was being ridiculous and all I could do is work my hardest, and stop comparing myself to all the other girls who had been there for years.

volleyball team‎So I worked hard, and tried to stop comparing, and start learning. I asked the coach so many questions. He gave me papers with the whole rotation mapped out. I worked hard to memorize them. This was one thing I didn’t understand at all, but knew I could learn it and I would have to learn it fast! So, I did what any book nerd would do, I studied! Like alot! I Googled so many things about volleyball, the positions, and rotations. Then I had even more questions. I asked my amazing team mates and coach for help, and they were all so gracious and helpful! I have been so blessed to be a part of a true team! Everyone builds each other up and works hard, and it’s awesome to see how that pays off in games.

‎After the first few practices ending in tears because I felt like I could never be good enough to measure up to the other girls on my team, it was then that I began to realize something. It took me way too long to learn, but it’s a lesson I will always carry with me.

‎I don’t have to be the best player on the team, but I do have to play my best.

That’s all the coach and my team expected of me in the first place. To play my absolute hardest. To give my all in practice and then a little more. Even if I didn’t think I could do a drill, I needed to try my hardest to do it!

‎I remember when I was forced to play volleyball in PE. My philosophy was if I had to mess up my clothes or possibly get hurt, I wasn’t going to go for the ball. I remember I would also get mad when I got picked last to be on a team and would be upset about it. I have finally learned I have to stop looking at others and how good they are compared to me, and start looking at how I can work harder to be a better player.

So maybe your saying “Okay, this sounds good and all, but how does it apply to me?”

I think we do similar things as Christians. We look at other peoples lives and wish we could be them. We wish we could be that patient, that kind, or that disciplined, yet we spend more time comparing instead of just doing, just like I did at the beginning of volleyball season.

Sometimes we forget that comparing ourselves won’t make us the best. We have to determine to be the best version of ourselves. The person that God created us to be. That starts by seeking Him. I love this verse…

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).

I believe, even though this verse is referring to material things, it applies to every other part of life too. We must set aside aspirations to be the best, and seek God first. When He is our main priority, everything else will come. He will help us be patient, kind or any other thing we might think we need to be.

‎I challenge you this year to try your hardest. Do your best in everything. Most importantly, give your all to seek God, and “all these things will be added unto you.”

‎Oh by the way, at the end of volleyball season we had this neat awards banquet. After learning to do my best, I, the girl who still can’t serve overhand and is just a sub, ended up with two awards. I’m so thankful for the lessons God taught me during my one and only volleyball season. I don’t have to be the best, but I do have to DO my best.

I’M NOT AN ATHLETIC person. I can’t run fast to save my life. My middle name may be Grace, but that literally means nothing. I am pretty much the most ungraceful person this side of the Mississippi.

When we moved to Michigan, the school I would be attending has a volleyball team. I wanted to play on the team and was even excited about it, but at the same time I was really concerned. I was worried I would be more of a hindrance to my team then a help. I knew that joining a volleyball team for the first time in my senior year wasn’t ideal. I only had one year to learn everything I could and then apply it. I couldn’t just say “Well, I can always work on that next year.”

The first practice I went to wasn’t a formal practice but just a sample of what practices would be like. It didn’t go too bad, but I definitely had lots of room for improvement! Then actual practices began…. at the start of every practice we would do warm up drills. Some involved improving coordination, other exercises were to teach us how to move correctly when hitting the ball. I was terrible at every single one! I guess I was expecting my coach to get upset at me for failing to do something so simple. Maybe I was just waiting for my team mates to laugh. They never did, they were patient with me, but yet told me when I was doing something wrong and helped me improve. I was waiting for someone to compare me to all the other players, because that’s what I was doing in my head.

Isn’t it crazy how we are so hard on ourselves?

‎I began to list reasons why I should be better at these drills than I actually was. I was the oldest player on the team. I was a senior. I should be setting an example, at least that’s what I told myself. Actually, I was being ridiculous and letting Satan win in the battle of my mind.  I was more focused on what I was doing wrong than what I should have been doing right.

‎All of the other girls had played at least two years of volleyball on an official team, whereas I had only played at youth camp and PE. I had no experience and no training in competitive volleyball. Yet I was beating myself up for not naturally being as good as everyone else. Why do we hold ourselves up to unattainable standards, and then get upset when we can’t meet those standards? Maybe that’s just me….

‎For the next few practices, I would continue this terrible routine of comparison, being too hard with myself, and negative self talk all thru practice, then crying to my parents on the way home about how I would never get this and how I should just quit. They always told me I was being ridiculous and all I could do is work my hardest, and stop comparing myself to all the other girls who had been there for years.

volleyball team‎So I worked hard, and tried to stop comparing, and start learning. I asked the coach so many questions. He gave me papers with the whole rotation mapped out. I worked hard to memorize them. This was one thing I didn’t understand at all, but knew I could learn it and I would have to learn it fast! So, I did what any book nerd would do, I studied! Like alot! I Googled so many things about volleyball, the positions, and rotations. Then I had even more questions. I asked my amazing team mates and coach for help, and they were all so gracious and helpful! I have been so blessed to be a part of a true team! Everyone builds each other up and works hard, and it’s awesome to see how that pays off in games.

‎After the first few practices ending in tears because I felt like I could never be good enough to measure up to the other girls on my team, it was then that I began to realize something. It took me way too long to learn, but it’s a lesson I will always carry with me.

‎I don’t have to be the best player on the team, but I do have to play my best.

That’s all the coach and my team expected of me in the first place. To play my absolute hardest. To give my all in practice and then a little more. Even if I didn’t think I could do a drill, I needed to try my hardest to do it!

‎I remember when I was forced to play volleyball in PE. My philosophy was if I had to mess up my clothes or possibly get hurt, I wasn’t going to go for the ball. I remember I would also get mad when I got picked last to be on a team and would be upset about it. I have finally learned I have to stop looking at others and how good they are compared to me, and start looking at how I can work harder to be a better player.

So maybe your saying “Okay, this sounds good and all, but how does it apply to me?”

I think we do similar things as Christians. We look at other peoples lives and wish we could be them. We wish we could be that patient, that kind, or that disciplined, yet we spend more time comparing instead of just doing, just like I did at the beginning of volleyball season.

Sometimes we forget that comparing ourselves won’t make us the best. We have to determine to be the best version of ourselves. The person that God created us to be. That starts by seeking Him. I love this verse…

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).

I believe, even though this verse is referring to material things, it applies to every other part of life too. We must set aside aspirations to be the best, and seek God first. When He is our main priority, everything else will come. He will help us be patient, kind or any other thing we might think we need to be.

‎I challenge you this year to try your hardest. Do your best in everything. Most importantly, give your all to seek God, and “all these things will be added unto you.”

‎Oh by the way, at the end of volleyball season we had this neat awards banquet. After learning to do my best, I, the girl who still can’t serve overhand and is just a sub, ended up with two awards. I’m so thankful for the lessons God taught me during my one and only volleyball season. I don’t have to be the best, but I do have to DO my best.

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. I love this! So encouraging. The last line is so good!

  2. Great article and great lesson for us all. Thank you for sharing!

  3. You have come so far since the beginning of this season! I loved watching you trying your best to improve and not give up! I love this article and it really gave me a new perspective. Thank you!

  4. Thank you ladies!

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