Why I Had a Hard Time at the U-Turns 17s National Volleyball Team

My whole life people have told me that I am a natural athlete and I had always believed them until the fall of 2010, when I tried out for the U-Turn 17’s National Volleyball Team. I learned a lot about myself, my game, and that there is more to volleyball than just being in shape. I attended camps and worked hard all summer to do everything I could to get better physically prepared for tryouts. Little did I know that it was not going to be the physical part I was going to have a hard time with.

During my eight-month season on this team, I had practice and workouts 5 out of 7 days of the week, I attended tournaments on the weekends from locations such as Las Vegas, Nevada to Orlando, Florida. I never missed a practice, workout, or tournament. No matter how hard I worked, I still sat on the bench. I would keep a smile in front of my coach, teammates, and family members, but when I got home, I cried my eyes out. I always felt like I was not worthy, and I did not belong on the team. I became so highly frustrated that I wanted to never play volleyball again.

As I was nearing the end of my National season I came to realize that the frustration that I was felling was controlling my life on and off the volleyball court. I matured during the eight-month period I was a member of the team because I came to understand that keeping a positive mindset is the key to success in not just volleyball, but in life as well. I have learned to always be positive and make the best of every situation. Having a negative attitude towards anything never leads you in the right direction. Looking back on it I don’t regret playing on the team because I learned a lot about myself as a person and a player. I will always remember what I learned from my volleyball experiences and apply it to everyday situations.

Currently I am the captain of my high school volleyball team. I am most proud of this role because I worked very hard to get to the position I am in now. I love teaching and coaching the girls at my high school skills that I wish I could have learned earlier. It is rewarding to see my teammates become better physical and mental players. In the past I would be frustrated because I felt no one else cared as much as I did about the sport. I have learned to control that frustration and just enjoy playing and having a great time with my teammates and my coaches. That is why I play, because volleyball is my passion. I always keep my head high and do whatever it takes to help my team win. Is doesn’t matter to me if I am filling up water bottles, keeping stats, or hitting the winning shot.

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