I’ve been replaying a moment from my junior year of college… it was during a volleyball game in which we were neck-and-neck with the other team, playing on our home floor, trying to eek out a victory to stay in the playoff hunt.
But we were losing momentum. You know, in athletic competitions, when you can feel how things are tipping? Yeah, we weren’t the team on the upside of that tip… We were really on the defensive, not really able to mount an attack of our own.
The other team had our outside hitter’s numbers. It was Shutsown Station over there. And any volleyballer can tell you how finicky OHs are: they’re like frickin race ponies+prima ballerinas. And I say that with love and admiration.
Our right side hitter wasn’t clicking when she was up at the net. And, once she rotated to the back row, our setter was on the front row & that cuts your offensive capability down.
Our middles were going to be our saving grace.
Except… they weren’t really ON. They were trying the same thing & getting the same results: no kills, continued rallies, lost points…
And, whatever is whatever… the part that keeps coming back to me is the way I felt looking at these amazing, Amazonian giraffe-gazelles who I thought were so badass & whose talent I had a lot of faith in.
And I couldn’t believe that they:
- Weren’t dominating the F-CK our of the other side,
- Didn’t believe in their ability to dominated the F-CK out of the other side (or so it appeared), and
- Weren’t demanding the chance to dominate the F-CK out of the other side.
I mean… I used to watch them fly & just be amazed. I loved when the connection between our setter and our hitters was just right… it’s a thing of beauty, always and forever.
I was callous. (Still am… in the right circumstances and much more skilled about making it obvious that I’m joking.)
I liked to tease & smack-talk. (Still do.)
I criticized myself harshly (still do, but at least now I’m aware of it) and they thought I was doing the same to them (I wasn’t).
I didn’t create ‘team’… I didn’t really know how to.
And I still don’t really know how, except now I have learned the importance of: