Staying fit isn’t the only reason you should play a sport. Participating in athletics, especially in high school, gives you the opportunity to destress, reset, and refocus right after a long day of school. As many of you know, I love playing volleyball. I’ve been playing since 8th grade, and I can honestly say that it’s one of the best decisions I have ever made for myself. I have made many friends and learned important lessons from my coaches and my own experience on the court. Through cheering on my teammates and talking loud on the court, I developed the outgoing personality I have today.
Volleyball requires reflex, focus, and determination. Even when losing, it’s important to keep pushing against the other team. But when playing not-so-great teams, it is also important to stay humble and never, ever lower yourself to their level; always aim to be the best and never pity the other team. As my coach once said, “I don’t care who we’re playing: I want to see blood on the court.” After 4 years of volleyball, I have come to realize that winning against a worse team does not nearly feel as good as doing well against a better team, even if we lose. It’s important to always strive for better, no matter how good you are.
Throughout the experience of playing during games and practice, mistakes will always be made, but making a mistake is a key process in learning. From knowing what I did wrong, I am able to focus on what I need to do in the right way to do it. Refocusing after a mistake is critical to success. This lesson was crucial not only to volleyball, but also to many of my successes in school. Instead of getting bogged down by my mistakes, I used my failures to help me succeed in the future.
I encourage you to go out and try a sport with a friend or even just yourself. Although I come home at 6 or 7pm nearly everyday after-school during the fall season, I have absolutely no intentions of skipping practice or quitting volleyball just to have more time to do work. Even during the off-season, I intend to keep playing club volleyball. Playing a sport benefits both your mind and body, plus it’s always great to have an opportunity to bond with new people.