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Volleyball and Society

A volleyball team reflects society

The author is the genius (or idiot) in the middle of his society

A volleyball team is a reflection of society. You have so many things going on in the same circle. You have doers. And you have takers. You have leaders and you have followers. You have the highly motivated, and you have those thinking, “let’s get this over with.” You have the hard worker who would never leave the gym ‘til you turn the lights out, and you have the ones who look at you like you are crazy for saying we will practice tomorrow. 

The very makeup of the team is also a reflection. The setters are your bosses. They dictate the workload and who gets what. The middles are your managers who make sure your outsides are taken care of. And they, the outsides, are the specialists; that elite group that puts the finishing touches on what the laborers (backrow players) have worked so hard to get ready for them. Just like any job, if one group struggles, the whole group fails. There are those that seem more important, but in reality, in real life, they are not.

And then there are the coaches. Just like leaders in society, half of the team thinks the coaches are geniuses, half think they are idiots. Split decisions have to be made in highly charged-situations, and sometimes they are not correct. Substitute one player for another, and you are always half wrong and half right. It’s never easy when you are dealing with kids, and emotions, and parents, and emotions, and…… well, you get it. Just like society.

But I also think this is why sports are so good for kids. They help prepare them for the real world. They help them get steeped in reality. They learn that if you don’t outwork someone else, you will be replaced. If you don’t show up, you’ll be shown the door. If you can’t follow direction, you’ll be directed out. If you can’t be a team player, you won’t be a team member.

This is all important.

That’s why most former athletes make good employees.

Why they make good members of society.

And that’s where we all end up eventually.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. jayakay32

    September 7, 2017 at 7:08 am

    Well stated…..and needed. As I always tell my daughter, EVERY coach wants to win and is absolutely driven to try to put forth the best Team that he/she believes will put them in the position to do so. Communication, both on the court and off, is critical. Too many parents (IMHO) enable their girls by saying the coach is “bad”. As with any situation where there is a person in a higher authority, one must understand (clearly) what their role is and the means to achieve that role. When I see players that change clubs every year, that tells me a lot about the parents.

  2. awgriffey

    September 10, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Not quite sure i get the article. I do agree with everything from the last paragraph down. I’m guessing you aren’t a parent of the “laborers” in the back row?

    Interesting that the comment above by jayakay32 portends to know which kids, and parents understand their “place”, or is it “caste” in the volleyball team scheme of things. My daughter fought her ass off to be on the best team she could every year. There are many poor coaches, and unwinnable situations in club volleyball, and if you accept them, and remain in a bad situation you will regret it. There are also many parents that think they know all that they need to know, and i feel sorry for their kids.

  3. Tim O'Connell

    Tim O'Connell

    September 11, 2017 at 8:03 am

    My daughter was one of the ” laborers ” as she was Libero for her D1, Top 20 college and and nationally ranked KIVA club team. So yes, I was a parent as well as a coach. I’ve told my back row players many times they’d never get credit for a win. Or a good kill. But that they were the reason for both. Life’s not fair. The sooner kids understand that< the sooner they"ll adjust to situations that aren't.

    I LOVE MY DS's. They know that!

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