BE THAT GIRLFirst published October, 2008
Let’s finish your high school season and start your club season by being a great teammate. Sure, we all love volleyball and we all like at least some of our teammates. But imagine your team differently; add to that group of 8-15 girls a catalyst who drives forward to make herself better by making her teammates better.
At the Anchorage camp this summer, Coach “Lars” gave the campers and coaches the “Morning Word of Wisdom” (MWOW) on the final day of camp. She challenged all of us to “be that girl.” What girl was she talking about? It was that girl who always gave her best, that girl who everybody loved, that girl who was the best teammate – regardless of how good she was or wasn’t at volleyball.
There are three great ways to “be that girl” on your team this year. The first is through RESPECT. Respecting your teammate is done through your actions. Think about your facial expressions and body language after a teammate makes a mistake. Do you look or act frustrated then try to take over for them? Or do you respect their position and ability by supporting them in the next play? When we respect our teammates as people, we will also eliminate the team killers like gossip, frustration with others, and rudeness.
Start today: one way to show respect is through listening.
The second way is through APPRECIATION. Think about who your friends are for a moment. Are you friends with people who appreciate you or people who don’t like you very much? Most of us would say we had appreciative friends. People like to be appreciated, and we all know we can find at least one thing, if not many, in others to appreciate. Find the positive in everyone and tell them you have found it. Only good things can happen if we make “spotlighting” a regular part of our team culture. Talk to your coaches or team captains about including spotlighting weekly and/or after games.
Start today: one way to show appreciation is through kindness.
The final key to being “that girl” is through COMMUNICATION. One thing coaches always find themselves saying to their teams is, “Talk more!” Volleyball players can never talk enough on the court, yet some of us know we hardly speak once we start playing. There is no need to yell or bark at your teammates, however, it is crucial to your team’s success that you speak clearly and sensibly whether you are on or off the court. There is always something to say: call the ball “in” or “out,” where the other team is hitting from (outside, right side, middle, back row), where your hitters should hit to (line, angle, tip), regular reminders (cover, defensive base, how the other team’s server hits the ball), and all the in-between encouragements to teammates. Players who communicate well will get noticed by teammates and coaches and will “be that girl.”
Start today: one way to better your communication is through eye contact.
A special thanks to Coach Lauren LeQuire (Coach “Lars”) from the Anchorage, Alaska camp for the whole idea of “that girl” and being an inspiration to us all (go Aggies!). NBC Volleyball hopes you finish and start your seasons strong and we see “that girl” at camp in summer 2009.