“Mine!” The ball comes flying to our side of the net and my team- mate receives it, bumping it to the setter. Late in the afternoon in the blue gym at the YMCA, the volley- ball game nears its end. As the setter tracks the ball, he sets it perfectly near the net. Everyone is tired, but my eyes are on the ball. As my feet begin to run and jump, my right arm rises and I fly to the top of the net. SMACK! The ball flies through, in between the two blockers, hitting the ground.
“LET’S GOO!” I scream as I hit my first spike.
Beyond the thrill of a powerful spike, volleyball has helped me create new relationships and learn the importance of teamwork. Transferring to a new school in my junior year of high school, I was anxious to meet new students and teachers. One day I received a text message from a friend to come play volleyball. Excitedly, I ran over to the court to play with my new friends. Every day after school my friends and I would go to a field right next to Harding High School and set up a net. As I kept playing every day, playing with the people made me realize that I really like this sport and want to go to a higher level. It was the relationships I established and lessons I learned through volleyball that became really important to me.
Whenever I am on the court or field, I recognize the importance of having teammates alongside me. All players, including myself, play a unique role in the game. Reflecting on my first spike, I had to rely on my teammate to bump the ball to the setter. Then, the setter had to push it up perfectly near the net, and I had to time my jump just right to spike the ball and win the point. Together we all used our strengths as a team to get the point.
The teamwork aspect doesn’t only apply in volleyball. I have learned to apply it in group projects at school, where everyone has their own job that combines to complete the project. It also helps me with my family. I live with a single mother and I am often a teammate to her, helping around the house and working to pay bills.
Now that I have played for a couple months, I want to bring my skills to a team. I know that I will not be playing with my friends. However, I know that I will still use my teamwork skills to be a team player. Moreover, I will know that teamwork goes beyond the court; whether I am in a classroom, with family or with friends, I am empowering others to use their strengths while also using my own.
I have come to learn that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. However, my weakness may be someone else’s strength. Empowering people to use their strength has a significant impact on the game. When every
one comes together to use their strengths, you are able to create something extraordinary.