H2 Illini Black 16 INFO / President’s Day Tourney 17-19 Feb

This weekend was the President’s Day Tourney in St Louis… Adversity… Hardship, difficulty, misfortune, hard-times… Adversity… What could be more than the truth for our team this weekend? As a coach you work all month on volleyball techniques, skill and overall performance improvement and after all is done you still end up with a 1 – 7 result with a loss for words to reflect how to move forward to the next show… Adversity… The learning step here is life lessons; volleyball or any other sport you coach or play is a life lesson. Sport teaches one to contend and overcome ups and downs of life, because life is sports.

Reflecting on our team after try-outs, we barely made it out of the starting block… on the verge of not having a full team, we have been able to 1) create line-ups without a true MB; 2) play in a division with ¾ of the team under the age of the division; 3) ¾ of the team never achieving varsity level in high school; 4) getting a college coach who believes in teaching advanced methods of volleyball when players’ have stated that their previous coaches would “run them” for doing the things they do on this team; and 5) having the team’s average height of 5’5.

Now let’s reflect on the above paragraph:

  1. We have competed well running three players in the MB position to the point where in a pinch they will be able to do so on other teams if need be; not just having a presence in that position and getting set “2’s”, but running “1’s”, “3’s”, and “slides” effectively…along with BLOCKING.
  2. Age is not a factor… our youngest is one of our best players on the team; any mental factor from that area is non-existent… Plus, we all compete with my college players too!
  3. Varsity level volleyball is their goal and depending on their “continued improvement”, I have no doubt they will make it.
  4. While it is taking some time to adjust, their advanced practice skill work is good, but the struggle is applying it to live action, which takes time, but it will come (such as passing with hands, hands to the face digging, or the biggie the “Tri-Factor Defense”…yes team; that is name of the defense you are doing)
  5. And finally, HEIGHT…like their coach, you just go and show your opponent being 5’6 is being 6’6 in mind… we just time it right!

In other words, through our season adversity will be our friend… We are going to have struggles and play teams that “are seasoned more than us”, but remember where we started… and look at ourselves now. All of you have improved. When we get consistency in our play, we will compete and dominate other teams to the point where no win will be an easy one for any team… if they win! That is my goal for this team. This is our life for this team.