Volleyball is a pretty popular sport among the home school girls at our church. For years, I have watched "those crazy volleyball families" as they traveled near and far (or maybe far and farther?) for volleyball tournaments.
This year, Hannah really wanted to play volleyball, so for the first time, we added a second sport to our schedule. It was a really busy season, but I am so glad we did it. I personally learned a lot, and I know Hannah did, too. (And we also learned about volleyball!)
The biggest lessons I will take from this season are about team camaraderie and the importance of having a coach with a focus on teaching and growing the girls rather than simply on winning games.
Now, don't get me wrong. We LOVE to win games, and the girls did win plenty during the season. But the biggest growth I saw in them as players and as a team came when they lost several games in a row at a tournament. They could've buckled under the pressure and moped about losing. Instead, I saw each girl improve over the course of the tournament. They stepped up in so many ways and were a stronger team because of it. That only happened because they had a coach cheering their every miniature victory on the sidelines. At the end of the game, win or lose, they knew they did their best and improved their game. THAT was their victory.
The other great lesson I learned is about team camaraderie and sportsmanship. At this tournament, we met a "sister team" that came and cheered us on during some of our first games. These girls were so great, and our teams became quick friends. I can't say enough about how much of an encouragement it was for our girls (and their parents!) to have this great cheering section! Our girls cheered them on in their final game and they're all Facebook friends now. Both teams are looking forward to seeing each other in the next tournament.
So I guess I can say I get it now. And I think we're officially one of those crazy volleyball families for a while. Go, Flames! :)