A bad start to the season

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We received our seventh loss (3rd loss in 5 sets) to Philadelphia Biblical University which brought yet another blow to our already weak record.. Though we won the second and third sets strongly, we managed to lose both the fourth and fifth. I’m sure our coaches believe this to be a lack of confidence or chocking (and therefore sent us links to articles on how to boost our confidence and overall self esteem).

In particular, one article spoke about over achievers. Individuals who set their expectations so high they cannot find success in anything they do. I sometimes feel as though I fall into that category, but in my case, feeling unsuccessful is not a result of my actions. Rather, I feel that the coaches attitudes on my performance results in me feeling that way. (Though it has improved from last season) No matter how hard I run a play, how hard I work, if I do not get a kill I am looked down upon for doing something wrong. I’m sure many other players feel the same way too.

I spoke to Bryan after the game and told him we have to be able to filter some of this negativity out. We cannot expect only positive criticism. Aside from that, as individuals, we have to be able to focus on the court. During the first couple of sets we hardly missed any serves, and Elvis was preaching that to be the reason for our momentary victory between sets. We did miss a lot more serves in the fourth and fifth sets. I don’t understand why we cannot finish.

I feel the solution to the problem is every player realizing the causes of their mental setbacks. Once we as individuals are the masters of our mental states, we will be able to come together strongly as a team. Also, the articles exclaimed that we as players should not dwell on our mistakes, but rather stay positive towards the next play. Once again, I feel this is a bit difficult to achieve with the reaction of the coaches when we make mistakes.

Though it sounds like it, I am not blaming the coaches for our mistakes. I am tying to defend my idea that they add to our mental fall during games. We’re all aware that we have what it takes to beat every team we have played so far. I just hope we all start showing it rather than thinking it.