We had a guest speaker come into Hunter College today to speak to us about striving for success. To be honest I was not very moved. We had the same meeting with a different speaker last year, and I felt a lot more involved in what they were saying. I somehow begin to feel that everyone’s motive is self fueled. I didn’t feel a uniqueness in what the speaker was saying. It felt as though she gave a generic formula in an attempt to keep us away form alcohol, drugs and other momentary pleasures. Corny ice breaking lines along with examples she used showed me she was catering to a specific audience. How can someone teach success? How can one day of listening to someone stray individuals away from peer pressure? Hopefully the pizza made up for skipping work for some of us.
The speech was followed by an hour of watching tape from the game against Philadelphia Biblical University. My teammates along with myself were exposed to the mistakes we made. I found that I double pump when blocking and I feel I am a bit late when running the middle ball. Even though I personally feel I did well, I along with with my teammates felt frustrated after the game. On my way home today, Brendan had suggested that many of us had an “internal” grudge. We were frustrated from within at our mistakes. We weren’t a unit, but rather we fell apart with each mistake we made. We weren’t supportive of each other. Though we brought it in after each play, I felt we did it because we had to rather than the fact that we wanted to. It’s strange because even though we played well (statistically), we did not communicate as a unit.
On my way home we (Brendan, Ming, and Nino) established that we do not play without fear. We constantly hold back, especially when we make mistakes. It made me wonder why that was. I then thought it was because of protecting our image. We fear looking stupid, we fear being blocked, we fear the reaction of our coaches, we fear the discussions (within fans) after the game. I then wished we could play without these things crowding our minds during the game, just as we did at the princeton game. I remember we truly brought it in after every play. We played freely, without anything holding us back. We didn’t do anything special nor did we have a stellar team. Most importantly, I think we had fun.
Even though we lost games and lost points, we supported each other till the end. We never gave up. We played without fear. I believe the absence of coaches, absence of friends, getaway from the city, and honest team spirit kept us going. I remember bringing it in after almost every play and screaming breathlessly. To me, this shows that team unity overpowers any star players. These feelings cannot be fabricated. The thought of nothing mattering cannot be taught through speech. That is why I was against many of the speakers procedures. We hadn’t set any goals on that day. I don’t even think we thought we were going to beat the teams we did, but somehow we ended up doing it. Yes, we didn’t win the tournament, but that didn’t matter. We were happy with what we had accomplished. The reason was because we came not expecting to win.
It’s somewhat difficult to enter many of our season games with the same mentality. Reason being that we dwell too much on our mistakes and our fires are fueled by the frustration of the coaches. Instead of complaining, Brendan had suggested that we talk about it amongst each other. I am going to suggest that we get together as a group and discuss what we need to change (whether it be individual or collective). Hypocritical? Maybe. But at least it’s worth a try. It might be fabricated, but at least it will help clear the air.