“Gonna make that serve over? Bet ya can’t!” Can you believe the audacity of a coach to utter these comments to her players? Yes, it happens. In practice, the Kuyper volleyball coaches are working to develop an extremely necessary skill, not only for the court but for life. It’s needed when the crucial time comes and the team depends solely upon your skill, your ability, your concentration, your effort in practice. It’s called mental toughness.
It’s what holds you in place when the rest of your mind wants to waiver and say “What if I mess up? I’ll let everyone down!” It’s the ability to disregard the questioning comments of your mind, past or recent failures, distracting noise or silence, and reach forward to seize the moment with confidence, the steadfastness of spirit, and your eye on the goal.
This year I have met personally with each varsity player to assist them in self-evaluation regarding the coaches’ expectations. We work on the setting of goals, both long-term and short term so that they will have small accomplishments to reach for while working towards fulfilling the few simple expectations. I say they are simple, and they are, but that doesn’t mean they are easy. Many times in life, it is the faithfulness of performing the simple that is most difficult because it takes the most discipline. It is fundamental, mundane, non-glorious, repetitive, yet incredibly crucial, indispensable, and important.
I only wish I had more time with each player and each team. They have been a great joy to get to know and with which to work! I have seen great progress in many of them, both spiritually, and as a volleyball team member. I have great hopes in their potential as we are a “young” team, having most of our members as underclassmen this year. Please join us in support of our last few games, either by the presence or by prayer (or both). Though our win record has been small this season, it’s the only way up in our progress, causing us to have a better mindset about where we need to be and the work it will take to get there.
Mental toughness. It’s what we’ve needed when half our team is sick or injured…when the phrase that describes the season is: “Year of Injuries.” It’s what every mother needs when her children pressure her to give them something she knows isn’t best for them. It’s what every student needs when they must stand to make a speech, and what every Christian needs when they are mocked by others for doing right. It’s a life skill necessary for growing men and women of strong character who are able to handle the truth in a world that is confused and upside-down.
Thank you so much for the privilege of working with your girls, for all your support, and so much of your time! May your dedication to allow them this opportunity to learn such important life skills in such a fun way, be worth every sacrifice. May God bless our efforts and cause them to produce great things in each of their future lives for His glory!
With love and thankfulness,