The best six 5th graders in the world just happen to be on my volleyball team. This year the girls had so many sign up for CYC volleyball that the team had to be split into two. Leaving one team without a coach. Amy, a good friend of mine, called me up one evening and asked if I would help her coach one of the teams. Honestly, I wasn't all that excited about it. Grace had been playing with the same coach for the last two years, and I wasn't thrilled that she was put on the second team (in my mind the "B" team). I wouldn't commit, but said I'd be at practice and see how it went from there. Well, by week two I was running the team. I was eating, breathing, living volleyball. After the awesome ass-kicking we got at the first game, I came home and read the rule book, researched plays, watched YouTube clip after clip of games and set into action a full-fledge plan to win (and learn...cause it's not always about winning....but mostly it is).
These girls have come so far. From absolutely no control and weak serves we are ending the season this weekend with powerful overhand servers, three hits each time and some amazing setters and spikers. We are only a few games out of having a winning season, and I could not be prouder of these young ladies.
Although they do not understand the blood, sweat and tears Amy and I have poured into this season, they don't have to. They don't need to know about the late night text messages spouting off different ideas for practices. Or the Wednesday dart nights at the bar that turned into volleyball brainstorming sessions. The rolled eyes and the sharp comments from friends and family alike, "All you ever talk about is volleyball!"
The girls don't have to appreciate our committment to them, the team or the sport.
These girls have far surpassed their own expectations. To see the look on their faces when they got their first set or spike over the net...to see them communicating as a team and working together...to watch them turn from amateurs to pros on that court...that says more than any words can express.
I'm sad to see the season draw to an end. This coaching experience taught me more about myself and my abilities and my passion than anything I've done outside of giving birth to our children.
I look forward to playing the first place team this weekend, and I know the girls will leave it all on the court. Because, regardless, they are winners!