A big part of my time in high school was spent on the volleyball team. Being on the team all 4 years and also participating in clubs outside of school really taught me that playing a sport isn’t just a way to spend free time. The amount of commitment and time I spent on the sport made up at least more than half my time and energy I spent in high school. As much as I learned through volleyball though, I would definitely describe the experience as bittersweet.
I met a lot of people and made a lot of friends within the first two years of playing this sport in high school. Not only did it help me in the social aspect, I also became more motivated in school and learned how to better manage my time. I looked forward to coming to practice every day because I genuinely enjoyed playing the sport and spending time with my teammates. I would say freshmen year Junior Varsity volleyball was the best year for me because we had a great coach that was dedicated to helping each person improve, and I also had great teammates.
In sophomore year, I moved up and played for the varsity team. We had a different coach and it was a much more competitive atmosphere. It was still an enjoyable year because I learned to work harder for a spot to play and to improve for the coming years. I also bonded with many upperclassmen. That was also the year I joined an outside club for volleyball which required a lot more of my time outside of school. I would participate in open gyms, clinics and tournaments and soon volleyball became a daily part of my life.
However, as my junior year of volleyball came around, there had been many changes such as a new coach and many players who left. It started becoming more of a drag than actual enjoyment to play this sport. I did not look forward to practices and especially for games. I felt that our team had no chemistry and it was hard for us to work together because we lacked team bonding. Many players were not getting the playing time they deserved and a lot of drama arose from conflicts between the coach and the players and a difference of mindset.
By the end of my senior year season, I was glad it ended. Although I do miss parts of it, such as the moments where our team did get along and we were winning games, overall I felt better that the season was finally ending.
Volleyball and the meaning behind the sport had definitely changed for me throughout the years but both the good and bad was all a part of the experience and all taught me different things and how to approach different situations.