As my Dad referred to a Katy Perry song last year during one of our team meetings, "You're hot then you're cold your yes then your no" How funny but true at the same time. Last year our team was that song, they were all over the place we had no idea what team we were going to get on the court.
This year the team has been fairly consistant, until yesterday. The past few weeks of practices girls have been missing here and there. They are in 8th grade so most of them are getting Confirmed so this is taking up some time away from Volleyball. Much better excuse than Softball or Dance, but still it bugs me, and they know.
Yesterday we were in Lancaster for a tournament, got up at 5:30 and all that fun stuff, got home around 7, made for a long day. The first match we played should have been our 'easy' one of the day. Turns out my team must have still been at their dance the night before....errr....what they weren't visualizing themselves winning games?!?! So we lost to a team we should have creamed...not one... but two games. Of course this type of playing deserved a team meeting...So we took the girls outside, since it was an absolutely too beautiful to be stuck in a gym with a poor playing team kind of day. From my Dad's stat's, we noticed we had about 6 hits then entire match, this along with the missed serves probably cost us the game. My Dad the awesome thinker he is, came up with an incentive. The Crusher Kill Champ award, he would keep track of the kills in a game and we would vote on the winning 'kill', those who assisted and they would receive an award. For those that aren't used to the v-ball lingo a kill is defined as an awesome hit that cannot be touched by the opposing team, straight from the hitters hands to the floor. Complete Awesomeness. Honestly we didn't think it would be hard to track since there was only 6 hits in the first game....yes I ALMOST cried, okay maybe a tear did come out, why?
I occasionally cry throughtout the season usually behind the scenes of course. This time was because I KNOW they can do better, they work so hard at practice and deserve to play well. So frustrating!
Next game...still not great but our hitting improved! We lost and had another team talk. I know the opposing teams coach, he actually coached me way back, it never feels good to a coach you know. err...
3rd match, not too shabby, we hung with Norlanco which we have a history of losing too, but the score wasn't embarrassing and our hit statistics went up dramatically, I think we were at about 44 in the match. Compared to 6 in the first match!? now you understand why I was crying.
And then I yelled...this was not a normal yell that I will do at practice, this one sounded different when it came out. As we are walking off the court, I caught one of the girls looking so depressed you would have thought she broke her ipod. So I yelled "Everyone in the corner NOW". One thing bugs me more than playing poorly and that is ATTITUDE. I review this several times during the season, this is a team, whether you are on the bench or on the court positive attitude is key. If I see them pouting on the bench, they don't go in, end of story and THEY KNOW THAT. So I yelled, that if I see it again this person will sit the bench the rest of the touranment. Afterwhich I said, "that put aside, nice effort on the court." and continued to encourage them to be aggressive, especialliy against the next team.
And then we almost won... Valley Forge is a tough team, we played them last weekend too, and lost. Games go to 25, and I don't think we broke 18. We played AWESOME, that is the team I have at practice working hard and not letting anything touch the floor. We were up at several times throughout the match. However we did end up losing 25-27 and 22-25. Not too shabby. It felt like we won. And as we told the girls in our first meeting, winnning the game is not everything but playing your best at all times is. They played their best those two games and won in our eyes.
We ended up not getting into the playoffs since we lost every game but one.
As for the Crusher Kill Champ winner, one of my setters will be the proud winner for having an awesome Kill! I will be making some killer t-shirts as the prize fo sho.