Hey guys! I have awesome news. We had a tournament today here in Columbus. My volleyball team not my soccer team. Soccer team is next week. Anyway, we were totally pumped for this tournament. We like practiced twice as hard as normal. We all knew that we were going to do well. We got there and our rivals from Kentucky were there. They are the meanest team we have ever played. I mean hardcore spikes and everything. They are intense. We usually lose to them honestly.
Our first game went smoothly. We played a team from Cincinnati that I don’t think has been together very long or either just didn’t get along. Whatever their issue was it was a pretty quick game. We won 4-1 which isn’t bad at all. We didn’t celebrate though. We have learned not to celebrate prematurely. One time we beat the first team who really wasn’t that great and celebrated hard core. Then we get our butt’s kicked in the next round. Now we just shake hands and hope that we beat the next team.
The second team was a bit harder to beat. They worked really well as a team, but we were far too prepped for all their hits. We won that game 4-2. During the game I noticed some of my soccer kids in the stand which made me play twice as hard. It made me really proud for them to see me playing hard, having good sportsmanship, and having fun. That is the whole point of being a good role model, always living what you teach.
The third game terribly wrong. We played a team that was very tough. During that game one of our teammates feel when she tried to run at a spike and fell and sprained her ankle. So she had to sit out. We did bring one alternative with us. However she never shows up for practice so we were really worried about what would happen from there. We assumed we would probably lose, but that was alright. We played hard and we gave our everything, but sometimes these things happen. Our substitute came into the game and she actually did really well. She didn’t miss anything. However, she played like she was a one man team. She didn’t actually work with us, she just worked for herself. I made a mental note to myself that I was going to use her as an example to my soccer kids as how not to be a team player. We won the game 4-3, but we had to play hard, had to change our strategy to adapt to the substitute’s game play. It was a bit frustrating and I could see the frustration on my teammates faces as well.
Our final game for the championship was against our rivals. We figured if we made it to the final round that we would have to go against them. We definitely already had the mindset of defeat. We were going against someone we’d never been able to beat with a substitute who was playing her own game. I guess it was wrong of us to go into the game thinking that we were automatically going to lose, but we’d kind of lost hope at that point. Really we were more concerned with our hurt teammate more than anything.
Anyway, we got on the court and we were not completely dedicated to the game. I looked up to my soccer kids in the stands and I made a promise to myself that I was going to give everything that I had to the game. I called my team into a huddle and I told them that I had kids in the stands and I wanted to make them proud so I thought we should all try our very best. They agreed. Suddenly we were totally dialed in. We went into the match and we gave everything we had. We shot up fast to 2-0. I could tell that my team was completely stoked. Their faces were beaming and we were sure we were going to beat these girls from Kentucky for the first time ever. You could see the other teams frustration on their face. Something that I always tell my soccer team is to never allow their frustration to show. However these girls brought it. Suddenly they scored three in a row. We were getting disheartened. I could just feel the defeated energy around me.
Our substitute totally started playing her own game. She actually knocked down one of us because she was chasing the ball. We all have our own little zones that we watch, but for some reason she felt the need to watch everyone’s zone and totally forget about hers. Somehow she left to cover someone else’s area and that’s when the ball was headed straight to the floor in her area. I moved quickly to her spot and spiked it down hard. I didn’t even realize I’d done it until I felt my teammate smack me on the shoulder and tell me I did a good job. It was then our turn to serve the ball. I was nervous as I could be. We needed two more points to win. I don’t know how, but the other team completely missed our first serve. Then we did our second serve and they pounded the ball right back. We were able to spike it down and get our fourth point. We’d finally beaten our rivals. We went insane.
I felt like there were a lot of lessons learned at this competition. We got a bad attitude when we lost one of our teammates. We should have still persevered. Word of the day: perseverance! That is what I am going to teach my team. Not everything always goes exactly as planned, but that doesn’t mean that giving up is the key. It’s most important to have fun and to always keep trying. I’m proud of us. We beat our rival and we learned some valuable lessons. Shannonxx