I spent the entire day yesterday coaching volleyball...

I love coaching, and I love volleyball, but 10 hours with 12 preteen girls was quite the ordeal!

I'm still exhausted!

But... like usual... a lesson was learned, so here's the blog to follow :)

Before we got off the bus and headed into the gym... this is what I hear:

"7th Graders, 7th Graders, what's your PRIDE?! V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!"

Little did they know... this would all become reality by the end of the day.

We started out the day a little tired... myself included. The girls played pretty good in our first match, but we couldn't pull off any wins.

Our second match came, and the first game went okay, but then came the second game.

They started their best server. After 8 serves in a row without my girls returning it, I called a timeout. I told the girls what I always tell them... she's a hard server, get LOW and take it with a nice pass over the net. We went back on the court... and this same girl got 10 more serves without a return. This girl served 18 aces at my girls.

So as a coach, I was all out of things to say. After 18 points I had nothing new to say. So I subbed out my back row and put in three fresh pairs of legs and arms. Their coach subbed out their server and put in another girl. This girl came in and served 7 aces on us.

We lost the game 25-0.

I had no idea what I was going to say to my girls. I was actually fuming. I don't know if I've been so bummed out as a coach, yet.

I had the girls sit in a circle. I asked them what happened. I wanted them to tell me what they saw wrong with how they played the game.

I heard a lot of the same things: "we didn't call the ball", "we didn't move our feet", "we swung our arms", etc.

Here's what I told my girls...

I didn't care about the score. It was a loss. But, what I cared about, was the fact that after the first 8 points, every single person on the court gave up. They got defeated, and they couldn't shake it off... and they got shutout.

I told the girls to think about how this felt... and to use it... turn it into positive energy for our next game. Use this hurt and disappointment to learn what we need to do next time.

So we entered our third match of the game. I sat the girls down and gave them my "hot water vs steam" analogy that I wrote about in my previous blog.

As a coach... I also made sure I wasn't just "hot water". I had to forget about our defeat, and get my encouragement hat on.

As girls stepped up to serve, I would ask them what they were... "are you hot water?"
They'd reply : "No, I'm steam!"

In our timeouts... I'd say "girls, are you hot water or are you steam?" They yelled "STEAM!"

It's become our new attitude. Developed as a team. We refuse to be hot water.

As a coach, I refuse to be hot water. It wasn't good enough for me that my girls lose 25-0 and learn nothing from it.

As a coach, I need to teach them all of the lessons that I learn as well. My girls were cheering each other on, they all had a new found confidence in themselves, because they were giving that extra effort.. and they knew they weren't just hot water.

At the end of the match, the Cardinals prevailed, and we have our very first match WIN of the season!

I was so proud of my girls. And... of myself.

Sometimes it takes a horrible experience to give us the boost we need to overcome it.

Yes... it really sucked to get shutout... but if we hadn't been, I wouldn't have shared the hot water analogy with my girls, and I don't believe we would have won our third match that day.

Icing on the cake?

Leaving the gym that day, one of my players that I subbed out of the game was walking out the door, sees the team who kicked our butts, and says "good job today, you girls did amazing!"

We may have won our third match, but leaving the gym yesterday, we had a Victory.

I spent the entire day yesterday coaching volleyball...

I love coaching, and I love volleyball, but 10 hours with 12 preteen girls was quite the ordeal!

I'm still exhausted!

But... like usual... a lesson was learned, so here's the blog to follow :)

Before we got off the bus and headed into the gym... this is what I hear:

"7th Graders, 7th Graders, what's your PRIDE?! V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!"

Little did they know... this would all become reality by the end of the day.

We started out the day a little tired... myself included. The girls played pretty good in our first match, but we couldn't pull off any wins.

Our second match came, and the first game went okay, but then came the second game.

They started their best server. After 8 serves in a row without my girls returning it, I called a timeout. I told the girls what I always tell them... she's a hard server, get LOW and take it with a nice pass over the net. We went back on the court... and this same girl got 10 more serves without a return. This girl served 18 aces at my girls.

So as a coach, I was all out of things to say. After 18 points I had nothing new to say. So I subbed out my back row and put in three fresh pairs of legs and arms. Their coach subbed out their server and put in another girl. This girl came in and served 7 aces on us.

We lost the game 25-0.

I had no idea what I was going to say to my girls. I was actually fuming. I don't know if I've been so bummed out as a coach, yet.

I had the girls sit in a circle. I asked them what happened. I wanted them to tell me what they saw wrong with how they played the game.

I heard a lot of the same things: "we didn't call the ball", "we didn't move our feet", "we swung our arms", etc.

Here's what I told my girls...

I didn't care about the score. It was a loss. But, what I cared about, was the fact that after the first 8 points, every single person on the court gave up. They got defeated, and they couldn't shake it off... and they got shutout.

I told the girls to think about how this felt... and to use it... turn it into positive energy for our next game. Use this hurt and disappointment to learn what we need to do next time.

So we entered our third match of the game. I sat the girls down and gave them my "hot water vs steam" analogy that I wrote about in my previous blog.

As a coach... I also made sure I wasn't just "hot water". I had to forget about our defeat, and get my encouragement hat on.

As girls stepped up to serve, I would ask them what they were... "are you hot water?"
They'd reply : "No, I'm steam!"

In our timeouts... I'd say "girls, are you hot water or are you steam?" They yelled "STEAM!"

It's become our new attitude. Developed as a team. We refuse to be hot water.

As a coach, I refuse to be hot water. It wasn't good enough for me that my girls lose 25-0 and learn nothing from it.

As a coach, I need to teach them all of the lessons that I learn as well. My girls were cheering each other on, they all had a new found confidence in themselves, because they were giving that extra effort.. and they knew they weren't just hot water.

At the end of the match, the Cardinals prevailed, and we have our very first match WIN of the season!

I was so proud of my girls. And... of myself.

Sometimes it takes a horrible experience to give us the boost we need to overcome it.

Yes... it really sucked to get shutout... but if we hadn't been, I wouldn't have shared the hot water analogy with my girls, and I don't believe we would have won our third match that day.

Icing on the cake?

Leaving the gym that day, one of my players that I subbed out of the game was walking out the door, sees the team who kicked our butts, and says "good job today, you girls did amazing!"

We may have won our third match, but leaving the gym yesterday, we had a Victory.