Friday, January 26, 2018

What do you do when you doubt what you love?

It's not an uncommon thing for me to feel self-doubt. To be honest, it's something I've struggled with since I can remember - always wondering  worrying, what others think, and therefore second guessing what I think. I strive for approval from others and immediately judge myself if I under achieve. 

After weeks of being "pushed out" of serve receive line-ups, not regularly setting for teams, being asked not to block, and getting packed in the face, it's not surprise that lately I've had a huge bout of self-doubt in relation to my volleyball life. 

I have been playing volleyball since 2001 - that's 17 years people. It's not new to me, yet compared to the last 17 years I have never felt more useless playing the sport I so desperately love, than in the last month.

If you're new to my blog, I'll give you a brief history of my volleyball life:

I was tall so most of my early years of volleyball were spent playing as a middle. In my grade 12 year of high school we got a new coach and he asked me to set because I was eager enough that I could always get to the ball (Let me be clear: IN NO WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM DID I HAVE SETTER HANDS...or even instincts).  Once I started playing drop-in and therefore co-ed volleyball, it quickly became clear that at not even 5'9" tall, I was not the most effective middle anymore. Now this didn't completely stop me from playing middle. In fact, for a couple seasons I did what I could to keep up with the high paced co-ed caliber play that I was engulfed in, but somewhere along the way, I started playing right side instead (a common place for an average girl playing co-ed 6s). Eventually, we started running a 6-2 system on a more regular basis and then, we realized there were a lot more girls out there that were even more effective than me on offense, so it was only a matter of convenience that I started setting on a pretty regular basis and letting everyone else swing. 

I was coached in elementary school, high school, and club ball with a basic foundation in all volleyball skills but I was never coached specifically as a setter so I definitely feel like I'm lacking a lot of specific key factors that "true setters" have, and lately people seem to notice. That being said, I've spent probably a good 5 years or so setting on a regular basis that I've let a lot of my defense and offensive skills fall by the way side. 

Needless to say, I'm feeling a little lost these days. I don't have a solid enough foundation to be a "natural" sought after setter, but I've also spent so much time not having to serve-receive and not putting balls down that, no one sees me as the strong well-rounded player I once was.  So, where do I go from here? Of course, I won't give up my love for the sport but I'm tired of coming home from volleyball every night feeling tense, frustrated, and useless. 

After some restless sleeps and a lot of self-reflection, I've realized it's time for me to refocus my attention. Instead of dwelling on what I lack, I've decided to put my energy into what I can control: improving.  I've never been one to be the best, but I love the satisfaction of progress. So here's to making strides in the right direction. Here's to not letting my 17 years of experience make me become a stagnant player. Here's to starting fresh.

(Basic drill: ball control)

You can't expect to improve unless you're willing to do the work. 



  1. When I read your posts I see so many similarities between you and I so I think I know how you feel, and that does get you down. I'll give you one more perspective. You are so lucky you can still do the sport you love. I was a gymnast. It's not exactly something that carries so well into adult life once you hit 30+!!! LOL. Anyway, you are doing what you love and that is great. Keep doing it. Keep loving it. : )

    1. Totally!
      It's too bad gymnastics is one of those very extreme sports because you're right, it's hard to carry it on later in life.
      Thanks for still checking out my posts...even through the long absences!!