Pick yourself up and try again

posted Dec 17, 2017, 2:00 PM by Cynthia Dang   [ updated Dec 17, 2017, 2:00 PM ]

It's been a while since our last entry- sorry! The start of the club season has us busy, busy, busy! I just wanted to share some thoughts on confidence and perseverance after this week. We will be posting a video on our social media this week that will demonstrate what I'm about to talk about in this entry. Something completely random that we happened to catch on camera during a practice last week and it really inspired me.


I would like for you to think about when you first started walking. I know, I know... "coach I can't remember that". Still, how many times do you think you fell down when you were learning to walk? I'll wait while you go ask your mom/dad/grandparents/etc. 


Do you think you only fell once before you figured it out? No. You fell down a lot; hundreds, maybe even thousands of times before you got the hang of it. How many of you have tripped or fallen since you actually got the hang it? Heck, I've tripped going down stairs, going UP stairs (I'm talented); I've fallen off curbs and side walks, and I've fallen just walking on flat ground for no apparent reason (again, SUPER talented!).


Now imagine for a moment that when you first started to learn how to walk that you just gave up after you fell down the first few times. Imagine that you decided you just weren't going to move at all if you couldn't make it more than a few steps without help. It seems silly, right? You wouldn't just give up walking because you tripped or fell a few times, would you? Maybe you'd be embarrassed or frustrated because you were struggling, but would you just quit, or would you ask for help and keep trying?


Now I want you to apply this same thinking to volleyball or anything new that you're trying to learn. If you fail or struggle once does it mean you can't do it? Are you a complete failure because someone next to you is being successful and you're not? NO. It means you need practice.  What if you get really good at something and all of a sudden you make a mistake, does that mean you completely failed and can't perform that task at all? NO. It means like the rest of us, you aren't perfect- and that's OK!


The best athletes, artists, business people in the world have failed A LOT. They simply wouldn't have succeeded in life without failing. Each time we fall, we trip, we make a mistake, or we outright fail it gives us an opportunity to grow as individuals. Take those moments and evaluate them- figure out what worked and what didn't. If you really want something in life those failed attempts should motivate you to keep trying until you get it right. Don't make it about the number of times you FAILED; make your success about the number of times you GOT BACK UP and tried again.


We have two choices when we struggle: 1) Quit, or 2) Pick ourselves up and try again. Learn from your mistakes and failures, but don't dwell on them. Volleyball and life in general is a mental game. Whether you think you can or can't, you are right.