Sunday, August 28, 2016

Balance between volleyball and life

We have probably all seen the t-shirt slogan "Volleyball IS Life". 

Let's start by saying that people with some passion are generally more driven people than people who just go through life like life is a buffet.

So, if your passion is volleyball I am there with you.

Passion for an activity is something that makes you forget about the ups and downs of that activity, the lack of fairness, the heartbreak, the individuals you have to deal with on your way through that passion.   To coin an expression, you can change your job but you can't change your expression.  

So, how do we balance our passion for volleyball with the reality of the world?

First, understand that your passion or vision of what that passion should be is not the same as that of everyone else who claims to have a passion for that activity.   I cannot tell you how many people over the years whose 'passion' for volleyball died out soon after their kids stopped playing it.   I also don't have enough fingers and toes to count the individuals I have met over the years whose passion for volleyball died away when they found they couldn't make a living at volleyball and, instead (gasp!) had to get a real job. 

Second, understand IF your passion is just because your kids love the game.   Yes, that is enough and it can be pure and not just self-serving.  A lot of great coaches got into the game because they were coaching their own kids.   The ones with passion, however, continued to learn, take clinics, become nationally certified, etc.   They were TRULY passionate about volleyball. 

Third, to build on #2, surround yourself by people who share your passion.   If the coach who coaches your child can't prove to you that they are constantly improving themselves as a coach then they don't have passion.   I don't know what the number actually is but my guess is that 80% of coaches or more in this region do absolutely nothing but coach and maybe work at camps.  When I was young I had a real passion for coaching.    I became a CAP Level II coach and attended three NCAA D-I final four tournaments and the associated coaching clinics.  I paid for that all myself because I wanted to learn.   There are coaches in this region who still do that.   Unfortunately for the average family in our region, those coaches usually coach for upper level age groups in upper level clubs.  Saying, as a coach, that you love the game and want to share that game with kids is a prerequisite for coaching.  However, it is not the only thing a coach needs.   They need to constantly get better.  Most coaches are getting paid for coaching now.  In any business you expect your employees to have continual self-improvement.  

Fourth, and final, if this is truly your passion, give it more time and effort than any other activity in your life.   In my almost 30 years of coaching I have seen parents who started CYC coaching their own kids and then just stayed around, even after their kids were grown, and coached other CYC teams and trained new coaches.

Passion is important in volleyball.    We all need to have balance in life between our passions and the rest of our lives.   However, the really passionate people about volleyball or anything, blur that line because their passion gives them fulfillment.   Surround yourself and kids by people passionate in the sport and you will be creating young people with the passion for the sport. 

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