This past Friday night, we had our first “Team Get Together” (“TGT”) at our house. It was a lot of fun and everyone seemed to enjoy the food and the company.
Toward the end of our meeting, I asked the players to write down what their goals were for the team and/or themselves. We had a tournament this past weekend so I did not have an opportunity to read them until today. I was surprised at their answers.
We hear a lot of negative comments about the youth of today. The descriptions of being self centered, unmotivated, lazy, selfish, rude always thinking, “Me, me”, the “Me First Generation”, and so on. I am involved in volleyball approximately 47 weeks out of the year. I am delighted to state that though I have found some young people who fit the above descriptions, I believe that they are less than 1% of the youth that I deal with in volleyball.
On television and in the movies, the young people are many times shown to be in control of the families and the parents are shown to be out of date (this is a topic for another blog entry), however, that is not what I have experienced. Especially on my current team.
Eight out of ten players said they wanted out team to learn to play as a team and not as individuals. The other two wanted to be better at their positions (e.g. improving passing the ball to the setter) which in turn, help the team. Yes, I asked them to put individual goals, which they did, but I was surprised at the consistency at which they put as one of their goals to play as a TEAM.
I’m sure that many of you have seen teams, in a variety of sports, that had great players but they didn’t play as a team (the 2008 version of the Dallas Cowboys comes to mind). Many times the cause of the problem was that many of the players were more concerned about their individual needs, their need to be noticed by others. They were too concerned about making a mistake — not because it would hurt the team, but so they wouldn’t look bad. These players start accusing others for their own mistakes. These types can be divisive and ruin a good team. I am thankful that our team is free of those types of people.
I am so proud of these girls. They have already shown themselves to be mature young women. It is going to be a fantastic season, whether or not we win a tournament, because of the great character of each of these players! Their focus is on what’s best for the whole and not putting their own needs first. This is unselfishness in action. Serving others. Sounds like Luke 6:31.
You can see how I’ve been blessed with a wonderful team.
p.s. Some of the players put that they wanted us to be a loud team. I better wear ear plugs.