Are you open to trying new experiences? More specifically sports? If so, you should try volleyball. I’m really passionate about volleyball and I hope my experience makes you want to try it. I started playing volleyball when I was in 4th grade. I already knew the basics because I would always play volleyball with my cousins. Our volleyball team was big and it was co-ed. We didn’t really take volleyball seriously and our coach really didn’t mind. I didn’t have a volleyball season in 5th and 6th grade because of Covid.
In 7th grade we started playing again but we had to start over. We got a new coach, most of my teammates were new so they had no experience with volleyball, we had joined a new league, and we started taking it seriously. We had to start from the basics, so we were losing all of our games and we were behind. Although this is true, I think we improved quickly. That same year I learned how to overhand serve and how to hit. At the end of the season I was chosen to be an all-star, but I got replaced by an 8th grader because only 8th graders could go to the all-star game. The following year in 8th grade I became the team captain and this motivated me to try even harder not just for me, but for my team too. My 8th grade volleyball season was going great, although we lost most of our games, we were still trying our best and giving our all. A few games before the end of my season, I injured my thumb and the doctor told me I couldn’t play for the rest of the season. I was really upset and I cried so much. The first game I didn’t play after I injured my thumb was really hard to watch knowing that I could’ve been on the court helping my team. I know I wasn’t supposed to play for the rest of my season, but I couldn’t help but feel like my team needed their captain. It was my last volleyball home game or my last game in my school’s gym. It was 8th grade night and I decided I was going to play. We won the first set, and in the second set we lost. Although we lost the second set we didn’t get discouraged because we knew we could win. We won the third set and we ended up winning the game. We were all really happy and we started crying. I was emotional because we had come so far and we had improved so much in such a short period of time. I was really proud of my team and myself. Playing volleyball taught me so many things.
I learned that you don’t have to be good at a sport to play it. You could be the best on your team or you can be the person with the least experience. It doesn’t matter as long as you love the sport. Volleyball also taught me how to be a better leader on and off the court. It helped me be a leader on the court because I was able to listen to my teammates suggestions and their concerns they might’ve not wanted to tell the coach. It helped me be a better leader off the court because I gained a lot of patience and I’m able to take charge when nobody else wants to take that role.
A lot of people may say that volleyball is boring, but I disagree not because it’s my favorite sport but because there’s a lot more to volleyball than just trying to keep the ball from touching the floor. You have to have a fast reaction time, you have to know how much power to put, and more. I think that volleyball is a great sport to play especially if you’ve never played a sport before because it’s not as tiring as other sports, but it’s still challenging. I really think that if you try it you will love it just as much as I do.
Valeria Santoyo – Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart – DMSF Class of 2027