Discovering that I was nominated the captain of my division both terrified and excited me. I have taken leadership roles in the past, and some specifically during high school volleyball, but I knew this opportunity was vastly different as all the players, as well as the club, would be new. As a result, I knew I had to be integral in building foundation and tradition for this new team and club, which is what I set out to do.
The first thing that I did was to work on building tradition and culture aspects specific to my division and team, a way to bond the players with concepts that were unique to us. From past leadership opportunities I learned how to establish core values that a team could reflect and rely upon. The core values that I set for my team were Energy, Commitment, Fun and Fury.
I knew immediately that I wanted Energy to be the first core value as it directly supported every action that each player made in training and in game. With high mental and physical energy, we could break through any negative point streaks or internal struggles that may have occurred.
This was to be the second core value as I wanted each player to dedicate themselves for the betterment of the team and their skills. By understanding that each player committed themselves, each would know that no matter what occurs, there is another teammate that is committed to playing better.
The third core value, this was also integral as each person derives their own sense of “fun” differently. Some are highly focused on competition and always winning, while others just want to be play a high level of volleyball, be it win or lose and that is their fun. However, this needed to be a core value because at the end of the day, if no one on the team is having fun, for whatever reason, then it is more likely that their attitudes and behaviours may influence others and thus a cascade of negativity ensues. This could ultimately result in the breakdown of the team and members leaving for other clubs, or worse, the sport entirely.
As this is part of the club name, I considered it worked as a value to be intense in any given situation. I do not mean intensity to be overly competitive, but intensity in taking every point as it is the last and doing whatever it takes to secure a point. In this sense, possessing Fury aimed to make sure players do not become complacent and are always striving for better.
My team and I have officially played 7 matches in our league, we have won 3 and lost 4, but I am happy to note that we are steadily improving in our cohesion and skills. However, the constant excuse to our losses is that we are a new team and a club and we should not take this season as seriously, but for someone with a 5 year goal and plan, I cannot accept that. My team is starving to improve and perform at a higher standard, now is the time to discover what it takes to propel us to the next level.