During in the past games and even in the first few games in this Tournament, I was still doubting myself. I was not fully into the game. At one point, Coach Susu called me over and told me that it’s not the skills but she thinks that it’s fear. And that’s when it hits me, I’m scared of games. That’s horrifying because I am supposed to be the libero. I’m supposed to be fearless and run to every ball. It needs a rethinking.
I realise what I am good at is putting the coach’s words into action. From that one comment, I told myself, all the past mistakes were from my fear, it’s not from my skills. Coach thinks I got it, so I better give them what I got. Have fun, be competitive just like the way I am in the past. Bring it back! And, I think then I was fully engaging in the games for the last 2 sets against the Canadian school and the whole game with the SAS.
Now, every single time I’m on the court, I told myself these tips: “Don’t look at the servers, focus closely at the ball. Go to the ball, be brave. If it comes to my teammate, step back, and wait in case the ball bounces off them, you gotta take the bounce-away ball. Look at the hitter, and shift accordingly. Watch the ball and anticipate. Calm down during play.”
One thing I realise that I am good at during this game is that I have a really strong mentality. I don’t have that “giving up” spirit. I don’t feel “down” before the game even ends. For example, during the last 5th set against the CIS, the score was only till 15. We were in somewhere in middle. We had a really long rally, and finally CIS got the point. They cheered loudly. In my mind, I was not disappointed, I knew that I just needed to get the next point. However, as soon as I looked at my teammate’s face, man, I realise that I gotta speak up. So, I screamed at the top of my lungs saying that, “Guys, come on, we got this, one point at a time, no time to feel down, we WANT this.”.
And I realised then that everyone was so on the same page. We felt like a team, both on and off the court. We from different countries, different grades, never once played together before, have the same goal, is to win the game. And, come on, volleyball is such a psychological game. With similar skills, it comes down to who wants it more. And we wanted it more and hence we won the champion on that day.
I think this tournament was a gateway to self-realisation to a lot of people. It’s a lesson to many, well definitely me. It’s also a gateway to teamwork. Realising that one person wanting it alone wouldn’t work, it requires 12 people in the team to want it exactly as much as each other in order to win the game.