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I Overcame Self Doubt

Joined: 5/1/2011
Posts: 2
“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” - A Cinderella Story

This school year, I tried out for my school’s volleyball team. As a freshman, I didn’t expect anything and just tried my best, hoping it would get me somewhere. It did. I made it into the school’s Varsity volleyball team and while I was surprised, I was also proud and savored the moment. I had been on cloud nine, but I finally realized the commitment and drive I’d need during the first week of training.

Drills were tough, weekly fitness sessions excruciating, and my body ached at the end of each day. I knew I would have to train hard to assert myself on the team, but I wasn’t sure I could. What’s worse, I was surrounded only by upperclassmen. The mere fact made me feel inferior and intimidated, and I started to dread going to training. I was benched the first few matches we played, and my disappointment grew each time. My teammates were nice to me, but because I’m naturally shy, I put up a wall and would awkwardly sit alone during bus rides. I just felt like I wasn’t worthy and didn’t belong. I doubted my abilities, I doubted my love for the sport, and I doubted myself.

The truth is, I was afraid. I was afraid I wasn’t good enough. Even though I’d made the team, I started thinking that the coaches had made the wrong decision choosing me. I played without confidence for fear of messing up or causing my team to lose a point, and spoke rarely for fear of saying the wrong things. One day during training, my coach told me that she noticed I was very timid on the court. I remember her telling me to want to play and to do so confidently. She told me to focus on the next point and to forget the mistakes I make; to be willing to take risks and to sacrifice for the team; but most importantly, to know that I was never alone. Because volleyball is a team sport, communication and trust is necessary. I never forgot her words and used them to motivate myself.

My walls broke down that day, and I made incredible friends as our team grew closer together. Right before our last match our team captain said to us, “I believe in you, our coaches believe in you, your teammates believe in you, and all you need is to believe in yourselves.” At that point I realized that through this opportunity I was able to learn from others, gain experiences, and forge friendships. My coaches chose me for a reason, and I knew my teammates would be behind me every step of the way. I wasn’t worried about disappointing others anymore, nor was I worried about disappointing myself. Needless to say, I took our captain’s advice and I played those last few matches with confidence, with determination, with heart.
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