Sorry for my absenteeism from the blog. I’ve been sick. I’ve been busy. I’ve been dealing with drama. Not the kind on TV. The kind in real life.
To back up a minute, this year hasn’t been my best. I came down with Bell’s Palsy at the end of April, broke one of my toes in July, then broke my nose earlier this week. While all of the above is inconvenient and annoying (though far from life threatening), what’s made it more difficult is that I play volleyball on a weekly basis. I’ve missed a lot of weeks this summer due to my afflictions. I’m the captain of the team, so that’s been doubly hard on me. I decided that I wasn’t going to miss any more volleyball, though, because of my squished nose. After last night, I’m not sure if that was a good decision or not.
So, this is how our game started off… we lost 15 straight points in a row. In the almost 40 years that I’ve been playing the game, that’s never happened to me before. It was a disaster. People kept making mistakes, then getting frustrated, then yelling a little, then making more mistakes, then yelling a little more, and on and on the cycle went.
Thankfully, we finally scored a point or two, so we weren’t skunked, but needless to say, we were all angry and frustrated by the end of the game. Things didn’t get much better for the final two games of the three-game match.
What’s kept my stomach in knots for the past two days has been that I’m afraid two people who started playing with us this year will quit. Not quit at the end of the season, but quit right now.
A couple of our players can be so competitive that it takes the fun out of the game. They give people unwanted advice, run all over the court trying to play everyone’s position, and generally make things worse. I consider myself pretty competitive, too, but I’ve learned to temper myself when things get bad. I’m embarrassed to say that by the end of the match, things were so bad that I lost my cool, too.
So, this morning, I get an email from one of the two players that I’m worried about and she said that she almost walked off the court after the first game. While she stuck around until the end of the match, she ended up leaving the venue in tears. I’ve gotten previous complaints from the other player and when I didn’t hear from him today, I knew that he was upset beyond words. Hence, my worry about him quitting, too.
Instead of doing the things I wanted to today, I’ve spent my day sending emails to everyone on the team trying to figure out how we can get along better on the court. I don’t know if anything will come of it, but I had to try. Sports should be fun, not stressful or frustrating. I definitely don’t want people walking off the court in tears!
I love volleyball with all my heart. The only thing I’ve been doing longer than volleyball is knitting. It’s almost like the two activities are a part of my soul, if that makes any sense. So, to see my team fall apart before my eyes is devastating. It’s even more frustrating that I don’t know what to do. I feel like I’m grasping at straws trying to hold us all together.
I’ve seen teams disband over personality conflicts like this. I’ve even been a part of one myself that fell apart. I used to be on two teams, now I’m only on this one. Once a team disbands, it’s difficult to find another team to play on since teams usually stick together for decades. It may be unfounded, but I’m afraid if this team falls apart, I may never play volleyball again as not many people want to bring on a 50+ year old player. I may be old, but I’m still a pretty good player and I’m not ready to quit the game. When I do decide to quit the game, I want it to be on my own terms, and not having it forced upon me, you know?
Thanks for listening to my fears and whining. You always have to have hope that things will work out okay or for the best. I’m just not sure that it will this time.