Embrace the Process

Our Relentless teams now heading into competition for the first time.  We will have some success and we will have some struggles.  We may get a tournament win but it is also likely that we may not. And, I am okay with that. I am okay that we will not win every tournament, every match nor every set.  Please don’t get me wrong. We are all about winning. I want our teams to win, I want our teams to compete relentlessly for every point. We strive every day to achieve success. We demand winning effort in the gym every day. However, there is nothing magical about putting on a club jersey that makes a player different or better than the player that she was two months ago. At the start of tournament play, we will have had about the same amount of time in the gym (or less) that a typical high school team has in its first week or so of preseason two-a-days. Winning does not just happen because you want it to happen or paid for it to happen. Winning takes hard work and sustained, dedicated and disciplined effort. I want our players, coaches and parents to Embrace the Process.

To me the process of winning is more important than the immediate results.  I want us to see the big picture.  There are teams that have been practicing since December and will have already competed before we step on the court for the first time. So, we should expect that they will have an advantage. I am okay with that.  We have made a conscious decision that we start our full club season in January. This allows our athletes time to rest both mentally and physically from their 3-4 month every day of the week Fall season. It also allows them (and our coaches!) the time to enjoy the holiday season with their families without the added stress of weekly practices - family matters. In the big picture, to me that is more important than winning an extra match or two or finishing higher in our first events of the season.  Embrace the process. 

We have a lot of young or relatively inexperienced athletes. Even for many of our older players some of the concepts that we are teaching are new or being taught in a different way. Many are playing club volleyball for the first time. We do have some teams that I expect will have a high degree of success in competition. However, we are not in the business of merely assembling highly polished players for a medal collection tour. We are in the player development business. Player development takes time. When a player joins a team it does not mean that she has "arrived". She has truly just begun the next step in her journey (the same goes for her teammates!).  As our players grasp the concepts that they need to learn right now, we will move them forward.  We will go as fast as we can but as slow as we have to - it is a process. In the process, failure will follow on the heels of success and unexpected success will blossom seemingly out of nowhere!  Progress comes in increments, it also comes in fits and starts and dips and leaps. Progress comes from sustained effort regardless of the immediate results.  Progress comes from the grind and then the “ah ha” moment where it all just makes sense, it just works and you suddenly “get it”.  Embrace the process.

Let’s keep our focus on where we are going not just where we are today. To truly get where we want to go, we need to engage today.  If we do the right things in the right way today, we will be better in March and in April.  Let’s push forward through the ups and the downs.  We can’t wait for April to arrive and just expect to be better. Better in April comes from what you do today.  Are you struggling today? That’s okay.  That struggle will build strength and resilience.  Work hard, learn today’s lessons today.  Play the game because you enjoy it today.  If you do what is required today, you will see your April success but it is a process.  EMBRACE THE PROCESS!


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