Tuesday, 28 May 2024

The Brighter Side of Volleyball

Maintaining a positive attitude in life is often emphasized by experts, but putting it into practice can be challenging. As a volleyball player and coach, I have had to find the bright side in tough losses many times throughout my career. Most recently, our U.S. Women’s National Team fell short at the FIVB World Grand Prix. It was disappointing for all of us, but dwelling on the defeat would serve no purpose. Instead, we bounced back, evaluated our performance, and embraced an optimistic attitude as we prepared for the upcoming FIVB World Championship in Italy.

Competing frequently in practice and exposing ourselves to high-level play has helped us develop the ability to stay positive in challenging situations. We incorporate a competitive element into our scrimmages and drills to simulate the pressure of real matches. Additionally, preparation plays a crucial role in maintaining a positive mindset. Just like a military unit carefully plans its operations, we create a detailed game plan and identify potential obstacles, developing contingency plans in case things don’t go as expected.

Sometimes, we face a poor start in a match, falling behind by a significant margin. Anticipating this scenario ahead of time allows us to handle it better. We encourage our players to regroup, communicate with each other, and remind themselves that they are a team capable of overcoming adversity together.

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It is important to note that staying positive in volleyball is nothing compared to facing serious life events. Viktor Frankl’s book, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” offers valuable insights into maintaining a positive outlook even in the face of extreme adversity. Frankl, a survivor of Auschwitz, emphasizes that while we cannot control what happens to us, we can control our reaction to it. Applying this mindset in any aspect of life, including sports, can lead to greater happiness, productivity, and achievement.

Volleyball, of course, cannot be compared to war. However, the lesson of staying positive and rising above challenges is universal. By making the best of every situation and working together as a team, we can achieve remarkable feats on and off the court.


Q: How important is a positive attitude in volleyball?

A: A positive attitude is essential in volleyball as it helps players and teams rebound from tough losses, evaluate their performance, and move forward with optimism. It also enables them to handle pressure and maintain composure during matches.

Q: How can players develop the ability to stay positive?

A: Players can develop the ability to stay positive by frequently competing in practice, simulating high-level play, and experiencing the ups and downs of challenging opponents. Incorporating a competitive element into scrimmages and drills helps them become comfortable with the pressure of real matches.

Q: Is preparation crucial for maintaining a positive mindset in volleyball?

A: Yes, preparation plays a significant role in staying positive. Just like a military unit plans its operations, volleyball teams create detailed game plans and anticipate potential obstacles, developing contingency plans. This approach allows players to be better equipped to handle unexpected challenges during matches.

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Maintaining a positive attitude in volleyball is crucial for players and teams to overcome tough losses, handle pressure, and achieve success. It involves bouncing back from defeats, evaluating performance, and embracing an optimistic mindset. Competing frequently in practice and incorporating a competitive element into drills helps players develop the ability to stay positive in challenging situations. Additionally, thorough preparation, similar to military planning, enables teams to anticipate obstacles and develop contingency plans. Applying the lessons from Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning,” players learn to control their reactions to adversity and make the best of any situation. By working together and rising above challenges, volleyball teams can achieve remarkable feats both on and off the court. Visit our website to dig deeper into volleyball strategies and techniques.