…Many kids today don’t understand that volleyball is a we game – not a me game. They play for the scorebook, not the scoreboard. They play for the name on the back of their jersey instead of the name on the front. ‘
There are 3 symptoms of the ‘disease of me’ – each of which severely stagnates a player’s growth and development. I have seen each of these symptoms from players of every age and every level:
1. Too cool
2. Too good
3. Too shy
This symptom is rampant… in fact it is a borderline epidemic. Players are too cool to listen when a coach is talking, too cool to show enthusiasm during drills, too cool to warm-up properly, too cool to get on the floor for a dig, and too cool to let the people around them know that they don’t understand something or need some help. Players are often more concerned with ‘how they look’ then ‘how they perform.’ To paraphrase Woody Harrelson in White Men Can’t Jump – players that are too cool would ‘rather look good and lose than look bad and win.’
This symptom is tricky… because it is actually an illusion. The players who think they are too good – actually aren’t! They aren’t anywhere close to being good enough, much less too good! They are so hypnotized by their ranking, or brainwashed by their entourage, that they won’t admit they have
areas of their game that need improvement. They are too good to work on a position they don’t typically play, too good to work on their footwork, or too good to work on their ball control.
Who needs to be able to do those things when you can serve perfectly in a game or have 10 digs or 10 kills? Players that are too good are often more worried about making their own play perfect, not what would make the team’s play perfect. Actually, they are usually the ones that are wondering how THEY can make the point, not the team. They never bother with making those around them better. If a teammate can’t hold their own on the court… that is their problem.
The Disease of Me (continued)
This symptom is complicated as well. I don’t know if I would go as far as to say that being too shy is selfish per se; but being shy does stunt improvement. You have to be assertive if you want to get better! You can’t be too shy to ask questions. You can’t be too shy to reach out and ask for help from your coach. You can’t be too shy to verbally communicate on offense and defense. You can’t be too shy to make a mistake. Most kids aren’t shy when it comes to texting, Twitter, and Facebook… but they quickly go into a shell when expected to speak face to face.
If you are trying to be the best player you can be… to maximize your potential and play at the highest level possible… you can’t be too cool, too good, or too shy. You need to find a cure for the ‘disease of me.’