I’m no expert. I don’t claim to know everything about volleyball, or the science behind it. I can’t explain the logistics of what makes our bodies move a certain way, our muscles respond to stimuli from our brain, or our energy levels to peak and trough at the input or deficiency of certain supplements.
But I have been an athlete for as long as I can remember. I know first-hand the soreness in my legs the day after heavy lifting. I know the excitement of finally getting a good connection with my new setter. And how important a well-timed caffeine kick can be.
So maybe I know more than I think.
Without understanding exactly how or why, I have learned what works for me and what doesn’t. Everything from diet, to pregame routine, and recovery strategies. I know how far I can push my body in the weight room in order to balance muscle maintenance and athletic performance on the court.
But even with such experience in the sport, my nature is to shy away from giving advice, or criticism to others. I still feel like I’m learning. I wait for the coach to correct a player with bad form because I don’t want to seem bossy. And I rarely say anything to a teammate after a mistake, for fear that she will correct me later.
But how counterproductive is that?
I read somewhere that knowledge is a rare product, and it often returns bearing gifts.
I have accumulated so much knowledge over the years, from coaches of S&C as well as volley, from scouts, from teammates, even from casual observers of the game. I almost have a duty to share it.
Even if its hard to see, we all know a lot more than we think. We shouldn’t be afraid to give a little constructive criticism to each other. Especially considering, as athletes, how much we are willing to take.
In the end, the exchange of info, the ebb and flow of ideas and knowledge, and also the questioning of ‘facts’ is what keeps the sport (or anything in life) moving forward. Evolving. Volleyball is not the same sport that Karch Kiraly dominated 20 odd years ago. But he is now coaching a national team that is a force to be reckoned with, because he has adapted his knowledge, incorporated his experience, and is now sharing it with his players.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to volleyball. That’s the beauty of it. Finding your own personal blend of productivity. But the further along you get, remember to give a little back. You are never too old to learn, and likewise never too young to teach.
Having said that, I’m looking forward to sharing what I know with you all. Because ultimately, sharing knowledge is not just a part of the sport — its the part responsible for growing, improving and mastering the sport of volleyball.
I’d love to hear your perspective and discuss your views. Share my thoughts and let me know what you think of them by leaving your comments below.