A good way for an athlete to find and fuel their fire within is to know their “WHY?”. What is your reason to play the game? Why do you do this all day every day? Once you find this why, you know what you want, why you want it and you are able to invest all of your time into being the player you want to be. When you have a clear and compelling WHY for your work, it becomes easy to adopt a “buy in” mentality. There are countless reasons as to why I play this amazing sport, but I’ll focus just on a few of them.
#1 – Want to Prove People Wrong
When I was in high school, I was probably one of the shortest players on my travel team. A 5’9 outside hitter going up against 6’0 + blockers. So many coaches doubted the fact that I could thrive as a hitter due to my height. At first, I didn’t think that I would be able to play this position either because I was that much smaller than everyone else and college coaches weren’t going to recruit me as an outside hitter. But there was a turning point my junior year in high school where I took all of these doubts and “short” comments and turned them into a challenge. I let them fuel my fire. I wanted to show every coach and every parent and player watching that being shorter than everyone else had no effect on the way that I play with these bigger girls. My favorite quote is, “It’s not about the size of the dog in the fight, it’s about the size of the fight in the dog.” This became my inner mentality. I became hungry to prove people wrong. After not giving up the position that I came to love, I was recruited to be an outside hitter for the Geneseo Volleyball team. That was the most satisfying moment because a coach noticed the way I played despite being the shortest one on in the front row.
#2 – The way the game makes me feel
The second reason as to why I play this sport is because of the way it makes me feel. There is no better feeling than turning around to your teammates, embracing them after a point, cheering, jumping up and down and hitting the floor. It’s like everything else in the world just completely stops for a few seconds, and I am taken over by that moment. That is my happiness. I wish I could live that moment every second of every day. The game also allows me to release stress and helps me forget about other problems or responsibilities I have in my life. Those two plus hours that I am in the gym practicing is like heaven to me. I get to do the thing I love with the people that I love and not have to think about anything else while I am in that gym.
#3 – To play for the people who can’t or for the little girl watching from the sidelines
My third WHY means the most to me. There are so many people that do not get the opportunity to play this sport or any sport for that matter. I play for them. Without volleyball, I have no idea where I would be, so to see people who are incapable of doing things like this fuels my fire. Lastly, I play for the little girl in the stands that wants to grow up and play volleyball. Since I was 11, my little sister Mia was at every one of my games cheering me on from the stands. While playing, I wanted to illustrate to her that this game is life changing. I would love to look over at her smiling ear to ear after certain points. That only made we want to be a better player, knowing that someday she will be doing the same, celebrating similar victories. Now, she has big plans to play division 1 volleyball at Bryant University. Proud of you Mia 🙂 – I’ll always be playing for you and because of you.
I would not be the player I am today without finding my “WHY”. These reasons are my constant reminder to not take a single moment of this game for granted because one day I won’t lace my shoes up and step on the court again. So now I’ll ask you blog readers, what is your why? Whether it be playing a certain sport or just doing everyday things, what fuels your fire within to do the things you love?