A Message by: Melanie Malseed
Excellence is defined as the quality of being outstanding or extremely good. Although every athlete knows they simply cannot be perfect, there is no reason for us not to strive to get as close to it as possible. With wins and losses put aside, the volleyball team strives to excel academically. We work hard in the classroom and keep our grades up in order to stay eligible to play. We set the standards high by setting a team goal GPA each semester that we all work hard to accomplish. Also, we define excellence by supporting one another on and off the court. We strive for excellence by doing the little things that our coaches always tell us to do so that we can each improve and make our team stronger as a whole.
Excellence on our team looks like staying after practice to get extra reps in, diving for a ball instead of letting it drop in front of you, staying in shape in the off-season, taking the smart swing on a ball instead of crushing it, bettering the ball and setting our teammates up for success.
My team builds a culture of excellence by setting goals each season. These goals consist of personal goals that can make each of us better, and team goals that we wish to accomplish throughout the season. Our coach has always reiterated how vital conditioning is aside from just volleyball skills. Each summer we are given a workout packet to better ourselves and prepare our bodies for the season. Players on the team send in pictures after our workouts to show the dedication they are putting in during our off time. Talent can only go so far, but there is no reason for us not to outwork our competition every day on the court or in the weight room. During preseason we have classroom sessions where we set goals and agree on what we want to get out of this season. One of the quotes we chose for this season is “Pain is temporary, Greatness is forever”. Between all of our fitness testing and conditioning throughout preseason that left each and every one of us sore, we never slacked off because we knew as a team that it would all be worth it when we are tired in game 5 of the championship and need to push hard for the win.
One example that I experienced as a Neumann Volleyball player that exemplified excellence was last season’s game against St. Johns. This game was point for point and lasted all five sets. In the final set we never let the fear of losing stop us from being aggressive; at times like this it is easy to tip the ball over because you’re scared of swinging away and making a mistake. However, we continued to play our game, be relentless, and trust one another on the court. By doing this we came out with a victory, and after this game I never felt I had been on a team that pushed so hard for something we wanted so badly.
“Start unknown, finish unforgettable” was another one of our quotes we chose. We agree as a team that it isn’t about where you start, but how well you execute and finish. We can practice all we want but when it comes to game time we have to execute correctly. We strive to be the team that nobody will forget and everyone has to come watch.