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It's a Game!

posted Feb 1, 2015, 11:55 PM by Debbie Sokol   [ updated Feb 5, 2015, 8:24 AM by David Hawes ]
Far more than the winning and losing are the lessons learned in process of tournament play. The sport of volleyball is unique in its core cooperative nature and its strength in building character. The ability to cooperate is far more important to human survival than the ability to compete. Success is a journey, not a destination. Winning and losing are temporary, but friendships last forever, is a Chinese proverb of great truth.
  • Rule 1 - Keep Positive support, encouragement, cheerleading and general hollering and yelling to a maximum on the sidelines. When players are working hard, they need and deserve everyone's POSITIVE encouragement and support. They need to know you are there. They DO NOT need to hear YOUR anxiety piled on top of their own when the game is going poorly

  • Rule 2 - Just one word on criticizing players, coaches or referees: DON'T. Publicly criticizing players on your team can really hurt morale. They will already have an excellent idea, from all the practicing they have already done, as to their errors. They do NOT need reminders from their families, friends and other spectators. Criticism is simply poor sportsmanship and leads to unnecessary bad feelings on and off the playing area

  • Rule 3 - Leave the coaching to the staff. This is a game for the players. Coaches are already there on the bench to guide the players. In the stress of the game, there needs to be just one source of feedback, that from the coach. A parent can help a player's development much better working with the coaches, not independently

  • Rule 4 - Set an example in your actions and words. Do not break the rules of the tournament, by sneaking in, leaving a mess, smoking, or drinking where/what is not permitted. Players on the court can be removed from the game for foul language, and spectators can too. Degrading actions and words are the bane of sports character development. Leave the gym better than you found it, physically and verbally by being a great role model

  • Rule 5 - Remember, it is a game; therefore it is supposed to be fun. Please remember, YOUR attitude in the spectating area can affect the mood and success of the team. Any spectator who persists in inappropriate behavior may be asked to leave the gym. Emotions run high in competition, and feelings are easily hurt. Be tolerant. The place to talk about the game with the coaches is not in the gym, and not around the players. The idea is to help each player, regardless of age or skill, develop their own selves to be more…getting better every day, for this process of learning and self-improvement in each child is a journey, not a destination. from John Kessel, USAV Director of Sport Devel