A Newsletter for the Wootton High School Boys Volleyball Community


Eight Matches and Seven Habits

Patriots win on road against Blair Blazers 25-17, 25-9, 25-15.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

It was Senior Night at Blair and, ironically, no seniors were on Blair's boys volleyball team. So, after Blair's coed seniors were honored, and the coed teams played (a 3-0 Wootton win), the boys took the court to take measure of their progress as teams.

Eight matches into the season provides some perspective on team dynamics and sheds light on the kind of learning opportunities that athletics offers to high school students...and coaches and parents.

Just recently, a wise friend of mine (and successful D1 collegiate volleyball coach) shared the article The 7 Secret Habits of Navy Seals, written by former Navy SEAL combat veteran Brent Gleeson.  What does it mean to be a productive member of a volleyball team? No matter a player's skill level or amount of time spent on the court, on the bench, or outside the gym, there is value to be offered and gained. Here is what Gleeson has to say:

Be loyal.  Loyalty to the team starts at the top. If it's lacking at the senior executive level, how can anyone else in the organization embrace it? Loyalty is about leading by example, providing your team unconditional support, and never throwing a team member under the bus.

Put others before yourself. Get up every day and ask yourself what you will do to add value to your team, such as simply offering your assistance with a project. The challenge is overcoming the fear that your team member might say: "Yes, I really need your help with this project…tonight."

Be reflective. Reflective people often spend too much time analyzing their actions. But imagine if you could harness this talent into something highly valuable? Reflecting on your mistakes, ensures you never repeat them.

Be obsessively organized. Some people innately have this ability, often to a fault, and some have to work at it a bit more. You have to find a process that works for you. Whatever your system is, make it work for you.

Assume you don't know enough. Because you don't. Any effective team member understands that training is never complete. It's true in any elite team. Those who assume they know everything are not good for the team. Those who spend time inside and outside of the workplace developing their knowledge and skills will provide the momentum for their team's forward progress.

Be detail-oriented. Attention to detail is an individual and a team value. Do we get it right all the time? Of course not. Imagine, though, if all members of a team are obsessed with detail in their delivery? Don't ask yourself what you are going to do today to be successful; ask how you are going to do it.

Never get comfortable. Always push yourself outside of your comfort zone. If you do this continually with every task you take on, that boundary will continue to widen. This process will ensure that you are continually maximizing your potential, which will positively impact your team.

Gleeson notes, "I've gotten these habits right, and I've gotten them wrong. But those mistakes of yesterday have forged me into a better leader and team member today. If you want to be part of an elite team and are going to shed old habits, make sure to keep these!"

Wootton's ninth match of the season will be at home on Thursday, April 10 against Sherwood. It will be Senior Night for four great teammates: Cary Chin, David Li, Paul Malinauskas and Benjamin Wang.

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