Being On A Team Changes You For The Better

Being On A Team Changes You For The Better

Growing up, being a part of a team was more than just something that kept me busy
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Being on a team means more than doing what you love.

Growing up, I was lucky enough to be a part of a team starting at a young age. Although I probably didn't realize it at the time, being on a youth soccer team at the age of four was just the beginning of discovering what the role of a "teammate" really meant. Through elementary school, I played soccer competitively, danced, and began cheerleading as well. At the time, I looked at these after-school activities as something that took my mind off school work, and of course that was fun for me. As I began to mature, I realized that not only was I doing something that I loved, but I was also with people who shared the passion with me.

Once high school came along, it didn't take long for me to adapt to the change of scenery. Joining a Varsity cheerleading team as a freshman seemed terrifying and I was not sure what I would be getting myself into. I did not realize the amazing friendships that would be made along the way.

Until high school, I attended a small Catholic elementary school. When I moved on to a public high school, I was introduced to different cultures, personalities, attitudes, etc. and meeting new people who had different interests than me outside of cheerleading was an eye-opener. It made me realize that being part of a team brings so many different types of people together to do what they love. Going into high school, I never would have expected to be friends with people who has such different interests as me.

This aspect influenced me not only in the gym but in the classroom as well. Because I came from such a small middle school, I was nervous to meet new people. Being a part of a team brought me out of my shell and helped me become more outgoing, especially when meeting the friends of my teammates I didn't share the love of cheerleading with.

So, being a part of this team didn't just introduce me to the girls who I was on a team with.

On top of meeting people with various interests, being on a team also taught me many things about myself. Being on a competitive cheerleading team, you tend to focus more on your team as a whole, rather than one at a time or just yourself for that matter. As our team got stronger, I noticed that when members of the team began to succeed or master new skills, it brought a sense of joy not only to them, but to myself as well. There was such a sense of accomplishment as a team when just one member or one group would succeed. This is something that could be taken out off the mat and brought into everyday life, whether it be in the classroom, at home, or the work place.

These aspects of being on a team taught me a lot about everyday life. Being on a team, especially in high school is important because it gives you a sense of diversity. The things that I learned from those on my team shaped me into the outgoing, loving person that I am today. Being a part of a team also caused me to aspire to work well with others and be a constant advocate of positivity, something that I believe is needed in everyday life. There will always be hard times, but with a strong support base, there will always be success in the end.

Without being a part of a team, I would not have realized these things. I am forever grateful for my teammates who helped shape who I am today.

Cover Image Credit: Jillian Recko

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7 Things That Annoy Volleyball Players More Than Anything

How to get under a volleyball player's skin in two seconds.
Sam
Sam
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I'm not sure why but volleyball players are a very particular group of people — we like what we like and we HATE what we don't, especially when it is volleyball-related. If you're a volleyball player, I'm sure you can relate to this list and if you're not a volleyball player, now you know exactly how you will be able to get under our skin.

1. Girls who wear spandex in public

Don’t get me wrong, we wear spandex for a living. We understand WHY people wear them to workout. But wearing them to the dining hall, class or anywhere that isn’t the gym… please don’t. Put on some shorts or leggings — PLEASE.

2. The “I’ll beat you in volleyball” line

For some odd reason when someone who likes you finds out that you play volleyball, they say this. I’m not sure why, but its really annoying that people think they’re better than you (a collegiate athlete) at the sport you’ve been playing your whole life.

3. When guys mention that they only come to your games because you wear spandex

You’re right, why would any appreciate our athletic ability when you can simply appreciate our butts.

4. Freshman who don’t think they have to do their Freshman duties

PSA: Every single school has freshman duties; YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY FRESHMAN WHO HAVE TO DO THEM. Everyone has done them when they were a freshman. Stop complaining, do your duties, and play volleyball because after your freshman season you’ll never have to do it again.

5. When people try to tell you that volleyball isn’t hard

Why don’t you jump for three hours straight and throw your body on the ground hundreds of times and tell me how easy it is.

6. The word "spike"

I honestly feel bad about hating this so much but nothing nothing NOTHING annoys us more than when someone uses the work "spike". For some reason this word went out of style a longgggg time ago and nobody got the memo except the people in the volleyball world. Instead of telling your friend that they had a good spike, tell them that they had a great "hit." HIT = SPIKE.

7. Balls that aren't perfectly blown up

Volleyball players are hands down the most high maintenance group of people when it comes to our sport. I will go through an entire ball cart to find the best ball possible... if the ball is flat, no matter what contact you make it is going to be bad. If the ball is too hard, no matter what contact you make it is going to be bad.

Cover Image Credit: Sam
Sam
Sam

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what the Japanese did after they Lost The soccer game Means A Lot For People Like Me

What the Japanese did after their loss at the Fifa World Cup means a lot for people like me.

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The Fifa World Cup took the world by storm with a variety of unexpected twists and turns along the way for many of the matches. But one of the things that surprised me the most was the Japanese soccer team and how far they ended up going. My family and I along with all the other local Japanese people were supporting the entire time.

The last game they had against Belgium was extremely intense. I was watching with my Japanese co-workers while at work and we were cheering-- a lot. The Japanese soccer team was able to get two goals before the end of the first half and a lot of people were pretty optimistic about the outcome for the Japanese team. Then the second half started and the Belgians were pretty quick to catch up. We watched with a great deal of hope that the Japanese could pull it off until the end of the game, but the Belgians scored another goal in the last 20 seconds of the entire game.

Everyone was pretty devastated.

As I watched the Japanese soccer players fall to their knees crying and the coach unable to speak in an interview after the game, I only felt admiration and empathy for their hard-work and their loss. They gave it their all and they weren't able to win, but along with the Japanese spectators (who were shown to be very supportive to the team in interviews after the game), the players accepted their loss and many of them were optimistic for the future of the team. I was extremely proud to be a Japanese at that moment. But after the game was also a surprise.

After this game, American media and the rest of the world gathered attention to how the Japanese took to cleaning the entire stadium despite their loss. When I first saw the headline complimenting the team, and the picture of Japanese people cleaning the stadium, I was extremely proud. The Japanese have been doing this act for a while, but this year they received a great deal of attention for it. Many took videos and pictures after the game of Japanese picking up trash in the aisles of the stadium.

The Japanese keeping a public space clean is a natural kind of knack and I never questioned why or how: it just was. But many parts of the world looked at what the Japanese did, and are learning from what they did after the game, and a few are looking to implement that into their school system like in the Japanese school system. At that moment, I was extremely proud to be part Japanese.

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