In-Depth, My Journey Through Volleyball #2: Things Are Really “Working Out”

Okay, before I go on, I need to address the elephant in the room: I’m sorry to anyone who fell for my amazing editing tricks, but the man on the cover of my blog post is not me. It’s actually the body of some buff volleyball player that I stuck my face onto. But with this new progress report here at the end of January, that body may not be a fantasy…

In the last month since my first blog post, Devon and I have been able to borrow half the school gym to have mentoring sessions once a week with Mr. Salisbury! We’ve had three sessions so far, with two running from 2:30-4:30 pm and one cutting a little short until 4:00 pm due to our mentor’s schedule. These sessions have involved lots of repetitive skill practice with immediate feedback from our mentor, Mr. Salisbury. Skills including serving, spiking, passing, and setting were all worked on during these last three weeks, with some notable progress being made. Devon and I were also able to get a few of our teammates from the juniors volleyball team to join us in these sessions to make practice a little more social and engaging. This also allowed us to run more drills and even play a few smaller games. I think my serve has improved the most since the volleyball season has ended, but I am also getting much more comfortable with my spike as well. The thrill of volleyball is still very much inside me, and that feeling of hitting a good spike or receiving a hard ball is one that can’t be replicated anywhere else for me. In our first practice, Devon and I were able to measure our vertical jump too, giving us a starting benchmark for how high we could jump. Both of us are hoping to have our vertical increase, so it was exciting to measure the extent of our jump before the rest of the project continues.

Below is a video of Devon and me measuring our vertical jumps. I was able to jump a maximum of 23 centimeters, but I know I have plenty of room to spare for more. Because I’m usually not the tallest player on the court, I’ve got to make it up with my jumps and my overall speed, which I am working to improve.

But on top of these mentoring sessions, Devon and I have also been working hard at home. I mentioned at the beginning that the cover image of this post might not be a complete fantasy for me. That’s because Devon and I have been following a home workout through the month of January! To work on our stamina and to stay fit in general, I have been following a youtube workout program that Devon suggested from a YouTuber known as BullyJuice! I’ve gotten familiar with his workouts at this point, and it’s been nice to find a routine of working out daily (or at least daily most of the time!). Below is the link to his channel, which I recommend to anyone who’s interested in any form of home workout:

How to have a beautiful mind

The first three habits in Edward de Bono’s book, “How to Have a Beautiful Mind” talks about how to agree, disagree, and differ as a mentee. Going into a new skill and under the wing of a mentor is sometimes intimidating, but it is important to know that the more connections you make and the conversations you have will lead to a more fruitful experience between you and your mentor. Agreeing with Mr. Salisbury has not been a problem at all. I’ve tried to be as open as possible with hearing the tips he has to give me, and I find them genuinely helpful as I continue to improve my craft. An example would be when Mr. Salisbury was telling me that my arm wasn’t fully extended while I served, so I listened to his tips and was able to apply what I learned instantaneously. Having mutual respect with each other is important when both Mr. Salisbury and I are hopefully trying to learn out of this mentoring experience. Similarly, disagreeing is still another form of making a connection. Reasons to disagree include errors in logic, limited interpretation of data, and selective perception. Although I have not had any disagreements with Mr. Salisbury so far, I know how important it is to gain a better sense of his perspective when making any remark. Finally, having a difference in opinion between the mentor and mentee is alright, as acknowledging these differences allow for a stronger sense of connection. Mr. Salisbury and I have obviously have our differences but, sharing the same goal of volleyball has allowed us to bond.

Overall, I am still more than excited to continue with volleyball, and I hope to make even more improvements!

See you next time. Gyu Min

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