In-Depth, My Journey Through Volleyball #4: Volleyball Is a Team Sport?

Hello and welcome back to my blog! If you remember my previous update on my in-depth project, you’d know that the last few weeks were not very eventful due to Mr. Salisbury, Devon, and I not being able to have any mentoring sessions. But this time around, I come bearing some good news and some bad news.

Progress Report

Cutting straight into my progress in the last two weeks, I am disappointed to say that I have still not been able to have a proper mentoring session with Mr. Salisbury since last month. I will say that these results are in no way the cause of my actions though, as I have been working hard each week contacting Devon, Ms. Anderson, and Mr. Salisbury, trying to work a schedule out. I feel like I’ve been receiving the short end of the stick in terms of this project, but I have been trying my best to adapt to the situations I’ve received. Being entirely in charge of scheduling sessions has proved to be quite stressful, as my proposals have been let down each week due to different reasons. Just two weeks ago, Ms. Anderson has told me that the school gyms have been closed for afterschool activities due to COVID cases rising within our vicinity. It was not until this last week that we had finally confirmed a mentoring session for Wednesday, which was a huge relief for me as I was able to finally play some volleyball under the guidance of Mr. Salisbury. Unfortunately, I was let down once more by both my mentor and partner. On Tuesday evening, one day before our planned mentoring session, Devon had informed me that he wouldn’t be able to make it, which came as a sudden surprise to me. Despite not having a partner though, I was still ready to practice with Mr. Salisbury, only to be informed that he double booked himself that particular Wednesday with a leadership meeting. Feeling bummed out, I decided to play some volleyball by myself at Town Centre Park that day. It got me feeling that volleyball was a solo sport. But I’ve learned that it’s at these crucial moments in life that you need to continue to look forward and stay hopeful, which is exactly what I did.

I didn’t have time to be sad. I still loved the sport of volleyball, and I was eager to learn. So I spent a few days during the past two weeks practicing volleyball with the help of my younger brother at Glen Park to make up for the lost time. Below are some small clips from those practices.





As you can see, I can certainly pass, set, and serve at a decent skill level. I am aware that my spiking needs lots of work, but I am hoping that my practice will pay off by the end. During our next mentoring session, which can hopefully be this Wednesday, I am looking to receive some feedback from Mr. Salisbury regarding these clips. (and if you’re here reading this, please feel free to let me know in the comments Mr. Salisbury!)

How to Have a Beautiful Mind

Post #4 relates to De Bono’s concepts of being a good listener and asking questions. Although Mr. Salisbury and I have not had a proper mentoring session since the last update, I will try my best to connect the concepts from De Bono’s “How to Have a Beautiful Mind” with the interactions I have had both recently and from previous sessions.

When learning under a mentor, listening is the most important way for you to gain the knowledge and skills that you want, as you digest your mentor’s ideas, information, facts, insight, and discoveries. Being a good listener is what sets off the first interactions with your mentor, as it allows the mentor to know that you are genuinely interested in what they are saying. When it comes to the skill of volleyball, our sessions are more heavily reliant on physical actions rather than verbal conversations. In the mentoring sessions that we’ve had so far, Mr. Salisbury has given me insight into my form and my overall plays during a match, and I have been taking in his advice and applying it immediately.

But in addition to listening, asking questions is also a good way to grow a connection with your mentor as you generate more back and forth interaction with your mentor. By asking questions, I am able to clarify Mr. Salisbury’s points and poke at his knowledge even further to gain further insight into what I am learning and why it is so effective. An example of clarifying one of Mr. Salisbury’s teachings was when we were practicing spiking a ball when the setting is in the back row. Mr. Salisbury had told me to position my left leg in front of me when getting ready to spike, as it aligns my body with the setter. I was normally used to having my right leg in front of me, so I made sure to ask him how and why I should be positioned like this. Questions such as these are the reason I am learning with my mentor rather than simply through the internet, and I find lots of value in these interactions.

Although there have been some ups and downs when it comes to my in-depth project, I can still see myself growing from these experiences.

I’ll see you next time (hopefully with a mentoring session to report on!),

Gyu Min

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