Why playing school and club volleyball was critical for my daughter’s success in college.
Those long trips in the car, long sits on not-so-comfortable bleachers. Endless days on my feet with the din of refs’ whistles in my ear, 80 courts strong. Looking back, I had to ask myself “In what way did playing club volleyball pay off for my daughter? What benefits has she seen from her experience?” Simple. She learned a small little concept called “time management.”
Where we live, we had to drive 1-1.5 hours each way to practice two to three days a week as well as 1.5 hours each way to volleyball tournaments on the weekends. These long “road trips” forced her to plan ahead on homework and studying! She knew based on tournaments that your team’s performance and schedule are only every one thing: predictably unpredictable. You never really know what is going to happen with your team – are they going to lose quickly on Sunday or play their hearts out? We never knew how the team would play. Will each match go to three games and then we end up as the last match of the day on Sundays? Then whether you win or lose those games, that meant we would not get home until 8 pm or later?
Flash forward to the present.
Now that she is in college, and playing ball for her school, we see this crazy schedule paying off. We call and find out she is working on a paper that is not due for two weeks. She is studying for tests more than a week away. She is staying up late now so that she can rest closer to exam dates. She actually kicked us out early from our visit last week because she had to study for a chemistry quiz….even after we offered to take her to lunch and shopping. Procrastination has no hold on this girl! And while this may seem like a simple inconsequential thing, she is ON TOP of her laundry. And while this could be the single most beneficial chore we EVER made her do in high school, her roommate is probably the most grateful out of everyone. Just imagine it: Her laundry hamper overflowing out of her closet with the stench that comes with sweaty volleyball practice clothes. Yeah, no thank you.
Anyway, at the end of the day, while the cost of time and money to play club ball was exceedingly high, the outcome and life experience was EXCEEDINGLY GREATER! We hope the outcome of great grades in college and acceptance to grad school is a shoe-in.
In addition to time management, we’ve also noticed her ability to get along with others. To come right out and say it: The personalities of the girls and moms you come across in the volleyball world is sometimes excessive and all of that drama can be exhausting, at the very least. Thankfully, her experience with club volleyball helped expose her to all of that. What we see with her over the years has grown into the uncanny ability to get along with everyone her path crosses and learn how to roll with over the top personalities, character traits, and habits without letting it get under her skin and cause unnecessary, inconsequential distractions.
So, was club ball worth it? Absolutely. Club ball paid off, but in ways we didn’t expect. Her path to college and college ball included scholarships, but the life skills of time management and managing relationships will serve her well far into her future.