Self-evaluation Essential to Steadily Getting Better

NSR volleyball prospect, Alisha Searinggen, knows that every drill can make her better if she works hard.

Suiting up and preparing for practice is not the most appealing thing to do for most high school athletes.  It’s work and there are no accolades to be had at the end of the sweating and toiling part of sports.  But, a coach putting you through a series of repetitive drills is where an your skills are honed, day after day after day. 

When you go into practice with a nonchalant attitude, improving is unlikely.  But, with a good frame of mind, dramatic advancements can occur, even in one session of no more than three reps.  It’s what’s between your ears that counts and the athletes which realize this gain confidence and a competitive advantage not only in games, matches or meets, but when compared to other athletes when college coaches are conducting their evaluations of potential recruits.

You hear it every day, don’t you?  “Let’s get better today!” shouts your coach.  You’ve heard it so much that it has about as much punch as your Mom saying, “Clean your room.”  But, there’s plenty of merit to your coach’s call for hunkering down and giving it 100 percent. 

Forget about practice as a whole.  Instead, try to wrap your head around each drill.  What is your weakest, specific skill relating to that drill?  Poor footwork or hand position, lazy technique, inadequate speed, quickness or strength?  Knowing yourself, admitting shortcomings and having a determination to shed the bad habits for better ones, these are the crucial aspects and challenges of your position.  Each tiny skill must be perfected to play at the college level.  And, it’s on you to get there.  So, get there one day at a time.

Working hard is part and parcel to the successful athlete.  Digging deep to discover new places within yourself to find another ounce of effort, overcoming mental fatigue, pushing through the muscle aches, tapping into something inside yourself which even you may not have known was there, and setting out each drill to vault yourself up another rung.  It’s all your responsibility to yourself and your potential.  Get there.


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