On the other side of the gym at 850 Elite Volleyball, our motto is “Attitude is Everything!” When we say that, we don’t mean the kind of attitude you see on Dance Moms or any other reality television program that rewards people for dramatic behavior. Our attitude is based on the philosophy that if you show up ready to work hard and persevere, you can do just about anything. It has nothing to do with winning, but winning is a by-product of concentrated effort and fundamental skills training, as evidenced by the results at last weekend’s 12U-14U Regional Championships.
After two days of Dory-like determination (just keep working, just keep working), Coach Ligia’s 14 Blue team WON THE GOLD, and Coach James’ 14 Grey team WON THE SILVER. Coach Lani’s 13 Blue team finished a close second in gold, and Coach Hannah’s 12’s finished a hard won third. Coach Moriah’s 12’s and Coach Jackie’s 13 Blue played the best they’ve played all season, and, as a Director, I got to experience the next level of 850 Elite attitude: gratitude.
Brain scientists tell us that fear and gratitude cannot coexist, as they fire different areas in the brain. Every time you feel fear, or it’s more aggressive cousin, anger, STOP and choose gratitude instead. What are you grateful for in your life? Seat heaters? Talenti Gelato? Sticky kisses from your baby, or grand baby? Take a side step from your daily drama and write down your gratitude, then savor the feeling for a second or two. Then notice the change in your body.
As I sat on the bench of each team last weekend, reminding girls of how much they can control with a steady can-do attitude and hard work, I was flooded with a sense of hope for our future. Not just the future of 850 Elite, but more importantly the future of all these amazing girls and their families. I could actually SEE the effects of a focus on grit and resilience. Our teams would get down 5 or 6 points, and they wouldn’t fall apart. I watched other clubs disintegrate after a few mistakes, with players snapping at each other and at their coaches. And we just kept working. Our teams supported each other through the good times and the bad. They kept it together, and they stayed connected, regardless of the score. THAT. IS. WINNING.
David and I began this experiment in resilience, as a way to heal Girl World. Having four girls showed us that drama was killing Girl World, leaving broken-hearted, lonely girls in its wake. I started Girl Power Station as a place for their moms and grammas to get the same sense of connection and support without needing to learn a team sport. Thank you for being part of a great healing—we are so lucky to have each other!