We had our first home game tonight, and unfortunately we lost. It went four games, and really we lost it on an 8-point run from behind that we gave to the other team in the second game. I think if we wouldn't have let that slip we would've probably won the match.
That said, it was still not a big deal to lose. The team was really able to identify their weaknesses on their own. One of the kids' J.O. coach was there, and I think he summed it up best: Clearly they are talented and just need time to get up to speed on a new system. I think that's a fair assessment.
I'm trying to undo years of culture that seems to run rampant in high school volleyball. The first part of that is a culture of fear, where anything less than perfect is considered failure. That's nonsense. We all have to fall down a lot before we learn to walk, and this is no different. I define success as being better than you were yesterday. That's all you can really ask of yourself.
The second thing is that many high school coaches refuse to challenge kids. They go the safe route with everything in part because it may lead to a higher degree of success as defined above. That's silly too. I make certain kids jump serve when there's pressure, and require that they run the harder plays. The worst that can happen is that they make a mistake. Who cares? If you can't learn to take risks and challenge yourself, you get tentative and safe in the face of an aggressive opponent. That'll get you killed!
So as I said, that one point run in game two is what really hurt us the most, and it's easy to pin that on poor serve receive. They're resilient, and they'll get it.
On a personal note, it's interesting how losing here doesn't really bother me that much. I guess it's because in J.O. ball you can have an entire day of losing. One match is, well, who cares? We play again in two days, we'll get it done then!