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The Pressure Is On

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The school day was almost over and our volleyball game would be starting soon. I was walking into the locker room when Coach Bake stopped me and told me the news. She told me that I would be playing the whole game instead of rotating out because the other setter got into some trouble and was not allowed to play that game.

I have been a setter ever since I started playing volleyball, so that was not a problem. This year though, since there were two setters and the other just happened to be the MVP of our team, I only got to play three of the six rotations and I never got to serve. The girl I was rotating in and out with was a much better server than I was, so she always served. When Bake told me I would be playing all the way around and that I would be serving, I was a little nervous. Okay, very nervous. When I played on the JV team, I never left the game and I was serving, but this was the first time I would be able to play the game the way I had loved to and wanted to all year. It was my time to shine now; my time to prove to Bake and my teammates that I was capable of running the floor the way the setter is supposed to. It was also my time to prove to myself that I could do it.

Everyone on the team was a friend with each other, except me. I was the outcast. I did not really associate with anyone on the team other than on the court, and that made the year really hard. When I found out that I was going to play the whole game as the setter, I knew everyone was counting on me, relying on me. There was no room for me to screw up. Going into this game, I knew that not one of my teammates had much faith in me because I was such a timid player. They would all tell me that I could do it and that they had faith in me, but none of them were very convincing. However, the other setter, Cassie, and Coach Bake made me feel like they believed in me, and that helped me get through the game.

The team we played that night was a team we could easily beat. That reduced the pressure a lot. I would have panicked if we were playing our rival school. We started the game and I soon started to relax. Once we started, I stopped worrying about what the team was thinking of me, and I stopped thinking about how nervous I was to be the person in control. I just started playing the game; my game.

That night, my serves were amazing. I did not miss any of my serves. Every time I would go back to the serving line, all I could hear was people cheering for me; people who were proud of me and wanted me to keep pushing point by point. My setting was also really good that night. Once I finally relaxed, my hands relaxed too, making it possible for me to set a perfect ball to my hitters almost every time. We won that game.

That game was one of my best all year. For the first time I felt like I was not competing with someone for my position and I loved that feeling. I cannot describe the feeling of joy that was rushing through my body after the game. The fact that we won, and that I had proved to everyone that I could do it, was incredible. To top it all off, my grandparents came down to watch me play and they finally got to see me play how I had been wanting to play all year instead of sitting the bench for half of the game. My day could not have gone any better.

The next week at practice, we changed our rotations and I was now playing the whole game. I did not set the whole game, but I was playing. I set the three rotations in the back row and hit during the three rotations in the front row. Cassie did the same. Doing that allowed us to have the most hitters available all the time. Because of this, I no longer felt like I was competing with Cassie. We had worked out a system that really helped our team.

I continued to play less timidly and my serving improved with every game. I am very excited for next year. We lost our best player, our other setter, and the team still thinks that I am not capable of taking on that kind of position. I am ready to prove them all wrong, again.





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