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The Point of Talking

There’s the look. The look we get right before we run, the look we get before we do push-ups, the look we get before we do sit-ups. There are the hands, going up with the clip board in exasperation, “ All you girls do is talk, so what’s the problem now!” Every practice we work on it, every game we demonstrate it, and every morning when I walk downstairs and say “Good morning” I do it too, we communicate.

Winning is great in sports, winning by a lot is better, and when we walk away from the game whenwe just crushed somebody it’s the best feeling ever. The whole way we get there is communication. Talking to each other is something that happens naturally, communicating is different. To communicate you need to know each other, you need to know what’s happening in the game, you need to know what the other person means when they yell “ Move, move, move I got it!” You need to make communicating count, it’s as important as knowing your team.

We were playing a team that we could have easily beaten, in fact we already had, but my coach made it clear by giving us the ultimatum: “If I can’t hear you, you’re not loud enough and there are plenty of girls who can go in to take your place.” The other team had the serve, we were receiving, and as soon as the volleyball came over we were talking. But he didn’t hear us. The six starters came off, now there were freshmen playing in the varsity game, four out of the six on the court were junior varsity players. Now it’s our serve, they talk this time. It goes on like this, as soon as somebody makes a mistake they’re out, there was always another girl to take your place. Finally the coach ran out of substitutions, the first time many had ever seen that happen. We won the game, barely but he didn’t care. “We worked on this for two hours in practice yesterday why can’t we talk?!” The second game started with low spirits but when the starters made it through the first three points without a substitution things started looking up. We won the second game, by more of a margin, and with a lot less substitutions. The third game went the best, we finally got the message either you talk or you sit.

We ended up winning the match, and our coach finally wasn’t grimacing. “You girls picked it up, but it has to be more consistent….” The whole point was that we communicate not only as a team but as the friends that we really are. The lesson I learned applies not only to volleyball, but to every aspect of my life. We communicate in class everyday with the teacher, we communicate with our families every day when we yell at them over the phone. Communication happens all the time and what we all need to do is make it count. My parents taught me that staying in touch with family is important. Not just calling them to tell them where you’re going, or to see what’s going on, but to remember special days and send a card, to use a text message to say more than “lol”.

Communication, the basis of every project ever done, every movie ever made, the purpose of every tweet ever sent. Every time we come up with an excuse for homework or reason for being late we communicate. Why can’t we make that communication count? If you had one opportunity to say good bye to somebody would you say something meaningful or would you just awkwardly say good bye? When my coach says “ All you ever do is talk, so what’s the problem now?” he means why can’t we make those few seconds we have to communicate count, tell the team what’s really important in the short time span we have. Communication is very important, we should make it count. I believe that you shouldn’t waste the opportunities you have to talk with people but make them meaningful. If we could all communicate things would go a lot smoother, not just on the court but in everyday life too. All we have to do is open our mouths and talk, because we all know we never want to see “the look.”





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