I am a sports fan. It’s no secret that I ♥ baseball and football. But, after watching a day of volleyball, I think I just like sports because of the competitive feeling that goes along with them because by the end of the day, I was just as engrossed in the volleyball matches and I would be for any football or baseball game.
I spent my Saturday in Baton Rouge on the campus of LSU covering volleyball and I gotta admit, I was nervous because I don’t know volleyball. I wasn’t even sure when points where scored and I learned prior to going that no one says ‘bump’…it’s a pass. I had a big job ahead of me.
So I enlisted the help of someone who would know and save me from using poor terminology in my story–a former volleyball player who was planning on going to the match to watch her old teammates anyway.
And thank goodness she came! I learned a lot. I learned that ‘sideout’ is something you can yell when you want to get the ball back to serve. I learned that a ‘free ball’ is essentially like a Hail Mary in football, when the other team is scrambling to hit it over and not using any kind of technical maneuver to get it over but just in ‘hurry up mode’ thus allowing the receiving team to collect themselves and put pressure on their return. I learned that 8th grade PE volleyball totally messes you up by teaching you the wrong rules. The ball can touch the net on a serve, as long as it goes over and either team can get a point, not just when you’re the serving team…but I also learned that I like competition. A lot.
By the end of the day, I was behind our bench fist-pumping, yelling proper terminology and feeling the excitement of getting that big point. It.was.awesome.
We were playing LSU in the evening match and the third set was close. It was 17-16 at one point and we were up. The teams had some awesome rallies going and there was the rush that I have only experienced in football and baseball (and basketball) when you are totally engaged in the game before you. It’s the adrenaline rush that you feel when you’re totally in the zone, at the ready for whatever you opponent is throwing at you. There are no nerves, just a heightened sense of readiness. And it’s fabulous.
We ended up dropping the third set and losing but it made me realize just how much I thrive off of competition. It was disappointing to lose, when all that adrenaline is rushing out of you but it made me realize why sports are so enjoyable to me. And I like that this is a new sport for which I have an appreciation.
I love me some good athletic competition, but…that probably surprises no one.
Just so you know, you are genetically predisposed to love competition & the heat of athletic competition.
Graf had the exact same reaction to seeing it for the first time. He still talks about hearing their flesh peeling off as they dive for balls.
It’s so easy to get into that sport.