Monday, February 28, 2005

CLUBbed over the head

Last Friday, the 'SC club volleyball team lost to Biola (Bible Institute of Los Angeles) in three games. We really didn't show up to play. It was probably the ugliest match I've been a part of in a while - and I didn't enter the match until midway through the second game.

It was obvious that we didn't show up to play. There was no intensity, no fire, no enthusiasm and certainly no sense of urgency. And it was frustrating as hell.

After the match, our coach (who showed up to the match 30 minutes late) told us how he would accept responsibility for this match but the next time we play that poorly, it's our own fault. DUH!

This one shouldn't be "his." No way it should be. That match was our fault. The team's fault. But I'm pretty sure that while no one on the team is okay with losing that match, not enough people care enough to change the overall attitude.

It seems like every week this team goes up and down. One week we're on top of the world and can't be beat. We played a great tournament two weeks ago in San Diego. Then we had two not-so-hot practices followed by a 0-3 loss that quite frankly we didn't even show up for. What the hell is going on?

The loss was our first outside of a tournament, but we definitely didn't need it to serve as the wake up call I hope it is. It shouldn't have got to that point. Practices are tough, but I just get the feeling that you can't make people care about a club sport. I care. I know a lot of the guys care ... sometimes.

But because it's a club sport, it doesn't have to be a priority for everyone. In fact, I'd say that this is no one's top priority. It isn't mine. What about academics? What about a social life? What about other clubs and organizations? What about fraternities? What about family?

It just seems that there are so many other things that people could put in front of this on their priorities list. That's the big difference between club and the NCAA team: at that high level, your number one priority is your sport. That's the sad truth about it.

I'm not trying to bitch about my teammates because I'm not saying that everyone doesn't care. I'm just saying that we are on-and-off about our commitment to the team, and last week we were at an all-time low. Tuesday's practice had maybe - maybe - 10 guys there. That's embarrassing. That's not even enough to scrimmage.

I hope this week we are on again, especially after what I consider the season's low-point last Friday. If we can get our intensity back, we should be all right. The only thing that matters at this point is how much people are willing to work at it and - more importantly - work for it.

Prior to Friday's match, I had planned to miss this Tuesday's practice to do play-by-play for the NCAA team's match that night. After our dismal loss, I called up the guy in charged of broadcasting the games and told him I was gonna be busy. I was gonna be at practice. And I will be. It won't be fair to the team for me to miss. Because if I just wanna get up and leave to do something else one night, what's to stop everyone else from doing it when I'm ready to practice?

It's gotta start now. The commitment to the team must start now. Everyone on the team needs to figure out just how much they are willing to put in to this team. If they don't want to put it in, then get out.


ugliness said...

Josh, I've been looking around for ugly related blogs, and I came across this entry (CLUBbed over the head) during my search so I thought I'd write a quick note to let you know! I recently started a new blog called Ugly Blog, so 'd be happy to trade links if you're interested. Anyway take care and have a nice day! Eric

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