training

Conquer Your Fear Of Making an Error

“Be bold. If you are going to make an error, make a doozy, and don't be afraid to hit the ball”.

—Billie Jean King

You will make mistakes and that is the truth. Whether in life or in volleyball practice, we all make our share of errors. How many times did you fall just to get up and be stronger than before? The process of falling and getting back up repeats daily in our lives in almost everything we do.

While coaching, I am consistently coming across of “fear to make a mistake” in my athletes. If this is you remember: fear is not pushing you forward but holding you back. Being gutsy gives you by far bigger results and advantage than being timid and playing safe. Whether a beginner or a professional athlete, the errors will happen all along the way. 

One way to get over the fear is to practice visualization. Visualize...yourself hitting/serving/passing ball the way you want it..winning championship, getting a scholarship, playing in front of the big crowd…Visualize and you are more likely to do it. Take time before practice, game, point and simply imagine the outcome that you want. Your mind will be occupied with thoughts of success rather than failure. Visualization comes naturally for some players but not the others. You have to practice visualization it like any other volleyball skill. Try it today and work on it everyday. It will take the edge off. 

Athletes use your mistakes to your advantage. Be aware of them, analyze them and try to fix them. Use your time in practice to learn but not to fear. You are in practice to make things better, not to be perfect. Repeat, repeat and repeat: that is the only price you will have to pay to be great at something. Repetition will lead to change, change will lead to greater confidence and confidence will lead you to success. 

Be resilient in the face of the failure and see it as necessary for learning and achievement. Be fearless. That is the only way you will grow. It is time to let go of your fears. It is time to visualize your success and achieve it.

TRYOUTS: SUCCESS or DISAPPOINTMENT?

Volleyball Tryouts:

Congratulations to all players who DID  who made their desired teams.                  Congratulations for those who have NOT. Why?                   

This is your first athletic career obstacle. Your first disappointment. But such is life, disappointments come occasionally, but what matters is how do we bounce back. Do we learn from it? Do we work harder? Do we simply quit?  So, how do you deal with it? 

Tryouts come come twice a year: spring and fall. It takes constant training to get better at certain skill. It takes more than few hours to prep for volleyball tryouts.

As a player, I worked year around and as I was getting better, I only put more hours in- never less. The more you know- the more you'll understand and see things that need improvement. When I was disappointed in my game, even though it hurt my feelings, I would go back to the gym and put work in when all I wanted to do is sit back and feel sorry for myself. That's is what it takes to be an elite athlete. That is how you separate yourself from majority. Work. Commitment. Sacrifice. Passion.

For all of players who DID NOT make the team- ask yourself- do I want to play this sport? If the answer is yes, stop feeling pity, grab the volleyball and get to work.  It's that simple.    For those who DID make it? Is this time to sit down and take it easy? NO- get your volleyball and get to work.                                                    

Athletes, this applies to anything in life, not just volleyball. You can't go forward and grow with wishful thinking. Set the goals and work for them. Keep in mind, somebody out there is always working when you are not.

Training under bombs

our Army Shooting at Airplanes

our Army Shooting at Airplanes

Coming from Serbia and its turbulent history, I was a part of 3 months long bombing that happened in March 1999. For some of you that know me, you may have heard this story already. The reason why I like to tell it is because it represents COMMITMENT. 

I was 13yo and Volleyball was already big part of my life. As the war has started, the schools were dismissed and for first couple of weeks everything that we did has stopped: School, Work, Sports, Social activities.. People have lived in fear and had to figure out how to make the best of the situation that our country was in. Slowly we have adjusted to new situation and start living the life "under the bombs". Life full of adrenaline, fear, grief, pride and for a 13 yo maturity that had to be acquired immediately. Everybody had to work hard, everybody hoped for the war to be over soon so we can continue where we stopped. 

My coaches have decided to continue practice. we trained out on the concrete and grass because it was too dangerous to be in any type of public facility. We trained twice a day, wearing shirts with targets on our back. Not just that we trained to get better, but we trained to resist to the ignorance of war and aggression. The practices were conducted and held even when the sirens for air attacks would go off. We would all pause for a second, adrenaline would rush in and with sounds of detonation and airplanes breaking the sound barrier, we would practice. Diligently practice. There was no excuse. Everybody was there, everybody was working hard and we all made it. We've got better, we've survived the war and we've learned that excuses are not acceptable. 

Everyone had a shirt with target on it. 

Everyone had a shirt with target on it. 

Most of the people from that team had turned professional, some went to college, some are coaches now. All the coaches that were there are still coaching to this day. 

Thousands of people have lost their lives during the 3 months long bombing

Thousands of people have lost their lives during the 3 months long bombing