In college I learned to love to play volleyball and then later I played on the college’s club team, I hadn’t realized until recently how much of a better leader it has made me. In college it was a club sport since most college’s didn’t have collegiate sponsored men’s team, so it was up to at least one to two players on a team to be captain or leader on and off the court. As being a club sport about half the team was really serious about winning and the other half was there for the team atmosphere and partying. The problem was it was always different from which cross section the better players were. We were always dealing with different personalities without a true coach there to pull us all together. It usually came down to me and a couple other guys to pull these personalities together for the better good. We didn’t always win but I really think the skills that I built leading those teams taught me some really valuable lessons about teamwork and leadership.
Even to this day I still play volleyball in competitive leagues around the western suburbs and at times I’m the captain pulling the team together. Take for example in the one league I am the captain in now. It took me a good eight weeks to get all of these players to finally mesh together as one to start winning matches. My team isn’t the most talented, but I think our overall skill set as team we are by far the best. The team is now one of the best in the league, tied for first place, and we are sweeping teams we could barely beat before. I feel I was able to mesh and work with each and everyone on the team on and off the court to get them to realize what their roles were on the team and then just let them play. Most importantly I never held them accountable for their mistakes and let them learn from them. I’m actually really proud of the guys and gal that I play with and I’m going to make sure each of them knows this week in and week out. I have been able to take the different skill sets and personalities and put them in the correct order and role in the lineups to make us a successful team. It has been very rewarding.
I think team sports can teach a person a lot about leadership and team work.