First Volleyball Tournament

J had her first volleyball tournament on Sunday. She had fun. The team didn’t do particularly well in the tournament, but since it was the first time that they’d ever played together in any games, that was to be expected, I suppose. But the girls had some down time between games to hang around and bond, so that’s good. And J was mostly happy with how she played. It was also the first time she got to play as the official libero, so she was excited about that. When she first signed up for her volleyball club, there was a form to fill out about her goals and such, and she said that she wanted to be a libero (from what I can tell, the main attributes of a libero are that they’re the short and can pass well). So she was super-excited when the coaches first told her that she would, indeed, be the team’s official libero. Then on Sunday she was psyched to wear the different colored jersey, which she didn’t know that she’d be doing right away–at the modified level at school, many teams don’t wear the different jersey.

So that was all good. And, of course, they also lost many games, and at one point we could tell that J was super-sad when she messed up a serve. Still, it wasn’t nearly as stressful as gymnastics. At either a gymnastics meet or a volleyball game there’s that bit of stress about whether your kid’s going to succeed or fail, but, for me at least, gymnastics includes a lot more generalized anxiety, because there’s also that “maybe-she’ll-smack-her-neck-on-the-beam-and-get-paralyzed” stress, which can feel like a really strong possibility at those meets. Plus, at a gymnastics meet, each individual on the team is competing against each other, too, so there can be that little twinge of “oh-I-want-all-of-these-girls-to-do-well-but-also-I-kind-of-wish-my-kid-could-do-a-teensy-bit-better-than-her-teammates-in-something-pretty-please.” And then you stifle that uncharitable thought by just replacing it with “please-let-them-all-do-their-personal-best”  and next thing you know you’ve added “and-also-don’t-let-any-of-them-sail-over-the-vault-and-land-on-their-face-like-that-girl-just-did.”

Harrowing, I tell you. Did I ever tell you about that mom I met whose daughter was a super-awesome gymnast, and the mom had never watched her daughter compete live?  She was too overcome with nerves, so she’d go to the meets and then literally couldn’t bear to watch? She’d watch a video after it was over.

Speaking of harrowing, how horrible is it hearing about Larry Nassar? I pretty much get weepy every time I see a story about it or hear a bit of testimony from one of the young women. I just keep thinking about these incredibly awesome and strong and dedicated young gymnasts I know. Another thing I think about is, remember Aly Raisman’s parents completely freaking out while they’re watching her bar routine? I wrote back then about how much I identified with them, and now, it just kills me. Just watching them, I felt so viscerally how they feel, and in that video they were watching her do something scary and their fear and their hope for her was just so raw, and they had no idea what was actually happening, all this peril that they didn’t know anything about. They were watching her and they thought that she was safe and she was okay, and meanwhile the danger was coming from an entirely different direction. Ugh, it’s just heartbreaking for them and terrifying for the rest of us.

Whoa, sorry. That took a dark turn, didn’t it? Well, anyway, no heavy gymnastics stress for us.

J’s off to a great start with volleyball, and now it turns out that she’s going to compete in her first diving next weekend with Full Out Dive Club. She’s done her first inward front flip.

Actually, watching that is pretty scary.


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