By Simon Ambit
As the serve glides over the net and toward the floor, it is gracefully bumped into the air by the player on the middle back row. The setter then moves into position underneath the ball and sets the ball into the air with a perfect pass. As the volleyball leaps off the skilled hands of the setter, it pulls toward my side of the court and now… it’s my time to shine! The volleyball suspends at the peak of its arc and I leap into the air. I am just at the top of my jump as the ball falls within range of my swat. I swing my arm forward and slap the ball down with the palm of my hand; the ball is driven to the floor of the court and the referee blows his whistle.
To my astonishment, he then holds up a hand signifying that the opposing team has just scored a point. I had made my best attempt to spike the volleyball and I was successful in doing so. Unfortunately, I was only successful in spiking the ball INTO the net and had failed to spike it OVER the net.
Stories like this one and many others that I could share about getting my hits blocked by a pregnant woman, losing nearly every game of the season, learning the rules of volleyball by violating pretty much every single one of them and getting embarrassingly drilled in the throat from across the court by a volleyball hit from a female player. This pretty much summarizes my co-ed volleyball season. What I thought was going to be an adult version of “don’t let the balloon touch the floor” turned out to be a whole lot more challenging and fun than I had expected.
With this being my first season and as inexperienced and clumsy as I was, I think the only benefit I had upon my team was that of comic relief. All that aside, however, I had a load of fun. I was able to spend added time with my wife and some really good friends. I learned a ton about the sport of “rec. league volleyball.” It was a comfortable atmosphere, a great form of entertaining exercise and it’s the only sport I know of where the entire team exchanges a high-five even when they lose a point!
Despite being the worst player of the league, I plan to play again next season. Watch out opposing teams: for in the off season I will be watching plenty of YouTube volleyball videos to hone my skills and practicing my self-defense techniques so to avoid any future throat shots! Hahahaha! Thanks for a good time; it was a ton of fun!
Just like my season in volleyball, some things in life are more challenging than we might expect, yet we can enjoy them even as we push ourselves to improve. Life is good, get out and have some fun while trying a new adventure this year.