Ever since we’ve lived in Nashville (2005), I’ve always played on a volleyball league. Hooters in the spring and summer for sand. Hillsboro High and some other places for indoor during fall and winter.
Next season (summer, which starts in a couple of weeks) will be the first season I have not played on a team on purpose.
In 2008 I had to bow out of spring when I moved my mom in with us. I had to drop out of the rest of fall 2008, and couldn’t sign up for winter or spring 2009 because of my hitchhiker.
But other than that I’ve always played. And I’ve always wanted to.
But now…I’d rather play pick up games as I find them. Unless I find a team with an attitude more like mine.
And that’s really the key: attitudes. I’ve watched people’s attitudes deteriorate the past couple of years. Everyone thinks they’re better than they really are and are now playing only to win. They’ve forgotten about the fun. (Because, yes, winning is fun, but as the saying goes, winning isn’t everything. However, try telling that to a lot of these people I’ve been playing with the past few years!)
I like to win as much as the next guy, but even more important I like having fun. Volleyball here, as opposed to Jax Beach, has never been what I’d call fun.
There’s not a lot of off-court camaraderie like what we knew playing with the regulars at Jax Beach every weekend. Some people have formed friendships and get together outside of games. We’ve developed very few of those friendships.
I think we got spoiled in Jacksonville. Swim team we had near instant friends. Everyone hung out, we’d have group parties, and after practices we’d often go get dinner or breakfast (depending on if it was a Saturday morning practice or a weekday evening workout.)
Volleyball was the same. People just getting together to hang at the beach during the day. At night we’d meet for dinner or maybe a movie or to hang out at someone’s house.
The volleyball scene here just hasn’t been conducive to that. Sure, we hang out at Hooters sometimes after and eat together. There have been a couple of outside parties. There was the group trip to Destin.
Granted, because our games are at night and never at a set time like our swim practices were, it makes it harder to plan things with friends on other teams.
But it’s the attitudes I can’t seem to stomach anymore. I think a lot of it has to do with what I went through with my mom, my cancer, and now seeing my aunt’s cancer coming back. Life truly is too short. I don’t have time to deal with people who take something like our volleyball games so seriously. Since I can’t reconcile my nerves to stomach the attitudes I decided to take a break.
Tennis also has a lot to do with it. I haven’t even been playing for a full year. I was maybe six months into clinics when I was asked to play on a team. I’ve enjoyed a lot of the camaraderie I knew from Jacksonville volleyball and swimming with my tennis friends.
They’re supportive, fun, and above all friendly. We’re all pretty good and we play to win, but we don’t take it too seriously. I’ve rarely seen the kind of attitudes at tennis that I’ve seen at volleyball. (Thank goodness!)
Plus, tennis gives me the better workout. So…I decided to focus more on that, as well as a few other things, and see if I suffer terrible volleyball withdrawals or if not being on a team is something I’m perfectly fine living without. It will be interesting finding out how this experiment pans out…