In fighting to keep her position as varsity volleyball libero, her coach told her that he was trying out someone else at her position, presumably, he said, “to light a fire under her butt.”
She came home from practice devastated; but after drying her tears, she picked up the volleyball and headed out to practice on her own with a friend. She decided she wasn’t going to roll over and play dead.
When game night came, it was the first home game and one she had been looking forward to; it was to have been her first time to be announced as a volleyball starter. But with the coach’s decision to start someone else at libero for this night, that hope was crushed.
I got to the game a few minutes late, missing the introductions. I saw my daughter on the bench until she subbed in to play. And even though she was not playing her beloved position of libero, she played the back row rotation with a vengeance.
I watched her throughout the match, for signs of anger, or sadness and I saw none. I saw a girl cheering her teammates on and playing her position for that night with all her heart.
Later that night, she told me that Coach had offered to announce her as a starter (knowing how much it meant to her) and she simply said, “No it’s Sarah’s time. Let her be introduced.” (Sarah was the girl who took her libero spot that night)
Yes, the girls won the match easily. It was a slaughter actually. But that was really of no consequence to me as a mom. I was so darn proud of that girl for her selfless attitude, for not giving up, for playing hard at the spot given her, for being a team player, and I knew that even if the match had been lost, my daughter would have still been a winner.
p.s. she kept her starting libero spot for the season.