Persistence could be key to the future success of girls volleyball


Girls’ varsity volleyball’s record stands at 4-6, and with the playoffs just around the corner, and coach Tom Tepper is very confident that his team will perform well in upcoming games. This confidence is due to the persistence that the team demonstrates in every practice and every match that they have played so far this season.

It is not a coincidence that this team is so resilient; Tepper makes sure that the team practices adverse situations that could potentially appear in a match so they are prepared for anything. One example of this is the three on six drill. The three on six drill is a drill where three players are on one side of the net and six players on the other side of the net. The team with three players has to score 10 points based on their own actions, in other words, they can’t score points based on the other teams errors.

“When you have three players that know that the odds are stacked against them from the onset and they try their hardest and really put forward that enables them to actually build up that kind of resilience to be able to overcome what would be difficult situations later on, on the court when they’re surrounded by their teammates in the heat of the game with all the fans watching,” Tepper said.

Another drill that deals with facing pressure situations is a ‘Short Court Game’. During a scrimmage, in between hits, players sprint between the two 10 foot lines. The key to the drill is for the team, and more specifically, teammates to be able to communicate with each other during a high-pressure situation.

Tepper focuses on players perfecting their skills so he does not let players out of drills.

“Very rarely do we let them off the hook,” Tepper said.

Tepper talked about how they have goals in drills and they take a long time to achieve. Tepper stressed that the players try very hard to reach the goal and once it is met the player reaches a certain level of confidence. The confidence that is instilled in the player is instrumental to the play and persistence of the team during a match.

“Persistence rests on confidence in your skills,” Tepper said.

Junior outside hitter Zoey Frankfurter agreed that the team is persistent and because of the fact that there are three sets in a match persistence plays a big role in volleyball.

“It’s a game where if you’re ahead two sets you can’t give up in the third set,” Frankfurter said.

Junior right side hitter Ellen Yaffe echoed Frankfurters words. Reiterating that persistence is of the utmost importance.

“No matter how much your up by or how much your down by you should always keep playing,” Yaffe said.

Persistence is an incredibly important aspect of the team. So important in fact that it is referenced on the form titled Program expectations, Policies, Behaviors. The words used are attitude, effort and perseverance.

‘Attitude- have a “Nothing Hits My Floor Attitude”-No ball hits the floor without someone hitting the floor.’

‘Effort-Every point counts so play regardless of the score…play the first point exactly as same as the last.

Play like we are always down one point.

‘Perseverance-play every ball while player and ball are still alive, until either the player or ball is out the gym’

WJ has experienced some unexpected losses, but that has not dampened their spirits and their commitment is unquestionable as they continue to strive to be the best.

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