Sunday, December 12, 2010

Way to "Win the Day" Girls!

Throughout this very short season of volleyball, Jonna and I have continuously commented that we are the "losing-est winners" out there, in that we just couldn't seem to catch a break in capturing the win at the end of each volleyball match we had. While the wins aren't what matters in the big picture, after a while, it does make a difference to the girls...they want to feel successful and that seems to be a major indicator to them that they are doing good. With all of the monumental improvements we've seen with each of our girls, we've also wanted the validation in seeing it show on the scoreboard too.

So, we kind of joked that perhaps on the day of the two-match tournament, maybe then we would see the wins - at the very end of the season when it counted the most. And, WE DID! There were only 4 teams in our bracket, so upon winning the first of our matches, we were assured a medal of either first or second place. That, alone was a HUGE victory for the girls....but, then, to pull off a win in the final match-up.....our girls (as well as us and our parents) were ecstatic. I almost felt bad for the other team because we really couldn't hold back our enthusiasm/girly screams of excitement. I wanted to give the other team and the crowd a little "p.s., we haven't won yet....that's why we are so excited!"

It was also super special in that the winning serve for each game that we won was from a different girl. Four of our five girls got to feel that special thrill knowing they were the one to achieve that last point. Mikayla was included in that honor - in fact, Mikayla was given the position of first server of our line-up as she has become the most consistent server of the entire bunch of third graders (among all three teams from Gilham). She serves underhand (which of course is easier to consistently nail than those skilled girls that go for the overhand serve at the game) - and she actually tosses the ball before hitting it. That is the wrong approach....however, at this stage in the game, we all told her to continue to do exactly what she's been doing! (We'll work on fixing it - and transitioning her to overhand in the off season.) In a game of "queen of the court" in which all of the girls would serve and continue as long as they got it in bounds and over the net, Mikayla won three of the 5 or so of competitions that we held in our group practice. Good for her!

Finally, I just can't say enough of how blessed Jonna and I were in our group of 6 girls (only 5 were able to participate in this tournament). The parents, the girls, the unity of the group was so special. Out of all 17 of the girls that went out for volleyball, we couldn't have handpicked a better group. And, lest you think, as coaches, we had that opportunity (to hand-pick), two of our "sweetest" girls were new to us and from different schools - what a delight Sydney and Brailey were to us....always smiling. And their parents - also so wonderful. We are all feeling a major let-down to have the season and the camaraderie over..... particularly the practices that involved girls vs. parents games. John was able to attend the last one on Thursday and we all were having so much fun.

So, onto pictures - I think I've detailed the story of how the day went so that I don't need to caption each picture.....I'll just throw in a few notes for the sake of memory later on. I'm hoping this season was the start of a sport Mikayla will want to continue for many, many years to come, so remembering how it all started will be quite special.

One of our many huddles, Jonna and were so nervous before the game started, and knew if we were feeling it, then the girls would be too....

This was after the first win - the girls are so excited!

Our two "non-Gilham" girls.....aren't they adorable?!

The huddle after realizing we were assured a medal, going for either first or second....

At this point, Sydney (with the mouth open) just realized we were going to get a medal for the next picture you'll see Kenady's response as Sydney screamed so loud in excitement!

Just like her Mom, Mikayla totally gapes her mouth open when concentrating....every serve, it was her little trademark.....

A special moment between Jonna and Mikayla....

From top to bottom, left to right:
Jonna, myself, Brailey, Kenady (Jonna's daughter), Ellie, Mikayla, and Sydney

I love that hug between Jonna and Brailey in the background. Brailey gave us both the sweetest thank-you card. It will be kept forever as my first "parent-coaching" thank-you....

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