So we started back at it Monday, after a four-day weekend form fall break... We got after it! We had four practices ... "We haven't done that in a while," Brandon said because of travel. We had weights at 4 and then waited for the men's basketball team so we could start practice at 5. Monday and Tuesday were all right practices, nothing too special. Just kind of in and out to get stuff done. Monday was good because we only have an hour-and-a-half window to get stuff done because women's basketball comes on after us so the pace of practice was great. We were getting drills done quickly because we were doing them right the first time- which is alwayyyys nice!
Then there was Wednesday. Haha. one of the most interesting practices since I have been at Lipscomb-almost four years of practice. And this was IT! Some people had talked about having a little more fun at practice- talking about when we scrimmage or are in drills we should have a positive attitude and ENJOY being at practice! And not just going through the motions to get through practice to get out. The mood at practice has been all right for the past couple weeks but there was something missing- the LOVE OF the GAME! (Our quote- "Play for Her" by Mia Hamm... If you haven't read it... Go check it out!).
That's what we came up with so the proposal was thrown out there at practice... But having more fun wasn't the right way to say it. So there was some controversy about 3/4 the way through practice. "Having fun" wasn't said because we wanted to play more games that are "fun" like tennis and queens (if you don't know what those are... they are fun games but not allowing us to get better... They are fun as in like hopscotch or swinging on the swings at recess in elementary school!). We had three more drills left to finish but practice was "over" after the comment! The team came together and decided to FINISH practice on our own! To HAVE FUN and enjoy finishing what we needed to get done before practice was REALLY over! So the last drill was our mini tournaments with four separate teams made up of three or four girls. Then two teams were made from the fourseparate teams. We played and it was FUN... We were getting the drill done but we were laughing while focusing on getting better. It was great to see us come together without anyone asking us to because we all had one focus, one thing we wanted to be! We were there for each other and enjoyed finishing practice the way it should have ended! :) Yeah TEAM! --- OH YEAH and we won the scrimmage game.
So I might have just went in circles while talking practice but in the end- everything needed to happen and did for a reason. And you are probably wondering if the controversy helped and made a difference! YES... We probably didn't picture it blowing up into what it did... But who cares now... It’s over... And the last push is on more than it was before!
Thursday’s practice we did start off with Upper vs. Lower Olympics- with "fun" games- and the Uppers DOMINATED! We went 5-0... So yes complete domination! Brandon was on the lower side during tennis so you should ask him how it was! :) but after that practice was really good. Calm but focused and we enjoyed being there! We didn't let things get to us. We went about of business... But there were smiles and just a different mood in the gym- a great mood! Kind of like when there is a drought of rain and the flowers and grass, trees, etc get a little droopy. Then the rain comes and the flowers are smiling and showing their beautiful colors and the sun is almost shining green because the trees and grass are "happy" ... We were the flowers getting watered by the rain on Thursday. It was an amazing feeling in the gym. We didn't win 45 but it was a good practice going into the weekend... Against North Florida and Jacksonville- two very good teams! We watched film on North Florida on Wednesday and a little on Jacksonville Thursday.
Friday night was "Think Pink" night... Or Dig for the Cure. We wore pink spandex and pink shoe laces :). With our black Jerseys and it didn't look too bad at all. Pretty cute. My grandma came in on Friday for the weekend so I am excited about getting to be with her.
Pregame was in the cafeteria. Then it was down to the training room to get treatment before the game. A little ultra-sound with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich haha! And before you knew it, it was time for serve/pass …one of the best serve/pass sessions we have had... Impressive I know! And you know what comes next- GAME TIME! We won in three sets! (And my hands were FREEZING for most of the game. Just to give you an idea of the gyms temperature! I sweat A LOT... Let's just say there wasn't much sweating going on Friday night.) We played very well and were VERY calm but also played with a lot of passion. I think that is one of our strong assets of this team. We go all out but are calm when we play. Our emotions are not on a rollercoaster (not getting really excited when things are good and then getting reallllly down when we get stuck or things don't go right).We stayed at a very even emotional level! I like it that way so you don't have to fake being happy to try to get out of a rut! After the game Jake and Jack made cupcakes for Halloween along with Kaycee's mom bringing her famous goodies... We demolished them! Everything was so good! Grandma and I headed to McAlisters :) we had Chili and Sweet Tea!!!!! Then it was bed time of course... After a little TV time! We had to get up to go to Panera the next morning for pregame!
Off to Panera in the morning, leaving grandma at the hotel, going to pick up Char and Meg from school. I had the normal of course.... Can't change it! Back to the arena for treatment and getting ready for the game... Back in black-spandex! Our serve/pass wasn't as good as it was the day before but oh well. My hands were like ice cubes again... We were not sure what Jacksonville was going to do with their line up so we had to be ready for anything! They started all their freshman the first game I think with their sophomore libero. I will have to say they had great energy and played very well. Then their coach changed it up again for sets two and three. One thing about Jacksonville is they have a good variety of weapons on their front row and use them all very well. We won the match 3-0... And after the match- it was Halloween time!
Grandma and I got popsicles after the game and then went back to the hotel and got ready for dinner... Stoney River :) it was sooo good. We had a little college football action to go with dinner! The rest of the weekend was much needed. Grandma calls it a little "R&R" = Rest and Relaxation! And let me tell you- we did a lot of that. I always love spending time with my grandma! And it was her birthday on Monday so I got to be with her then as well. :)
With the two wins this weekend, we clinched a spot in the A-Sun Tournament which is always exciting. Another big push this coming week of practice and then travel to Florida Gulf Coast and Stetson... And then SENIOR NIGHT next Tuesday-can you believe it? Wow how fast four years have flown by!!!! Here we go... Ready for another week!
Hope you enjoy!
Stefine "Jake" Pease is a senior setter for the Lady Bisons volleyball team. She writes a weekly blog providing a behind the scenes look at the team.