I have learned that I need both physical activity and structure in order to be the best version of myself. After not playing an organized sport since high school, I finally found a way to get involved with athletics again with UNC beach volleyball.
One day in the spring of my first year at school, I was attempting to play pickup beach volleyball with friends near our dorm. I met some of our club beach volleyball players who gave me a formal introduction to the sport (basically showing me all the rules I was breaking). Just a short exposure to beach was enough to get me hooked.
I tried out for the UNC Club Beach Volleyball team in the fall of my sophomore year but, unfortunately, did not make it. The spring semester tryout had different results, giving me a spot on the team. Since then I have learned how much I have learn. What once seemed like a simple sport has become a very complex and intricate craft that I am far from fully understanding.
Although it has been frustrating to learn an entirely new sport, it is so rewarding to see improvement after hard work. I have become much more comfortable in the sand this semester and finally became happy with some of my tournament performances.
Most recently, my team competed in Mid-Atlantic regional tournament. This tournament, hosted by National Collegiate Sand Volleyball Association (NCSVA), allows players to compete as a club, not just a team of two. I was so excited to be one of our top four mens teams to compete in the tournament. My partner and I played well, making it to the semi-finals where we lost to another UNC team. This contributed to our club score and, with all of our teams performing well, led to a first place finish.
Club beach volleyball has been a much-needed physical challenge and has also brought the challenges that come with any team experience. I am learning the type of personalities I work best with as well as ways for me to manage working with teammates who I might not naturally vibe with. I believe this will be very valuable in future work situations.