Above is a photo of the IST ISSEA Girls Volleyball team AKA Twigas AKA IST Chihuahuas. I was so happy and fortunate to be able to spend four days in Johannesburg playing with such a wonderful team! Overall, we came in 5th place in the tournament but I was amazed and so proud of how we played! It hurts to think that I know we could have done so much better (the game that basically set us up for doom against AISJ was won on a penalty in the third set after being capped), but there was so much more that I gained from this experience than a trophy or medal…
- Great new relationships
This season, I’ve gotten to become much closer with so many girls at IST who I would have barely interacted with otherwise. This became even more apparent at ISSEA when we were spending lots of time together, making inside jokes, and sticking together through the highs and lows. ISSEA also grants the opportunity to socialize with people from around the different schools and while I felt this wasn’t as strong at AISJ, I was able to catch up with people I had met the previous year or a few new people as well. It was especially interesting talking to the girls from ICS about the current politics in Ethiopia!
- A stronger sense of team work
I suppose that this builds off of my previous point. As I said, we were together through the highs and lows and became very close. Because of this I felt that we became much more of a team than previous people who I had played with. This was certainly obvious on court along with our little jokes (see IST Chihuahuas comment above ;))
- Ability to perform well under pressure
This, to me, is the most intense and obvious thing gained from tournaments. While I often involve myself in lots of public speaking and debate oriented activities, I find the pressure from sports to be a lot more intense. We’re working as a team and a sort of network and while that idea can be really overwhelming sometimes, it’s important to stay calm and collected.