Action, Volleyball

First Volleyball Tournament

Saturday marked my first volleyball tournament in my senior year. This was an incredible experience as I was able to gain a great deal of insight regarding my personal strengths and weaknesses along with those of my team. In order to reflect best, I thought it would help to write the following in bullet points so as to address goals individually.

My Strengths:

  1. Movement
    I think that where I did really well in the games on Saturday, especially when playing more difficult teams like Makango, was in the way I was moving. I felt that I was following the ball and anticipating their attacks quite well. This is something that is going to be vital in ISSEA against teams with incredibly strong attacks and so what I’m going to need is to be consistent in what I had done here.
  2. Receiving
    Although I think that this relates pretty strongly to movement, receiving is another thing that I am proud of from this game. In the final set against Makongo, I was in the back court for a significant part. This meant that I had to be low and counted on in order to properly play the game and continue the rally. I think that I did a pretty good job at this and one better than what I had expected. What I realized is that in order to maintain this I just need to remember to sacrifice as the worse that can happen is a simple bruise or scrape!

My Weaknesses:

  1. Attitude
    I noticed early on in the tournament that my attitude greatly affected the way that I was playing. Not playing the first game along with Fernanda, I wasn’t as comfortable in the way that I was warmed up to play a more challenging team. This was obvious as I wasn’t playing as well as I could and then began to stress. Luckily, Maya just casually told me to chill out and not worry a couple of times and it was really amazing how that changed how I felt and subsequently how I played.
  2. Setting
    The irony of being a setter is the fact that I haven’t felt very confident in my setting lately. There were moments during the games where I felt great however I think that consistency is key and the best way to practice this is by helping the team with hitting drills before games along with generally practicing with Millie and Denym.

Notes in the regards to the team:

  • As I said before, it was incredible seeing the encouragement from Maya and how that completely change the way I played. I’m happy to say that this year I feel that we’re a much more encouraging and warmer team than before and so I hope that we keep this up!
  • Our main weakness I think though is laziness. We need to really work on our positioning and moving for the ball. It won’t simply come to individual players and so I hope that by practicing with Jenny or other coaches, we’ll feel more pushed.
  • Along with this, an issue that we certainly have is calling. I think that the easiest way to fix this is by developing the habit during drills but I know that I do that and it’s really helped me.

Initial thoughts on Cancer Initiative

Last Tuesday marks the first session of Cancer Initiative this year. As seen below, used this meeting to sketch out some plans for this semester as well as to work as a group to meet some of the new requirements for trip approvals. This reflection will simply address challenges that I see for this semester, some goals, and general proposed ideas.

– Limited numbers of students:
Unfortunately, we are working this semester with only 2 students. Although we have sent many messages asking for students to be placed into our group, I don’t think that we are going to receive many students. This simply means that we are going to need to focus work between the three of us and larger projects might be an issue in terms of logistics.
– New systems put in place for trip-oriented CAS groups:
This seems to have been our greatest issue so far. The amount of paperwork is definitely slowing down our ability to travel to Muhimbili however, hopefully, this will all be sorted out as soon as possible in order to work smoothly for the rest of the year.

– Create a stronger partnership with Muhimbili for next year:
I think that as a leader I simply want to ensure that this service group stays active even after I have left IST. For me, this means that I would like my legacy to include a stronger partnership between IST and the hospital so that we end up truly making a difference and using our resources and time wisely to benefit both parties.
– Receive more recognition at IST so that membership is no longer an issue:
For the past year or so, membership has been a consistent problem. I hope that through the proposed projects for this semester, students at IST will recognize Cancer Initiative as a more interesting and fun service group to consider.

Proposed Projects (see picture below):
Because we do not have many members this year, we have proposed to following two projects which would include involvement and collaboration with our service groups at IST to form larger projects.
– Mural at Tumaini la Maisha house
The first idea is being proposed to a number of art service groups at school and will seek to paint a long-term mural at the Tumaini la Maisha house made by the kids alongside artists brought in from IST. The idea here is some art that is made by the kids living there to comfort as opposed to the already lively art that they currently have. This will be proposed to the Muhimbili group as soon as there are willing students at IST.
– Storybook
The second project has been proposed by Alqaim and is the idea of a storybook featuring the stories of the kids staying at the Tumaini la Maisha house. There will be art and interviews in this book and hopefully some will be sold to raise funds for cervical cancer or other endeavours at Muhimbili.


Action, Volleyball

First volleyball game of the season!

Today I played the first volleyball game of the season and, incredibly enough, the first game of senior year. It’s been really amazing to see my transitions and improvements as a player from 9th grade and seeing how some things have even stayed the same.

In 9th grade, I can remember just how terrified I was in the first volleyball practice. Given that I was new to IST, I hardly knew anyone and being the only freshman trying out, I felt seriously out of place. Looking back to 3 years ago, I can see all the amazing friendships I’ve actually made during volleyball and just how much of an integral part its become of my high school experience overall.

It’s funny thinking about how overjoyed and anxious I was reading the list of the first cut outside of Batterby’s office and comparing it to the feeling of making ISSEA teams in the following years. I suppose I’ve gotten more confident in my abilities to make the team but what I really realized today is the fact that I’ve worked for that confidence. Today’s game was incredible in the sense that we were really being worked in terms of defence and general stamina. I’m really proud of the points we were playing even though we didn’t necessarily win all of them. Off of this game, I’ve realized that I need to be more confident in my serve as well as work more on attack. Overall though, this season came to a great start and I can’t wait to *hopefully* bring amazing competition to ISSEA in my final year with some of my closest friends!

*written on 25/08/16, not uploaded because of technical issues*