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Finding a Sport Where I Belong
Sometimes to find normal, you need to find new people to spend time with or new activities to try.
For example, just before my freshman year, I decided to try out for our school’s volleyball team. However, I was late in training (I had not heard about summer workouts), and from the beginning felt uneasy. I was in a room of girls who had played years of club volleyball and had a lot of experience. They had known each other since kindergarten (I was new).
I struggled with unfamiliar drills (I had never played club volleyball) and making friends (my lack of skill did not contribute to my confidence level). I might have felt like this on any volleyball team I tried out for, I also acknowledged that I disliked feeling awkward and left out.
After getting booted from the JV team in quite an unceremonious manner, I felt disheartened. However, not participating in a sport seemed worse and even more abnormal, so I decided to find another team in which I could be a useful and accepted contributor.
Because I once swam for a club, I decided my best option would be to join water polo. I immediately fit in. The other girls were warm, supportive and not annoyed by my technical mistakes. The team was new, and most participants were at my skill level.
We could laugh at our own mistakes. I felt that I truly belonged in this aquatic environment. I felt infinitely more comfortable at the pool with my new Varsity Water Polo teammates than at the gym with the JV Volleyball team.