Extra running helps volleyball team play to full potential

Jordan McEntee, Design editor

It’s late at night and the varsity volleyball team just lost their match.
While the opposing team packs up and heads home, the Tigers hop on a bus back to BV.
The bus pulls up in front of the auxiliary gym doors and instead of walking to their cars, the girls walk inside toward the gym to run sprints.
When the volleyball team doesn’t play its best, the players pay for it by running for their mistakes.
“They don’t always run when we lose,” head coach Jessica Palmer said. “Just when we feel like they haven’t played to their potential or worked as hard as we know they can.”
Palmer said she thinks the team should always put forth maximum effort during matches.
“If they’re not going to work hard during the match, they’ll do it after and at practice,” she said. “We have high expectations for them and they’ll work until they do it.”
Varsity volleyball player freshman Chloe Rogers said the team doesn’t look at the running in a negative way because they know it is benefiting them in the end.
“No one really complains because we all know it’s for the
better and it makes us stronger as a team,” she said. “The bus ride back is usually pretty quiet, but we come back from the game and finish the day on a good note.”
The team’s outlook is based on the fact that they’re all truly dedicated to the sport, Palmer said.
“They understand why they do it,” she said. “All of them have a real passion for the sport, so they don’t complain. They work hard and we come up with goals for next time.”
During the running, the girls are supposed to think about the game in their heads.
“While we’re running, we’re supposed to think about our mistakes, how we can fix them, and how we can better ourselves for the next game,” varsity player junior Mackenzie Johnson said.
Johnson said that some players don’t have such a positive attitude, but know the running is for their benefit.
“I think while were running a lot of people aren’t happy,” she said. “But we all know it’s really a good thing.”
After completing the sprints, the team talks for a while about how to improve for the next game.
“We talk for a long time after the running,” Johnson said. “It’s mostly about what we need to work on from that night and about our goals.”
Palmer said the players would rather play well in the game than have to pay the consequence of running after-
ward. “One of the girls commented once during the game, ‘If
you feel tired now, you’re not. The running is way worse,’” she said.
Rogers said she believes the team can accomplish a lot if they all put forth the effort and play as hard as they can.
“[Coach] knows what we can do and sometimes we don’t show it when we play,” she said. “She knows we have more potential than we show on the court.”
Along with motivating the players to work harder in the next game, Rogers also said the running helps the team- mates grow closer.
“When we’re running, we really encourage each other,” she said. “The upperclassmen are a great example for us. They make us want to be like them and work harder.”
Johnson said she also thinks the running heps the team bond.
“If somebody is really lagging we all try to encourage them,” she said. “It really helps us come together.”
While the team has to run for losses, they sometimes have positive incentives for working hard and playing to their potential.
“Whenever we win a big game or are successful at a tour- nament, they’ll have practice off,” Palmer said. “It’s kind of like a reward for their good behavior.”