USA College Volleyball: Mi Verdadera Experiencia en la Universidad | TOOK ME 4 YEARS TO TELL!
tears everywhere I had never cried to a coach before I think, that was the first time Hi guys! how are you? My name is Melissa, for those that don’t know me and welcome to my channel If you want to know a little more about my experience as a student-athlete playing volleyball in the US then keep on watching for those that don’t know this, I started playing volleyball when I was 11 years old and from then on, I never really stopped I went to several national championships in Peru, where I am from but something I want to point out is that I’m 5’2″ and I’m a setter so, because of my height I was fairly limited Since I was in High School, knew that I wanted to use my experience to study in the States The biggest college league in the States is the NCAA, and there’s 3 levels I went to a Division 2 school and to be honest, the first interaction I had with my teammates was very cold and it was mainly because of the culture differences and obviously, there was a clear language barrier the speed in which they talked that was something I had to work on a lot during my first year Apart from that, there were no other international students in my team we had Canadians but obviously, Canada is fairly similar to the States. I would dare to say, it’s not the same. On our first practice, they told us to be at the gym at 5pm so, I went to my dorm room and around 4:45pm I headed over to the gym to be there at 5pm on the dot because it was the first day, and I wanted to give a good impression guys, I made it to the gym and all the girls were already running stairwells up and down at the gym Seems to me, maybe because of the language barrier or maybe they told us before but I clearly did not get the memo If they tell you, you have to be there at 5pm around 4:30pm, you are supposed to start warming up now, that warming up time does not include put all your gear on or setting up the net because that’s something players do and not the coaches here So coming from Peru, that was something I wasn’t used to at all if looks could kill…, got lots of those that day and I think after that, everything went… Now because I’m short, it is very common here in the States to run a 6-2 so you have 2 right sides and 2 setters which makes up for the height in case your setters are not too tall When we started to practice, I found out we had 3 setters including me. We had a Senior Setter and another Junior Setter and I was a Freshman meaning, my first year. And after starting pre season with the team, I felt pretty confident that I could earn a spot in the starting team and obviously that was my goal. My first year was all about play, play, play and play. BUT, things didn’t go as we planned. As we got more into the season, I felt more and more distanced from my team and that made me lose the confidence I had in what I was doing While at the beginning of the season I started as a 2nd setter and I would go in to set in almost all games I was in the starting line up. Towards the end I was only going in to serve. and play defense in the back row and obviously that was far from what I wanted it to be I can’t really point out exactly what happened BUT I felt a very hostile environment around me And obviously as a setter you want to have that connection with your hitters and that was something I didn’t have. So I lost a lot of confidence And after playing volleyball so many years being a volleyball player was part of my identity and feeling that I wasn’t doing a good job specially when you are in another country where you don’t necessarily know what you are doing I was trying to use volleyball as a factor I could control still That feeling of failure, I think was one of the hardest things I went through There was even a moment I went to talk to my coach. because things were not going were not going well for me, so I went to my coach and said So, after he basically told me that it was all in my mind and I had to sort of figure it out by myself because, that’s life and he was right I cried to him like a baby tears everywhere I had never really cried to a coach before I think that was the first time Now, after this incident, things kept the same way and we had reached the end of the first season Now, once I returned for the Spring Season most of the senior players we had had graduated and so among them was the Senior setter Also, our Junior setter had also decided to graduate that year so we were left with only one setter, and that was me From then on I stayed on the court during all games It was such a huge difference, being the only setter so, it was wonderful to be honest, not sure what would have happened if that opportunity hadn’t being there for me. After that, I had my second season, now as a Sophomore and we also brought new girls that also brought a lot to the team and it was amazing. After that season I started every single game on my team as a 1st setter My last year I also received an award from our conference and it was definitely one of the best things it ever happened to me I feel very grateful for my whole experience playing volleyball as such competitive level. It really shapes you as a person and as an athlete and it’s something I still appreciate. If there’s something I want to say is that there’s a few things I learned and here they are: The first thing is that you will definitely feel that culture shock A culture shock happens when cultures are very different, specially if you are coming from a Latin American country Things are definitely different so you will be having to adapt to that I’ve always been very cautious about things, so I had to learn to kinda let things go and start trying new things because only by doing that you start to understand the people around you specially when you are in a new place My second point is that by interacting more, you will also be more empathetic towards others people’s personalities Here, everyone is very sarcastic and that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are annoyed or that they don’t want to get along with you. It’s just different I don’t think I took that into account my first year so I think that also factored in my reactions And my last point is that, there will be hard times not only as an athlete but also in your personal life and specially if you are abroad, in another country by yourself. It’s important to remember that harsh times are not forever and obviously look that support where you can find it support from friends, advisors, coaches If volleyball is your thing and you want to know a little bit more about life here in the US as well as everything related to Digital marketing and all of that. Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel I will be uploading videos more often I’ll also leave you my Instagram here in case you want to stay in touch and I’ll see you in the next video I hope you have an amazing beautiful day I’ll see you later! bye!