I have yearned for a drone camera for many seasons and many reasons. To get overhead views of iconic buildings, uncluttered by street-level irritants. To get shots of bridges whose adjacent lands offer no safe place to stand (What were City planners thinking?). To get closer to flocks of sandhill cranes coo-gurgling too far away from my zoom lens. To take stomach-churning video of canyons. To take time-lapse video of high-school girls’ volleyball.
Wait. What was that last one?
Yes, you read aright. I want a drone camera to get above a volleyball court. A game video, appropriately edited (And how hard can that be?), would show six bodies pulsing like one jellyfish: In, out; in, out.
We recently spectated a weekend of volleyball games in Las Vegas. Even in a city dedicated to over-the-top spectacles, it was quite an event: from the whole 752-girl weekend down to each court, each game. Next time I might take earplugs: Several hundred girls hammering balls around make quite a racket in a convention hall converted to a gym. But it was a positive loud.
There were no discouraging words from parents and grandparents and such, hollering from court-side chairs.
Great serve! / Nice shot! / You got this!
There were no discouraging words from the coach, communicating specific reminders of proper form more by demonstration than by shouts that would be lost in the general cacophony, and otherwise hollering generic encouragement.
Do a squat to get under the ball! / Hit it down at the net! / You got this!
And there were no discouraging words from the players. I saw players commiserate with someone who had missed a shot after diving to the floor for it. I saw players take responsibility for a lost point, communicating clearly whether through gestures or words.
I never – never – saw anyone blame another individual for a lost point.
Instead, after every point – win or lose – the girls came together in the middle of the court. To celebrate or to re-focus, as warranted. And in either case, to pump themselves up for the next point.
OK! / Let’s go! / We got this!
Then they returned to their assigned spots, ready to roll. In, out; in, out. It would make a great time-lapse video.
In sports there is a time for looking to future performance: training, practicing, coaching. There is a time for looking at past performance: critiquing individuals, teams, methodologies. And there is a time for looking only at current performance: encouraging others and ourselves.
And as in sports, so too in life. That volleyball weekend reminded me not to treat day-to-day living as if it were a training or a critiquing opportunity. To keep my focus on encouragement. Of others and of myself.
Let’s go! / We got this!