on why i think i'm superman, and why i need to stop

As I’ve mentioned before, Rhiannon and I are playing on a competitive recreational co-ed volleyball team. We had a game last night, and while we play didn’t play all that well as a team, I did manage to do something consistent from the previous week – I hurt myself playing volleyball. For a “non-contact” sport, it seems that if you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s downright dangerous. As I’ve been playing over the past few months, I’ve become a better player. I’m also getting a little more confident in my ability to make tough plays. (Whether or not I can remains open for debate.) Consequently, I am more aggressive on the court in going after some balls, even when I shouldn’t be.

Last week, I dove sideways for a ball I had no real realistic shot at getting and came down hard on my knee and hip. This week, I dove forward twice for balls and made the mistake of catching myself on my hands – one of my wrists is pretty sore and a little bruised this morning.

Effort is not my problem. Technique is.

After the game last night, Rhiannon asked me why I dive so high. This made no sense to me, so she elaborated. She told me that I dive from a standing height and jump up into the air, so basically I’m launching myself and falling from around 4 feet up. I’m bound to keep getting hurt and hurt worse if I keep it up.

Also, she made the point that the lower I am, the longer I have to get the ball and make a good play on it rather than flailing in the air as it goes by. I replied that I just do what comes natural, and that happens to involve a small liftoff if required.

She looked at me. “So, you think you can fly, then?”

Well, sure. At least until I hit the ground. She has a couple of suggestions about how to change my style – learn a new technique or just try to stay lower in general. My hip still has a bone bruise like I was hit with a sledgehammer and my wrist isn’t doing much better.

She made one final comment. “In all my years of playing volleyball (high school, college, and recreationally), I have never landed as hard as you have two weeks in a row. You need to do something different.”

Normally, I don’t like to admit I’m wrong, but in this case, I couldn’t agree more. Now in the meantime, pass the Advil and ice.