Volleyball U20 Boys Team
Jayden Lim DP1A
Success – what is it? Is it coming first place in the championship? Or achieving the top grade in every test? Or bouncing back from failure after failure?
Our greatest takeaway from our season was not volleyball skills – it was the development of our mentality and attitude. This season, just like all the previous ones, has brought about daunting challenges, tremendous exhilaration and colourful memories that will be cherished for the rest of our lives.
The U20 Boys wrote a new chapter in the journey of SISHK’s volleyball teams, but there is more than meets the eye. Beyond the volleyball court lay an opponent far more formidable than any of our opponents we faced throughout the years: IBDP. The letters that instigate trepidation and dread in the hearts of all DP students. IBDP is one of the most demanding curriculums in the world and students have an incredible amount of workload handed to them. Fatigue sets in by the end of the school day, and everyone shows up to training weary and jaded. That was our greatest obstacle.
Most of our members in our U20 team had no prior volleyball experience, so our team had an extremely low morale at the start of the season. Gone were the exuberant teenagers from last season who would rush to the sports hall to train, and the prospect of winning the championship was nothing but a fleeting thought. Wouldn’t it be amazing if I told you that we still managed to pull off multiple victories despite this mentality? Yeah, it would be if we did. Our team suffered 8 successive defeats, a huge humiliation for a team with members who came 2nd in the ISSFHK championship last year.
But out of the string of failures blossomed something far stronger, far greater, and far more important than any victory could offer: resilience. If I could describe the members of the U20 boys this season in one word, it would be resilient. A newfound determination saw an exponential growth in team spirit, effort and commitment to the sport. We took a more proactive approach and changed the date of our training sessions to days where we deemed ‘more relaxing’, allowing us to give our 100% in every training session. Our new players worked exceptionally hard to hone their skills and the ‘veterans’ of our team did their best to assist them and refine their technique. The upshot of this was a significant amelioration of our team’s morale and skill, and this was displayed on the court in subsequent games. However, a victory remained elusive. We managed to push our opponents to their limit, but their experience as a team far outweighed ours, which proved to be the deciding factor in games.
Weeks flew by and we continued to train, harder and harder, fuelled by the sole target: victory. And there were only two games left. It was now or never.
Sports hall, 4pm. Our final shot at victory. We witnessed an incredible home support from students and teachers from SISHK, cheering us on, bolstering our confidence. A stellar display of athleticism and team spirit saw us clinch the first set 25-16 against our first opponent.
Set 2: 24-23. Match point SISHK.
A superb dig from Gordon was met with a sublime set by Ee Chuan. Everyone in the sports hall held their breaths. A flawless spike from Marco sailed past the fingers of the blockers and landed in the right side of the court. 25-16, 25-23. Game, SISHK. A thunderous roar erupted from the stands as we celebrated our victory. At last, our hard work had paid off. At last, we had our taste of victory. At last, we proved to ourselves what we could achieve.
Our phenomenal performance in the first game was followed up with a decisive win in our second game to wrap up an unbelievable evening.
We encountered hurdle after hurdle, faced defeat after defeat and had obstacles thrown at us in every direction, but in the end, our resilience enabled us to achieve victory. And that, to us, is success.