How to be Resilient on the Court

How to Build Mental Toughness

Build Mental Toughness in Volleyball: “Set Me Again”

Do you persevere in the face of adversity?

Are you able to remain strong minded after a mistake?

While on the court, do you push through whatever obstacles you meet?

I was the type of player who wanted the ball, even after I made a mistake. I started this sort of resilience in high school; playing with absolutely no fear.

If I got blocked, I’d tell my setter to set me again.

If I shanked a ball in serve receive, I’d tap my chest and give an “open arms’ gesture, as to signal, “serve to me again.”

Volleyball is a game of mistakes, and the quicker you learn that, the more successful you’ll be.

I specifically remember a game in college where we were playing a team of trees. The right sides and middles were giants, excellent blockers; and both of whom would be blocking me while attacking.

As an outside, I was an outlet. All outsides are, and because of this, they usually have the most attack attempts.

Early in this particular match I got blocked two times in a row. Not blocks we could have recovered. Flat out, in your face blocks.

I could have easily gotten rattled and told my setter not to set me. As we were communicating our sets with hand signals before the next serve receive, I called for a shoot (a quick ball outside).

My setter looked surprised. We were stacked to the left side of the court, in close proximity of each other. I looked at her with an intense expression and said, “Set me.”

Even though I was blocked on my previous two attacks, my setter pushed me a quick set outside (which most setters wouldn’t have done). I split the block for a 10-foot-line kill.

I thanked my setter for the awesome push and for trusting me with another ball after two mistakes.

Volleyball, like other sports, requires a certain level of toughness.

Mistakes happen, all the time, and your ability to continue and remain resilient determines your level of play.

Your resiliency lies between your ears.

Can you let go of mistakes?

Are you confident? Do you trust your skills?

Do you remain focused on your task?

Do you stay composed?

If you can say yes to these mental skills, you’re resilient.

You continue to fight no matter what’s in front of you.

If your answer was no, start to build your mental skills and thus, mental toughness.

Learn to play each point at a time, trust in your skills, and have an unwavering confidence.

For more information on how to build mental toughness and be resilient, check out our one-on-one mental training programs:

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