I’m quite sure that this is the first time anyone from this team has posted something in English, so I’ve got to admit that there’s a great deal of pressure to do it right (yikes). Yet I’m also very grateful for being allowed to do so. It means I’ll be able to truly express my thoughts on being a member of this team, which is something I haven’t been able to do with much success (I keep on promising everyone that I’ll improve my Japanese, but that’s something more easily said than done…). The content of what I’m going to say might be very general, but I thought it’d be appropriate to write about some of the thoughts I had as a ‘foreign’ student in a Japanese-style volleyball team. So here goes!
I remember that when I first began coming to practice, I was confused as to why everyone in the team was just so obsessed with the sport and so driven to improve their play in even the slightest way. I thought, ‘What the heck? Why on earth do we have to time our drills to the second?’ I realize now that this is because I hadn’t fully experienced the things that every volley-bu 先輩 has gone through. The frustration, guilt, and utter disappointment that comes with defeat, as well as the happiness of victory that can only be compared to how we felt the moment we found out that we got into Todai. One thing I now know for sure is that when playing in a team, you’ve got to give it your all in order to compete without regrets.
I’m also very proud to say that I’m convinced we’ll be able to do so when it hits summer and the tournaments come up. Recently, I’ve been feeling more strongly than ever how this team is one that constantly evolves. With a new coach that teaches us jumping drills (that Michael Jordan used to swear by), 先輩 that I am literally in love with, and the support of countless OB and OG (who are willing to come teach us on Sunday morning practices), I feel like we’ll definitely be able to compete without regrets. [emoji:v-112]