personal profile question: Tell us more about ONE or TWO activities listed above that are most important to you. Please explain the role you played and what you learned in the process.
There is no doubt my role as an assistant coach has allowed me to grow and develop my leadership skills and establish confidence in my abilities. Volleyball has always been my favourite sport, and so taking the chance to help others recognize the sport for all it has to offer was an easy choice. Walking into the first practice, however, was incredibly nerve-wracking as for the first time I was all on my own, far outside my comfort zone. I quickly learned, however, that I had no reason to worry as the head coaches were very welcoming and supportive. Being able to relax into the environment enabled me to concentrate on leading and motivating the team, inspiring the kids to do their best, no matter the outcome. I had no idea how much of an impact my actions could leave until I began to see the product of my effort come alive. Not only did I begin to see my confidence levels rise, but I noticed the kids were more self-assured and comfortable with themselves. The realization that I had a part to do with their increased levels of certainty lead me to become aware of and acknowledge my leadership abilities. One kid in particular especially challenged my role as a leader. He was often off task and cooperated only when he felt like it. I had to figure out a way in which I could get through to him and get him participating enthusiastically, all while helping him develop his skills as a volleyball player. I ended up presenting the game in a way that wasn't just about practical skill and focus, instead I turned the game into one where the focus wasn't on constantly trying to be perfect in terms of technique but allowed him to be creative and engage with the game on a different level. The challenges I faced while coaching tested my leadership capabilities, but they also helped me further enhance and polish these qualities. I learned what it truly means to be a leader, beyond the basic definition.
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