A popular saying these days is to ‘stay in your lane’. In my experience, it’s always been used jokingly in a meme or as a lighthearted negotiation in an Instagram comment war. I never really thought much about what those five words actually meant. Recently I began thinking.
With so many camps and academies and teams and practices, there’s a fair amount of volleyball to go around on the Lower Mainland As a result, there’s a fair amount of pressure to make sure you go to the ‘right’ camps and play on the ‘right’ teams. September seems to be a time of decisions - which sports to play, which teams to play for, which things to cut out. How do you decide? You stay in your lane.
Yes, if you want to be great you need to make sacrifices. Yes, if you are going to be the best in the club, province, or country, you will need to take extra opportunities to get reps outside of normal practice. No, there is no defined list of sacrifices or opportunities to be successful. No, you are not going to be a failure if you don’t take every single opportunity. No, you are not going to get cut from a team because you didn’t go to a camp. Yes, you will get cut from a team if you don’t make every rep matter, whether it’s on the court or in the weight room.
What it really comes down to is commitment. For some, that commitment is signing up for every camp and never missing a practice. For others, that commitment is subtler. It’s always being the sweatiest at practice. It’s late nights or early mornings alone in the weight room. It's being that teammate that everyone wants to share their successes with as much as they want a hug from in their failures. I’m not saying one way is better than another, or even that there is a divide - that’s kind of the whole point of this post. Just because everyone else is taking one path doesn’t mean that’s the right one for you. You do you. At the end of the day, you're the one who has to see your commitments through; in my experience I've enjoyed, and been far more successful in, the things I do because I want to much more than the ones I do because I feel like I'm supposed to. Stay in your lane.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life” – Steve Jobs