The Locker Room with Roxanne Hernandez: Week 2

Dear Diary,


            Today was a better than yesterday. I’m about to head into my last class for the day and practice went over decently.

            We recently started doing this new drill that is a straight-up challenge. It’s a wash drill which means that one side of the net is forced to do something a certain amount of times in a row in order to be successful. In our case, three balls must be handled efficiently on one side in order to score. The objective is for the A team to get to 20 points before the B side. There are also a number of consequences for unsuccessful plays in addition, so, while the drill is tiring and the A team hasn’t clicked quite yet, our only option is to keep grinding through.

            I saw Dr. Stube last week regarding some serious pain in my left knee and he said its patellar tendonitis. That’s a pretty common injury for athletes whose sport involves a lot of jumping like volleyball or basketball. The best I can do is ice up and work on strengthening my muscles around my knee.

Yesterday, I had to sit for an entire practice so that I could have a complete day off and try to salvage myself for Niagara this weekend. It’s a simple act of Jenny (our trainer) limiting my jumping and pulling me out of drills but it’s the hardest thing to just sit and watch. Today, I was back on the court (with a number of breaks) and I started my rehab program. Saturday marks our first match of the second half of conference which means we still have a lot of volleyball to play. That fact combined with my awesome support system leaves me only one option: keep pushing.

The unfortunate time I am sitting out doesn’t have all negatives. It’s an opportunity for me to work on ways that I can help my teammates even if I am not on the court. The wash drill is the chance for me to give a sideline perspective in the voice of a player which may reach the girls in a different way than any of the coaches. It’s a lingering concept I have from an awesome guest speaker we had talk to our team.

Last Friday, Jeff O’Brien had a presentation/discussion set up for our team all about leadership and branding. We were able to have conversation about how important branding is for a team and got everyone talking about how each of us views ourselves as people and as representatives of a brand. He noted that a brand is not just a product. It can be an idea or people too. So, I am a brand.

When asked what the best part about being a Griff is, I will always say being a part of something bigger than me. As a student and athlete combined, you not only showcase your athleticism and wear the jersey for your school’s cool colors. I represent a number of people every day and at a moment’s notice I can either enhance my brand or I can damage it. If I sit with a pout on the sidelines because I’m hurting, I’m choosing to care more about my own needs than the team. If I continue to cheer and give my team positivity from the sidelines, I show a sense of collectiveness and faith in my team. If I choose to slack off in the classroom, I know I am disappointing my mentors. If I make a dumb decision as a young adult, I can’t help but think how that affects my family back home. It may seem like an obvious concept to some people, but it’s amazing how easily forgotten it is. 

That is why I say the only option I have is to keep going, no matter what. My coach counts on me, my teammates count on me and my family counts on me and I have the opportunity (not just a responsibility) to make them proud. So why not make every day count?

            My peak and pit: My peak was getting a 100 percent on my Sports Management test. My pit was that it was a beautiful day before practice and then rain central by the time I got out just two hours later. #BuffaloWeatherProbs

            Until next time!




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