For the Rowan volleyball team, it’s all about enjoying the ride

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The rare secret formula for success is a coveted, although abstract,` prize in the sports community.

However, fifth year head coach Deana Jespersen seems to have found it for the Rowan volleyball team with an impressive 10-4 start to the season.

Now, there are those classic sports movies where the stereotypical coach has their entire roll pointed to yell and berate the players in order to “teach” or “motivate” them in some way. While this may work in the movies, in real life it, more often than not, leads to a lack of motivation and excitement that can kill an entire season.

This is why Rowan volleyball takes the polar opposite approach and focuses on a more positive, light-hearted look at the game. They focus on having a good time while also competing at the highest level possible. When mistakes happen, rather than dwelling on them, they learn and move on to the next play.

“They’re [the players] not defined by their mistakes out there, they are defined by their energy and effort,” Jespersen said. “Because they are working so hard, and working so hard together, they are enjoying the game. I think a lot of their success is because they are enjoying the game.”

This positivity creates a sort of family environment where each and every player is going out there to play not just for themselves, but for their teammates as well. This one-for-all, all-for-one mentality leads to every player getting involved in the game and contributing all that they can. Being a well-rounded team that executes on their game plan is a major contributing factor to the early accomplishments of the team during a season.

This success has had a definite effect on the attitude of the team.

“It’s definitely put us in a positive environment and atmosphere overall,” junior outside hitter and team captain Megan Jacobi said. “It’s given us a lot of confidence that we haven’t had in past seasons. Having that confidence, knowing that we can win, and we can execute will definitely help us in further matches.”

Excitement and genuine love of the game are things that can sometimes be lost when athletes start to get into the collegiate and professional levels of their respective sports. That is not the case when it comes to this team. Their team motto and hashtag seems to perfectly describe their vibe as they move forward:

#enjoytheride.

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