• Coach Job

Dark Spots, Negative Space

The future is now here and requires magic glasses to see it.

One day, a professor entered his classroom and asked his students to prepare for a surprise test. They all waited anxiously at their desks for the exam to begin. The professor handed out the exams with the text facing down, as usual. Once he handed them all out, he asked the students to turn over the papers. To everyone's surprise, there were no questions–just a dark dot in the center of the paper. Seeing the expression on everyone's faces, the professor told them the following: "I want you to write about what you see there." The students, confused, got started on a difficult task.

At the end of the class, the professor took all the exams and started reading each one of them out loud in front of all the students. All of them, with no exception, defined the black dot, trying to explain its position in the center of the sheet. After he read all the papers, the classroom was silent; the professor started to explain: "I'm not going to grade you on this, I just wanted to give you something to contemplate."

No one wrote about the white part of the paper.

Everyone focused on the dark space – and the same thing happens in our lives. However, we insist on focusing only on the shaded area – the COVID-19 event, the uncertain future, high school sports, the complicated relationship with a family member, the disappointment with a friend.

However, one skill that sets an effective leader from others is the ability to see possibilities but also what's missing. The average person can see the obvious. They don't need special lenses to see that the Statue of Liberty is a popular tourist attraction. No magic glasses need to see Starbucks sells community for the coffee enthusiast. But, special glasses are required to see what's missing in the world.

Artists and designers use negative space to refer to the white background that surrounds the dark spot in the story above. Composers use silence between notes that add poetic nuance to their music. In the Junior Volleyball arena, these are the spaces that harbor opportunities.

At NU Breed, we are committed to discovering the negative space in the current junior volleyball experience. We are committed to providing the highest degree of service to our Tribe, and we will look at three critical elements.

First, recognize that every crisis provides a space for creativity and innovation. The health risk of large tournaments presents space for local smaller venues. Hosting area tournament is a solution to travel guidelines.

The future is now; it is here. It will be essential to look for patterns of change and areas of resistance. Not everything changes simultaneously. We will look to be a catalyst for changes that align with the emerging future of Junior Volleyball.

Third, NU Breed will be proactive in identifying how developing trends will affect established norms of doing junior volleyball. Imagine high schools dropping volleyball programs? How do we respond to this void? We want to prepare to offer practical solutions to new challenges. We want to have answers now because opportunities have a short life span now.

We will need these magic glasses to create the visible by that which is invisible.

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