It’s pretty much a given that to have success, athletes need to have the physical ability to excel in their chosen sports.
But the mental ability to excel is often underrated — even though, in truth, it is equally important.
That is the dilemma facing the Mingus Marauders in volleyball this season. They have the physical ability to compete with, and beat, every team they’ve played, but according to head coach Amanda Puckett, they have struggled with the mental aspects of the game.
“Every game we’re losing — it’s just a completely mental thing for us,” Puckett said. “Physically, they know how to pass the volleyball, but mentally they just need to stop going internal and just play the game.”
That feeling was echoed by senior outside hitter Sarah Ortiz, who noted that the team’s inconsistent passing has been setting the tone for everything else.
“It’s just really mental,” she said. “We just need to start getting our hits and doing what we know how to do. We have the ability to win.”
The Marauders [5-7] did not show that ability against the ninth-ranked Thunderbird Chiefs [10-3] at home Tuesday, Oct. 8, losing 3-0 [25-13, 25-21, 25-20] despite leading by as many as five points in both the second and third sets.
For the full story, please see the Wednesday, Oct. 16, issue of the Cottonwood Journal Extra.