Pitt State’s volleyball team uses book club to navigate through postponed season

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PITTSBURG, Kan. — Mental wellness is everything.

The Pittsburg State University volleyball coaching staff wanted to show its players that there’s more than just the ‘X’s’ and ‘O’s’ of the game. They wanted to show that when you can’t control the outcome–in this case, a postponed season–you can at least control how you respond.

This idea led to a book club that started this semester, where players are assigned to read the book known as Mind Gym. It’s a book that teaches mental toughness and how to shape your attitude, especially during adversity.

Newcomers and experienced players alike have had the chance to relate to each other, share stories, and even vent about any frustrations. Pittsburg State is doing what it can as if the team was in-season.

They’re staying focused, and taking it upon themselves to respond in a way that best fits them.

“We can lift a ton of weights, we can run, we can do practices and individuals. But who spends a lot of time training that mental side?” Pittsburg State head volleyball coach Jen Gomez said. “And I think that was one thing that I thought with us and our coaching staff was like, ‘This is something that we can do.’

“People thought it was kind of hokey at first and what not. But I think it’s a great opportunity for them to think about the mental side of training and how it’s just as important, if not more important, than what we do on the court.”

Pittsburg State junior Hope White chimed in on the sense of togetherness that the book club has brought forth to the team.

“Being able to do it weekly together, and then obviously we do kind of the homework of reading, and then getting together, doing this and then we play volleyball right after,” White said. “It just kind of brings us all together and makes it all just a bit more worthwhile while we’re waiting for a season.”

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