UNDERDOG MENTALITY: Broncos' Smith Ready for Best Self This Season
FORT BEND BUSH SENIOR SETTER JESSICA SMITH STARTED PLAYING VOLLEYBALL WHEN SHE WAS EIGHT YEARS OLD. SHE ENJOYED THE COMPETITIVENESS OF THE GAME, AS WELL AS ITS TECHNICAL, MENTAL AND PHYSICAL STRESSES.
Smith also loves what the game can bring and mean on any given day, which is why the 2020 second team, all- district selection is excited about this season.
"I feel like we'll definitely be an underdog," Smith said. "Our seasons haven't been the greatest in the past two years, but this year I feel like we're a force to be reckoned with. I definitely expect to make the playoffs."
If the Broncos are to make the postseason, Smith will play a crucial role. She is smarter with her ball placement and has worked hard on defense and running a faster offense.
Smith said she expects her best self this season. That also means continuing to improve as a leader.
"My whole life, I've kind of been a leader, so it wasn't hard. But it was different," Smith said. "A good kind of different. I try and lead by example and do things right and be someone younger players can lean on and learn from. It means a lot to me to represent our team well."
Smith talked more with VYPE.
VYPE: What motivates or inspires you?
SMITH: Everybody always thinks we're not going to be successful. We're a bunch of coachable players who listen and train so hard. We're up at the school a lot and spend hours training and working really hard.
VYPE: What is something that people may not know about Jessica Smith?
SMITH: I'm a very passionate person. The game is bigger than winning or losing to me. It's about us getting better and seeing improvement in ourselves. It's really about the mindset. It's about, hey, was that your best game and did you give your all and do you have any regrets or anything you could've done better? The game is a mindset.
VYPE: What have you learned about yourself through volleyball?
SMITH: My mindset is tougher than what I think. People think that just because you're good, or just because you're skilled and talented, that things aren't tough. But people don't see that I've cried after games. The game can hurt. But I've stayed mentally strong. I know I won't give up. I know things will always get better.
This story appeared in the Inaugural VYPE Fort Bend ISD Fall Edition, which is now available to pick up at your local Fort Bend ISD High Schools.