Aidan Labossiere, Second-Year, Trent Excalibur Men's Volleyball
I am from Atikokan, Ontario – population 2,700; a small community in Northwestern Ontario. In such a small town, there is not a lot to do, so I took up sports to keep myself busy; hockey, volleyball, basketball, badminton, and anything else that could keep me active. I got involved with volleyball at around the 6th grade and there was always something about it that I couldn't ignore. The fact that every single person on the court had to contribute for you to be successful made me respect how difficult of a game it was and how important teamwork was as well.
"I was often told I could never play at the university level."
An interesting point of my journey is that all throughout high school, I was a left side attacker, but I loved playing defence. I have always played with a very defensive mindset and this helped me become a very versatile player. To me, the impossible dig was so much more impressive than bouncing a ball straight down. I am 5'10 and was always one of the smallest guys on the team. I was often told I could never play at the university level; that I would never get anywhere after high school. This didn't stop me. It motivated me.
I moved 1,600 kilometres away from home to attend Trent University. When I came to Trent, I had no expectation of making the varsity team, but I knew I had to go to the open tryouts and leave everything I had on the court. The coach noticed this and offered me the only spot that ten others were trying out for. When I was offered the libero spot,I was shocked and exuberant, and in that moment, proved wrong all those who had doubted me.
Throughout my first-year I got a fair-share of court-time, playing in 22 sets and 13 matches. I learned more in my first season than I did during my whole high school career and worked harder than I thought I could.
"I promote living in the moment and taking the game one point at a time."
Off the court, I am currently enrolled in the Media Studies program; keeping up with a full-time schedule and maintaining an honour-roll (80%) average required a lot of work due to the time commitment of volleyball. I practice five days per week, not including workouts, conditioning, video sessions, and competition, all of which also occur weekly. Bringing work on road trips and staying up until 2:00am was a regular occurrence for me and my teammates to ensure success as student-athletes.
Throughout the years, volleyball has taught me success, failure, and to be persistent when things become difficult. I promote living in the moment and taking the game one point at a time. I always relate this to my life because when I get stressed or when things become difficult I stop and take it one step at a time. This always helps me from getting too overwhelmed and allows me to focus. Living in the moment is hard to do, but it has allowed me to appreciate what is in front of me and has allowed me to enjoy the game and enjoy my life much easier.
My advice to anyone involved in sport is to never give up and to never doubt your abilities. It matters not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog. Confidence is key in execution; every time you touch the court, or the field, or the ice, you must believe you are the best, while remaining humble. That attitude will push you in the right direction. If people doubt you, don't let it stop you, use that doubt as fuel to prove them wrong and keep moving forward.