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Volleyball Team as an Example of Discourse Community

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A discourse community is a group of people involved in and communicating about a particular topic, issue, or in a particular field. In a discourse community, one can get to know others and express the knowledge they’re passionate about towards a certain topic. This is how people communicate and reach their goals. Communicating with others is a great advantage, especially when trying to perform a certain task. In my discourse community of practice, I have found that being part of an organized group with a certain purpose, such as volleyball, has contributed to the success in my life and on the floor amongst my teammates.

Volleyball is one of many discourse communities that help me as a writer. There are many particular aspects to volleyball that a player has to abide by, such as: the terminology, goals, and the rules of the game. Being part of a volleyball discourse community has taught me self discipline and even how to become closer with the people on my team. In volleyball, there are specific rules that every player and coach must abide by. Few teams will recognize them and others may learn from experiencing the rules in game play. The excellence behind learning the rules of volleyball is so that the player knows how to play with the team and recognize the calls being made for future references. Knowing the rules of the game can result in a successful team.

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Along with the regulations of the game, the player must understand the terminology and language that only the athletes of the sport can pursue. First of all, the terminology that a volleyball player learns is: passing, setting, hitting, and learning to serve to the zones on the court. The read says, “ … Mr. Eponym because he was so infatuated with eponymous terminology, the more obscure the better” (Klass). Without the knowledge or experience of these particular terms, the players will not know what is going on, what plays and routes are being played, and most importantly what the coaches and referees are saying. As a middle blocker/hitter in my discourse community, I have mistakenly misread the block countless times. This results in the defense of a decreased chance of reading the ball correctly to pass it up to the setter, so the setter can set the ball to the hitters for a successful attack.

Teammates can play an important role in this selection of discourse community. When each player knows his or her role, the rest of the team can focus individually on their own tasks without having to worry about everyone else. Not only does the athlete take responsibility for their role but they also take pride in it. Feeling good about the effort you and your team have put forth, just by communicating, sharing their thoughts, and completing their task results in success. Playing volleyball with my teammates can be challenging at times, especially when all of us are not on the same page but it has made me think about how important it is that we base our play off of each other.

When it comes to setting goals, they can have a positive impact in your life and the people around you in your discourse community. Just like John Swales states, “To determine if a group or organization is a discourse community, you need to see if they have common goals” (Swales). Goals should be held at high standards yet measurable and realistic. ( Insert quote). As a player, I have many goals that I set for myself each and every game. My goals consist of getting a certain amount of kills, putting my head down when I block, calling the hit loud, communicating with my team, closing the block, and hitting the zones on the other side of the court to get a kill. My goals would not be achieved if it were not for the help of my teammates. They boost my confidence and we all work hard together. This results in a complete discourse community.

When entering a discourse community, you can expect a couple of things. New information will be brought upon your attention, people will share their experiences, and you will be taught certain ways how to do a certain task. In my volleyball discourse community, we have gotten new players this past year. They did not know much about the game nor did they acquire the skills. As an upperclassman and responsible teammate, I and a couple of the senior girls made sure that these new players were comfortable in their new sport and their surroundings. I explained and showed them through demonstrations, the basic necessities and skills of the game. After a while, they became adjusted and worked efficiently in what was being asked of them in practice. This is important because not only was the game of volleyball somewhat foreign to them, but they took me and some of the other player’s advice. In a discourse community, learning new details can make you successful. I am glad I had the opportunity to be a part of their success.

Communication plays a huge role in a discourse community. In volleyball, or any type of sport, if there is no communication, players will not be able to execute the play or their route in order to score points. Volleyball is a loud and very communicative sport. On the floor, my teammates and I are constantly communicating back and forth. When a ball is coming towards us we say “mine” indicating that we are going to take the ball, so other players can be aware of that and back off.

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