How Three Little Letters Changed My Life

Imagine a group of teenage girls in a volleyball huddle, arms outstretched, excited and bouncing around a little, each one ready to give her best, whether playing in the game or riding the bench. The excitement is palpable.

The coach is in the middle of the huddle, settling the girls down or hyping them up, depending on what is needed. When it is time to break the huddle, you hear the coach yell, “1, 2, 3!” and the girls respond, “PMA!”

PMA? That is an unusual rallying cry. What does it even mean?

PMA stands for positive mental attitude. These three words have been a part of my lift since sophomore year of high school when I first started playing on my high school volleyball team and have affected the course of my life since then.

My high school volleyball coach not only taught me how to play the game, but more importantly, she taught me the value of a positive mindset.

Positive mental attitude. No matter what was happening on the court, not matter what the score was, we always shouted, “PMA!” when we broke the huddle. After three years of playing volleyball with Coach Matty, this rallying cry was ingrained.

High school volleyball was the last official team I played on. In college, I played intramural volleyball and went to aerobics classes with friends, and as a young professional, I played flag football, continued going to aerobics classes, and played tennis and ran with friends, but I have never again been part of a team like my high school volleyball team.

And yet, my high school volleyball team is still a part of me.

I still remember those bus rides to and from games in the cold, dark Wisconsin nights. I remember my mom and dad in the stands cheering us on at every single game, both home and away. I remember the absolute pain in my quads that first week of practice after a summer spent lounging in front of the TV and in the sun.

But most of all, I remember that rallying cry—PMA!—every time we broke from the huddle.

Those three words—positive mental attitude—have guided me, encouraged me, and made me who I am today. Hearing that rallying cry for three volleyball seasons transformed my life—it has given me direction, hope, and guidance.

Positive mental attitude. Simply put, there is no situation a positive mindset cannot improve.


Try it today.

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