When I was younger, I used to jump from sport to sport trying to figure out which one spoke to me. By the age of ten, I had participated in four sports: soccer, swimming, basketball, and tennis. Then, I found volleyball, the sport I have grown to love. My first experience ever playing volleyball started rocky because I did not make the U11 club team at the first tryout I attended. But, instead of giving up, I worked harder, tried out at another club, and persevered to earn a position on a U12 team as a 10-year-old starting me onto my volleyball career path.
More than the sports that I have played, volleyball really showed me how competitive I am and how much I hate to lose. As the result of this, volleyball has also provided me with the confidence to grow into a leader. Initially I was very shy on the court as the youngest player. Now I am still the youngest player on my high school volleyball varsity squad, but I work to be a leader on the court because I know that team unity and mental toughness by every player on every point lead to strong team performance. This past year my club team was unusually tall as a group, and because of my serve receive skills from playing doubles the coach wanted to work on my versatility as an outside and right side hitter. This was both fun and challenging, as it allowed me to further develop my back row skills and learn to hit a larger variety of sets. Playing time for 10-11 players in tournaments is tough for club coaches, so there were tournaments where I played in all three positions: middle, outside, and opposite the setter. Middle hitting gaps is still my favorite, and I am looking forward to going back to that routine as part of the High Performance Continental Select Youth team in Tulsa and during my sophomore high school season, but I thank my club coach for making me a more well rounded player this year.
Volleyball has not only brought out my desire to make perfect plays and win, but it has also driven me to set high academic goals. Setting my goals high has led to an all honors class schedule in the upcoming school year. Ultimately my hope is that this challenging schedule will maximize my learning and lead to a great selection of college choices and a future degree in a science field such as biochemistry.