Y'all meet Madeline! She is the one of the most dedicated athletes at Volleyballer. We are so proud of how far she has come in her training and building her confidence. She came to us as a Level 1 beginner and is now training with us on the Level 2 Developmental Team. She and her mom have shared some of their experience with us in a little interview below.
Before Volleyballer did you have athletic goals when it came to volleyball?
Before Volleyballer, I tried out for my middle school team, but I didn't make it. The coach offered me the opportunity to be the team manager and practice with them. It definitely helped me understand the game more, but wasn't enough to improve my skills a ton. So, when I tried out later for a club team, I once again didn't make it. Our school athletic director was really supportive and recommended Volleyballer. Ever since, I have been training with them to try to get better and hopefully make the school team and possibly a club team someday. Volleyballer has taught me so much and I definitely feel more optimistic about making my team next year. I plan to show my coaches how much I have improved, and make them proud. I already know that my family, friends, and coaches from Volleyballer Academy are proud, and have helped me every step of the way.
Which skills did you lack knowledge and technique on?
Before I started Volleyballer, I knew I loved the sport, but I lacked knowledge and technique, especially on serving and hitting. Now thanks to Volleyballer I can make a serve well over the net, can make a hit over and score a point, and have gotten much better at drills and games. I also have built up my confidence. I started off being very shy, not making many friends at class, but as my confidence on the court grew, that showed through in my daily life. Volleyballer has improved my skills so much over such a short period of time, and it was fun, too.
What was your first impression of Volleyballer?
My first impression of Volleyballer was that it would help me learn how to get better, but I didn't know how much and I didn't know how fun it would be yet. Coach Ariel and Ms. Jocelyn were very welcoming and made me feel comfortable. I will never regret a second of doing Volleyballer. It is so much fun, helpful, and can build up skills that I use in my daily life off the court, too, like commitment, confidence, teamwork, patience, and kindness.
Were you intimidated or lack confidence your first time at Volleyballer?
I was very shy and not confident at all when I first entered Volleyballer. I thought I would do horribly, and people would notice that. There were so many girls there that I admired and aimed to be as good as, because of their personality, confidence, and skills. Now I am partnering up with some of them and able to keep up! Volleyballer has made me into a more confident person, and I love it, and will be forever grateful to them for all the support Coach Ariel, Ms. Jocelyn, and Coach Meredith have given me.
How has Volleyballer impacted your life as a player and a person?
Volleyballer has changed my life for the better. I have been more confident, therefore trying new things, taking risks, and just in general being a better teammate and friend. I have lost all shyness when it comes to meeting new people, and have completely engaged myself in learning more volleyball. I always try to practice after school, before school, and honestly sometimes during school too, at recess. The only reason I am so hooked on volleyball is because of Volleyballer. Coach Ariel, Ms. Jocelyn, and all the other coaches that I have met have helped me get better. Volleyballer has changed my life forever, and I am so glad it did.
Have you created any new athletic goals since joining Volleyballer?
Since I started Volleyballer my goals have changed and grown. I just wanted to get good enough to make my school team. I now want to make the school team, gain more skills with Volleyballer, make a club team, and I love it so much that I want to get good enough to KEEP making the team, through the rest of middle school, high school, and even college. I love volleyball, and I am so glad Volleyballer has opened up my world to new possibilities, and chances that I never would have taken before.
How did attending multiple events help you grow?
After the first class that I did at Volleyballer, I couldn't help but come back for more. Every class I did helped build on what I previously learned and I love it. It helped me break down why we do what we do on the court and add to what I was learning every time. My coaches made sure that I got the most out of Volleyballer, and I made sure they got the most out of me by always giving it 100%.
Will you continue to train with us?
I will definitely continue to train with Volleyballer. Even if I make the school or club team, I will always be a Volleyballer and come when I can. Volleyballer has helped me so much I wouldn't want to end such a good thing when, to me, it's just getting started. Every class I take I leave having learned something new about the game or my own abilities. I know I will keep training at Volleyballer, and would recommend it to anyone who loves this sport.
At what moment did you realize as an individual and a family that attending more than one Volleyballer event for your skill level would be beneficial to your athletes growth?
As a family, we prioritize supporting local women- and minority-owned businesses as a practice, so it was an easy choice to sign up for her first boot camp. Meeting Coach Ariel and Jocelyn, learning why they do what they do, and seeing firsthand the commitment and energy they give to the girls made coming back for more a no-brainer. One bootcamp hooked us, and we're now volleyballers for life. The more she attends, the more she grows as a player and a person, and we are so grateful she has found a community where she can learn and thrive and have fun doing it. -Madeline's mom