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My name is Kaylee Bundrick, I am 18 years old and a senior in high school. I am probably most known as the girl who loves volleyball. Ever since I started playing this sport at eight years old, I knew that volleyball would be a huge part of my life. And I was right.

When I was younger, maybe 10 or 11, I was definitely not the girl most people wanted to have on their team. At first, I was confused about why people didn’t want to play with me. I thought I was a decent athlete, but then I realized that maybe it wasn’t because of my skill level, maybe it was because of the way I treated my teammates.

There is one example of this I remember very vividly. When I was 11 years old and lived in Missouri, our coach had all the players write notes to each other at the end of the season. The notes were to consist of something about the person on and off the court. All of my notes said the same thing….”You are a lot of fun and a good friend off the court but when we are playing volleyball you are kind of rude and mean.” That is when God began the very long process of changing the kind of teammate and ultimately the kind of person I was to become.

Trying to change was not an easy task for me. I am very competitive, hate losing, always want to be in control, detest failure, and have a need to be perfect.

God has used sports as a way to mold me into the person He knows I can be. All of the things I struggled with, God helped me first realize them and then second find a way to overcome them. Volleyball has taught me patience, gentleness, how to encourage, how to be competitive without being cruel, selflessness, and so much more.

Now I find myself as one of the leaders on the team. Instead of only thinking of myself, I am looking at the other players and considering how I can encourage them and how we can work together as a team.

Through all of this growing, my passion for volleyball only intensified and playing in college became a huge dream of mine. During my junior year of high school, I struggled with doubt and frustration as all my friends had already been recruited and committed to different colleges. So then I began wondering if God desired for me to play or maybe volleyball was becoming my idol. I struggled with this for quite some time, but we had a devotion before our state championship game and one of the moms shared this thought, “if you feel God’s pleasure while you are doing something then keep doing it because that is where he wants you.” As soon as I heard that everything clicked. I loved volleyball because that is where I feel connected to God. I feel His pleasure and joy on the court. I now see volleyball as a gift from Him, a place that I can worship and praise Him.

Today God has blessed me with an amazing scholarship to play volleyball at Colorado Christian University. I know God will work through me in this new situation and I’m so excited to see what He has planned for me.