Keona Koster, a senior at Kearney High School, recently wrote about how the Lord used the game of volleyball to mature and grow her faith in Jesus Christ. Keona serves on the FCA Leadership Team at KHS and will be attending UNL next year.
By Keona Koster
I had strived for it for years, left everything I had on the court. This was my time…or not.
Volleyball had been my game ever since I could remember. Nevertheless, more than ten years of camps, practices, and games did not result in all-star material. My team senior year was not a state-title team though, either. Fewer teammates to compete with for a starting position would result in an improved chance for me, right? Apparently not. Being a senior would give me leverage, right? That approach did not work either.
It was certainly a shock when the first game came around and I found myself with a numb butt from the bleachers. Not only was I not starting, but my imagined significant role was also reduced to only a few inconsequential points. Talk about a shot to my self-esteem. Concerns materialized immediately. What would my friends and family think when the other two seniors were both starters and leading contributors? Would I be the joke of the team, stuck on the bench, even forgotten?
I am a confident person. However, I hold myself to high standards. Nothing has grounded me back in reality quite as abruptly as feeling so let down by myself. I thought I could count on myself and find success on my own. One small problem: volleyball involves five other people. Realizing the team’s best interests may not line up with my dreams frustrated me. Therefore, I allowed myself to release the anger back onto the people who seemingly caused it: my teammates. I found myself desperately hoping a teammate would have an awful game, which would allow me to fill their spot in the next competition. What kind of awful teammate would wish for the demise of her own teammates? Me, it seemed.
The past three months of my final varsity season generated more maturation than any experience in my eighteen years of living. Humility overwhelmed me as I examined myself. My selfishness had engulfed my love for the game and my teammates. I had lost my focus of glorifying God and simply attempted to glorify myself. A year from now when I enter college, no one will speculate whether I am a person worthy of friendship because I played a minor role on a high school team. Friendships will evolve due to me celebrating my excitement regarding God’s love and living a life like that of Jesus. All in all, I developed deeper self-knowledge through my obstacle than I would have if I had become the star player.
The words of my grandma ring true this season, “Remember how hard you worked to earn your spot on the team. Remember the fun times during practice, or on a road trip, or in the locker room that will become cherished memories.” The importance of the season is not the number of wins and losses or the statistics I average per match. The moments with teammates and the self-knowledge I acquired will matter more in fifty years than the success of the team. Obstacles may at first seem insurmountable, but as I have learned in the past three months, true triumph flourishes from persevering and overcoming the challenge to become a stronger person.Print this Page