What Volleyball Means To Me
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What Volleyball Means To Me

A passion like no other.

What Volleyball Means To Me
Morgan Fontenot

Everyone has a passion...or at least they should. Some people have a passion for playing music, drawing cartoon characters, cooking a five star meal, or even sewing a blanket. I would have to say my passion is the sport of volleyball. I started playing volleyball when I was in the fifth grade. From the time I had my first practice to my first game, I knew this sport would mean so much to me. My fifth grade coach was one of a kind. She taught my team that volleyball is fun, but it's also competitive. At ten years old, we learned the game and what it was like to fight at such a young age. My mom was a basketball coach, so I knew what it meant to be a part of a team and the hard work you had to put into a sport.

My team placed first in our district and second in our league. When we received that trophy and I placed my hands on its perfection, I felt like a champion. The season was over and I was devastated and could not wait until next season. I spent my days at my house with my volleyball playing on my roof and making my parents practice hitting balls to me. When the spring came around, I was involved in an accident where I broke all the bones in my left foot and had to have immediate surgery. I could not walk for three months and my doctor told me I might not ever be able to play volleyball again. He was wrong...

The next school year came around and volleyball season was starting. I had just started being able to walk again on July 31st, but still had a limp. My coaches told me to sit down for the practices and not run but I, being my stubborn self, ran with the team. I was the last person to finish any of my laps, but I didn't care because I had so much passion for this sport. I told my coaches I was perfectly fine to play and so they gave me a shot. I never went to physical therapy because I wanted to do it myself. I spent my days after school learning to run again so I can efficiently play volleyball.

My seventh grade year I wanted to improve my skills, so I joined a select team in which we traveled and played competitive volleyball. I continued to play club ball throughout my eighth grade and freshman year of high school. By the time I was a freshman in high school, my coach saw potential in me, and decided to put me on varsity. I was the happiest freshman on the planet in that moment in time. My fifth grade coach always said I had beautiful hands and she could always see me being a setter. My high school coach evidently saw the same for me and so I began training with the UL head coach for setting. Once my sophomore year came around, I started as the varsity setter. It was honestly the best season my team had because we made it to the quarter-finals at state, but fell short. That was one of the best games of my life.

I'm not going to lie, there were times where I was disrespected by teammates and I ended up hating the sport and wanted to throw in the towel and quit. My mother always told me to be the stronger person and not to ever give up. I decided to suck down my tears and stick to the sport. It was the best decision I've ever made. My junior and senior year were a breeze and I was just ready to graduate. My coaches asked me if I was interested in playing college volleyball. I thought long and hard, but turned it down. I decided I wanted to start my coaching career early as a freshman in college and so I did.

I began playing in adult leagues and beach volleyball starting my freshman year of college and it kept me playing the game. Coaching, on the other hand, is another story. The first team I coached was a ten year old team for Cajun Elite Volleyball Club. At times it was frustrating because they were so young and obviously aren't going to know all fundamentals of volleyball. I had to think to myself that I was once their age and I had to put myself in their shoes. At one point in time I was that little girl that desired to be the best player I could be and I wanted to give that back to those girls. I wanted them to play with the desire and passion that I once felt. For just being ten years old, I tell you those kids were amazing. We placed first in almost every tournament and made it to nationals to play in Orlando, Florida.

This is my third year coaching and I couldn't be any happier. Coaching gives me a different look on not only the sport of volleyball, but an outlook on life. My senior year I received an award that is like no other. I was honored to travel to Baton Rouge my freshman year of college to receive it and become the first recipient in Louisiana history to receive the Golden Beach Integrity Award. The award itself is an hourglass composed of 14k gold sand and when you flip it, the sand trickles down represents just how precious time can be. "Complete as many tasks as you can in this time Morgan. You can do anything." Those words that were told to me, I hold close to my heart, because it's not just about volleyball anymore, it's about life. I would not be here as a volleyball player and a coach without a few important people in my life...my supporters. I just want to thank my #1 supporter, my mother, for always being there for me and believing in my ability to play ball. I would also like to thank my coaches in my past playing time for working and pushing me to my best ability. Find your passion, and seek it. It is something that no one will ever be able to take away from you. To you, volleyball may just be a sport...but to me, it is my whole life.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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