Emma Kyle, number 8, is a senior at MPC in Kennesaw, Ga. She is a starter on the volleyball team which just won its second state championship. Emma will tell you that a state championship does not come easily. It requires commitment, determination, mental focus, and hard work from the players. Emma Kyle is a perfect example of what that recipe can produce.
Emma grew up around a gym because her mom, Syndi coached all through Emma’s childhood. Watching the girls playing volleyball sparked a passion in her for the sport. She has played for nine years. Her training includes daily practices with her team, and time in the gym working on her vertical because that is a huge component to her position as a middle hitter. Emma has also played on clubs and she has played beach volleyball with Southern Select Sands. The variety of coaching she has received has helped her to grow.
Emma states that she has also worked on her mental strength. She feels it is sometimes more important than skill. She said, “If you lack confidence and don’t have the mental strength to bounce back from your mistakes, all the skills in the world won’t matter.” She stays focused by realizing she is playing for God instead of herself. She said if she is smiling and having fun, she can focus and play at her best. Emma thinks that obsessing over errors holds players back, and keeps players from moving forward and reaching their full potential.
Emma is too modest to admit it, but her mom describes Emma’s determination to be the best she can be. Syndi tells how Emma realized she had to work on jumping. If you look at any of the many photos she is in, you will be amazed at how far off the ground she can jump. Her mom and dad are her biggest fans and they are so proud of how hard she has worked to achieve her goals.
Becoming a successful athlete takes commitment and hard work, but it does often pay off in the end. Emma will soon be wearing a state ring and she will be playing volleyball at Covenant College next year. Emma’s coach Selina Chancy says, “Committing to excellence in sports, teaches how to commit to excellence in relationships, work, and life in general.” I would say that Emma Kyle has definitely learned those lessons.