By the time my daughter was 10 years old she had tried basketball, kickball, and softball, but never found a sport she truly enjoyed. Then in the spring of 4th grade she attended an after school volleyball clinic and fell in love with the game for the first time ever. We signed her up for a YMCA rec league and she’s been playing on rec teams year round ever since. She wasn’t the most talented player, but she started to develop a passion for the game. At the same time my wife started to suffer from a series of health problems. She was diagnosed with a fibroid tumor that needed immediate surgery, then a little over a year later we ended up in the ER where she was in need of an emergency surgery for a near ruptured double hernia. The hospital bills mounted on top of school loans. Before we knew it, my wife and I, both elementary school teachers, started to really struggle financially. After living from paycheck to paycheck for the last couple years, my wife decided to go back to school to earn her Master’s degree in elementary administration. Meanwhile, our daughter moved on to middle school where she really started to struggle. It was a difficult transition and before long we saw her confidence waver on a daily basis. However, being on the volleyball court seemed to be her safe haven. She wanted so badly to play for her school team. She signed up for camps and clinics that lasted the entire summer. To her amazement, she beat out 85 girls and earned a starting position on the A team. She loved being on the school team, but recognized the most elite players were all members of club teams. My wife and I very badly wanted to find a way to get her on a club team, but financially it seemed impossible. That’s when Coach Coward appeared out of nowhere in the stands at one of our school volleyball games. When he delivered his message about Knockout Volleyball it seemed too good to be true. When we found out she earned a spot on 13s team, we were elated beyond words. There are still a lot of bills that need to be paid, and she still struggles with confidence, but one thing’s for sure, every night when we walk into Westview Middle School for Knockout volleyball practice she has a smile on her face. We recognize what an amazing opportunity this is in her life.