Makayla Linebarger- Defining The JNS Experience Beyond The Skills
By: JoAnn Bryant
This months “JNS Athlete Spotlight” is a special individual to all of us here at JNS. She has been in our program and system for all 6 years of our existence here in Reno, NV. I interviewed her and her answers brought tears to my eyes. She “got” the big picture about what our program strives for and what we try to exemplify to each and everyone of the students that walk in our doors. She fully exemplifies the mindset, attitude, and work ethic we wish to instill in all of our students. Our ultimate goal as owners is for all of our students to be able to move on and have these amazing characteristics carried with them in to their adult lives. Please take a moment and get to know Makayla Linebarger.
Makayla started at our gym in competitive cheer, she had a gymnastics background but was looking for something a bit different and walked in with an open mind and great attitude. She immediately learned to stunt, build routines, and work within a team setting. Her team was fortunate enough to qualify for the Summit Grand Championships and traveled to Florida with our cheer program, Reno Elite. During her time in cheer became curious about the pole vault and what it was all about. We fully believe in youth checking out multi sports, and encouraged her to check out anything that interested her. After speaking to Coach Randy about it she decided to give it a try and for a few years doubled up as a cheer and pole vault athlete.
Makayla began with Raise the Bar Pole Vault, worked hard, learned all the ins and outs of the sport, and progressed very quickly. Six years later she is the 13-14 year old American Record holder and currently ranked #4 amongst all HS vaulters in the nation. More importantly, she is an exceptional young adult in our community that all of our children can look up to. Here is how my interview with Makayla went.
During your time at JNS Sports, what is something you learned that you will carry with you to the next chapter?
“I learned many important life skills during my time at Jump N Shout. Most of all I learned teamwork. From my time of being a cheerleader, I learned that nothing works unless everyone works together. I’ve learned that even in sports like track, teamwork is a necessity. Teammates are meant to support each other through the hard times and celebrate with them during the good ones. Teamwork goes beyond teammates, even into coach-athlete relationships. I’ve learned that I have to work with my coaches and keep them up-to-date on how and what I’m feeling. For everyone to be on the same page with the same goals, all levels of teamwork are required.”
What is your most memorable moment while pole vaulting with us with Raise the Bar PV?
“Wow, this one is hard! I have so many memorable moments while vaulting with Raise the Bar. Some of my favorites could be breaking the national record, jumping 13′, getting through my injury and of course, vaulting 14′ this year. Some not-so-good moments that I had to use as lessons include battling my injury,a no height in Texas and all my experiences at the Pole Vault Summit. Overall though, my most memorable moment would have to be Simplot (Games) this year. I didn’t even want to go to that meet but Randy convinced me that it would be worth it. Going back after the experience I had the year before was really challenging mentally and I think everyone knew that from my warmup. I had to trust my body and shut my mind off. Once I did that, everything turned around and I started to enjoy pole vaulting again. What made this meet especially special is the energy I felt from the fans. From that meet, I realized that pole vault isn’t always about the marks, it’s about the love for the sport.”
Makayla has accepted a full ride scholarship to the D1 school, Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK. I asked her what does she plan to major in, and what is she looking forward to the most at Oral Roberts.
“I want to major in biology as of now.
I’m looking forward to meeting all the exceptional people at Oral Roberts. I’m excited to grow as a person and as an athlete. I’m ready to get stronger, faster, smarter and work hard for it.”
“Makayla has been an exemplary athlete in her 6 years at JNS. I couldn’t be more proud of all that she has learned and accomplished both as an athlete and a human being. She is a huge role model to all of those around her. I am so happy to see her have the opportunity to demonstrate her abilities at the collegiate level.” -Coach Randy
We can’t thank Makayla and her family enough for the time she has spent with us and for allowing us to be a part of her athletic experience. She can soon join all our past students, that are now in college, working towards degrees, and all around amazing young adults. Remember to come back for holiday vault sessions! We wish her all the best in all of her life’s endeavors. Thank you for being a standout person with a strong character, amazing outlook on life, and always humble and kind.
JNS Sports is located in Reno, NV www.JNSsports.com 8543 White Fir D2, Reno, NV 89523