Featured Athlete: McKenna Gildon


Provided by Mckenna Gildon

Wingspan’s featured athlete for 9/1 is senior Mckenna Gildon. This is her fourth year playing for Liberty, and will be attending the University of Clemson to play 1 division volleyball in the fall.

Ashlyn Walker, Staff Reporter

Wingspan: How has volleyball impacted your life?

Gildon: “Volleyball has impacted my life by bringing me some of my best friends, mentors and confidence in myself. It has taught me many life lessons such as learning from your mistakes in order to move forward and has taught me to have good self-talk.”

Wingspan: Who has been your biggest supporter throughout your volleyball career?

Gildon: “My biggest supporter throughout my career is my grandpa(Pops). He has never missed a single game or practice and has always pushed me to be my best through tough love.”

Wingspan: What is your favorite memory from your time playing volleyball? 

Gildon: “My favorite memory is playing in Las Vegas with my club team where we won nationals last year. Vegas was so much fun and my team had been working very hard all season and to see it all pay off was rewarding. My coach during this time was my favorite coach of all time and it was such a good feeling being able to win it for him.”

Wingspan: How would you say the relationships between you and your teammates are?

Gildon: “I have had some negative experiences over the years with teammates I didn’t get along with but overall I have been very lucky to have met some lifelong best friends that I know will always be there for me. My teammates and I have a lot of fun and all push each other to be the best team we can be together.”

Wingspan: How do you manage your school work with volleyball?

Gildon: “I have been doing this a long time so it is just kind of my natural schedule but sometimes when it feels like there isn’t enough time in the day to complete my work or I’m exhausted, I remember my goals and that I’m blessed with amazing opportunities everyday just being able to play and go to school. It can get hard to keep up but I have so many resources and a great support system to be my best on and off the court.”

Wingspan: What has been your hardest challenge you have faced while playing volleyball?

Gildon: “My hardest challenge playing volleyball is having to sacrifice a lot of my time. It can be hard mentally to put all of your time into one thing because I would often find myself feeling empty when I wasn’t playing or wasn’t in love with playing. In my junior season at liberty I fell out of love with the sport and in those few months I was lost and depressed because something I once felt so much passion for was just slowly fading away. I had to remember what I do love about volleyball but also realize I need to explore my other interests. It took some time but slowly after a few new hobbies and taking better care of myself I fell in love with volleyball all over again.”

Wingspan: Do you have any big goals for this season?

Gildon: “Some of my big goals for this season is to become the best leader and find my strengths and weaknesses on and off the court. I will embrace my strengths and work on my weaknesses. I want to do my best to play with passion everyday so it may become contagious for others. My last goal is to become the best athlete and player I can be before college and to show out for district season.”