The Jewish Link of New Jersey would like to recognize 17-year-old Kayla Miodownik as this week’s Sportstar of the Week. The senior at the Bruriah High School for Girls has been playing volleyball for Bruriah since ninth grade. She is one of the captains this year and does a great job of motivating her team and preparing them for games. She is a big part of her teams success as the starting server and a great spiker as the Lightning wait to play Magen David in the championship.
Kayla, congratulations on another great season. Who is your role model and why?
I have many role models, because I believe that you can learn from anyone, but one main role model is my teacher Mrs K. because she focuses her life around helping others and making sure each of her students are taken care of. She also pushes us to always improve ourselves and to become the best version of ourselves possible.
What is your favorite sport?
My favorite sport is volleyball because it requires a ton of mental training. It is a sport that anyone can learn as long as they stay focused and diligent. In volleyball you must have confidence in yourself and in your teammates in order to guarantee success. (I know this isn’t an answer to one of you questions but I thought it would be nice to add.) My volleyball team’s motto is the three c’s: control (over the ball), communication (must have good teamwork) and cookies (we make sure to have some dessert or treat before every game!).
What is your greatest sports accomplishment?
My greatest sports accomplishment is being part of a team that has made it to the volleyball championships each of the last four years.
What is your earliest sports memory?
My earliest sports memory is when I was in my communities T-ball league when I was 3 years old.
Who is your favorite athlete and why?
My favorite athlete is Hannah Teter. Besides the fact that she is an Olympic champion in snowboarding, (winning bronze, gold, and silver at various points in her career) she founded a charity and was named a global ambassador for the Special Olympics.
What is your favorite sports memory?
My favorite sports memory is when before a game with one of our competitive teams we decided to make a bumping circle with both teams together. It was really nice to just talk to the other players and to have fun with them before the serious playing started.
What is your pregame routine?
My pregame routine, and also my team’s pregame routine, is in the six minutes before the game my team and I read a chapter of the “Word Watch” book for a zechus to win the game. We think this is very important because in sports sometimes people seem to forget that the rules of lashon harah still apply, so we think it’s important to remind everyone that it does. It also lightens the mood before we are about to go into a more stressful and heated setting. Depending on if it’s a home game or an away game, I will try to get my work done as soon as possible and then I will try to hang out with my teammates before we start.
What is your favorite thing to do when you are not playing sports?
When I’m not playing volleyball I like to hang out with friends (usually over FaceTime because I have many different friends that live in different communities than my own.)
What is your weirdest sports memory?
My weirdest sports memory is when one of my teammates forgot her sneakers during a game so she borrowed a different teammate’s which was a tad to lose which caused them to fly off during play.
What is the best thing about being a Sportstar?
The best thing about being a sports player is that it gives me the opportunity to push myself and reach athletic heights I did not expect that I would be capable of.
The Jewish Link Sportstar of the Week will receive a $15 gift certificate to any Teaneck restaurant of their choice. Please contact Moshe Kinderlehrer at 201-371-3212 to receive a certificate. Please send nominees for an upcoming Jewish Link of New Jersey Sportstar of the Week to [email protected].