A Feature on 2020 Ultra Ankle® JVA AthLeader
Senior Opposite/Right Side Ian Glashagel from Club 1 Volleyball

Within the first week of 8th grade at his new school, the district announced that it was creating a volleyball program at the middle school level. Standing six feet tall at 14 years old, Ian had realized that basketball was not in his skill set, so he decided to give volleyball a shot.  Although it was his first time playing a school sport, with no volleyball experience, Ian made the team and eventually became an “A” team starter. That spring season of 8th grade started a whole new chapter in Ian’s life.

The drive to succeed has been instilled in Ian’s character from an early age. He has always looked up to Kobe Bryant for the tremendous amount of hard work he displayed, as well as his unparalleled leadership skills. Ian also looks up to his older brother Ben, who is a Cadet in the Coast Guard Academy, and his father who has been a strong and supportive anchor for his family.

Ian’s first opportunity to help others in need was in the summer of 2014. Rural Kentucky was hit by terrible storms and tornados. He traveled with his church down to West Liberty, Kentucky to help families that suffered from the severe tornado damage. The work ranged from repainting and fixing broken siding and trim on houses to removing fallen trees, but most importantly, Ian was able to spend time with the local families.

Not only did I immediately fall in love with the community in West Liberty, I also realized that the people we served didn’t have much, but they were some of the most compassionate and accepting people I have ever met” shares Ian. “It was on that trip when I started to recognize the power of humility and gratitude. The people of West Liberty had little to offer but were some of the most generous people I have ever been around.

Before his junior year, Ian was chosen for the Panther Senior Leadership Program and the Collaborative PE Program that specializes in helping special needs students in a PE environment. CPE had an acceptance rate of 30% and was the most sought after gym class in the school. Without knowing what to expect going into this class, Ian quickly realized that this class and community of friends would become the best part of his school day.

Joining CPE not only gave me experience in leadership skills, it provided me with an entirely new perspective of the special needs community. My friendships with the kids in CPE were not only instantaneous but so genuine and pure. No matter how bad of a day I had, these kids were always happy to see me and were always able to make me smile.”

Volleyball has been another source of perspective and growth for Ian, and it eventually led him to tryout and compete for Club 1 Volleyball in Plainfield, Illinois.  Competing with his teammates provided Ian with the opportunity to develop crucial leadership skills like working with others, decision making, and communication.

“It has led me to create friendships with some of the nicest people I know. I’ve learned to respect my teammates’ differences and understand their personal struggles. I can only hope that I have made as much of an impact on them as they have on me.”

With an interest in engineering and taking hands on classes, Ian signed up for a Metal Working and Manufacturing class.  He learned quickly and finished the curriculum in that class with a month to spare. His teacher allowed him to start creating designs for keychains that could be milled using a CNC machine. Ian was able to input a design into this CNC machine and it carved that design into whatever material he chose. Ian thought that it would be a cool idea to create a bunch of keychains for his club teammates and coaches that were gifted last Christmas.

“Ian is a very bright young man, and I’m lucky to have him in our program. He is selfless, and continues to impress me each day with his dedication to not just volleyball but his dedication to all of his biggest passions outside the court” says Club 1 VBC Boys Director Cory Sackett.

As a member of the National Honor Society and ranking in the top 10% of his class, Ian manages to maintain a 4.0 GPA while participating in You and Government Club and Political Club.  When he is not training or studying, he loves hanging out with his bird Mojo. The Goffin Cockatoo likes hanging out with his family, loves to eat human food, and mimics Ian’s family members. More of us should be like Mojo and mimic Ian’s incredible drive to lead and serve others.

Club 1 Volleyball Club (Plainfield, IL) is a member of the Junior Volleyball Association, is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the junior volleyball experience for players, coaches, clubs and fans.

To learn more about the Ultra Ankle JVA AthLeader Award click HERE.