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“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”

-1 Peter 4:10-11

 

A freshman on the national championship Kentucky Wildcats volleyball team in their 2021 spring season, outside hitter Madisen Skinner made her impact immediately known as she helped lead the Wildcats to their magical run to being crowned champions. Now a sophomore for the team, Madi’s impact has not been slowed as her and the Wildcats are in the top ten in rankings and are focused on making another push in the postseason. While becoming a reliable weapon for the Wildcats, Skinner hopes her biggest impact comes away from the court.

A native of Katy, Texas, Madi followed the footsteps of her big sister Avery on her way to Kentucky. Ranked as the No. 2 recruit in the country by PrepVolleyball, she would join forces with Avery and together they helped guide the Wildcats to their outstanding spring season. While growing up together on the court, faith was also an integral part of the Skinner family’s life.

Photo by Tommy Quarles | UK Athletics
Madi says, “I surrendered my life to Christ at a very young age and have grown up in church. My mom always challenged my sister and I stayed plugged into Jesus when we were under her roof.”

Madi says that coming to college, that faith has only continued to grow and develop in new ways. “College has further challenged my walk with Christ as I’ve had to take more responsibility in maintaining my relationship with him. I strive to keep Christ at the center of everything I do and that has gotten me through the ups and downs of navigating life away from home and being a collegiate athlete.”

After a championship her freshman year, expectations were high for Madi and the Kentucky team heading into her sophomore season. But Madi says she trusts God is in control and just hopes to use her gifts in a way that honors Him.

“My faith gives me a bigger reason to play volleyball. It pushes me to do everything in my sport to the best of my ability because the ultimate goal is to bring God the most praise and recognition.” Madi says she has learned that her volleyball skills are her avenue to lead others to Jesus, and she hopes to do just that.

Photo by Tommy Quarles | UK Athletics
“Volleyball is a constant reminder of how grateful I am that Jesus has blessed me with the ability to play and makes me aware of how much I need him and his strength. This sport humbles me daily and reminds me of how dependent I am on the Lord for everything which only makes my relationship with him stronger.”

Nearing the end of the season, the Wildcats are preparing for a tournament filled with some of the best athletes college volleyball has to offer. Madi says her faith is a reminder to not find her worth on the scoreboard but instead on what matters more.

“My faith gives me the freedom to to give all that I have on the court and even if it’s not enough for a win, or good numbers on a stat sheet, I can go to sleep at night knowing my worth and value hasn’t changed.” Madi says each day presents an opportunity to use her gifts to glorify Him and give back to others.

“Knowing I have someone to rely on that knows what my future holds, and has my best interest at heart, gives me the ability to wake up everyday and face whatever challenges that may come up.”

While Avery is now with the Baylor Bears, where she just helped lead them to an upset win over a formerly undefeated Texas team, Madi is focused on helping Kentucky achieve another championship win. Surrounded by teammates and friends that are full of love and support, Madisen hopes to use every opportunity on the court to lead others to Him.

“The wins and high points in my career are nothing but gifts from him. They are simply opportunities for me to point others to him and give him glory.”

 

Ethan Kruse

4 Replies to “Madi Skinner - A Bigger Reason”

  1. Wow! What a testimony. I could not be more proud of Madisen for always being ready to give an answer for the hope she has in Jesus! She is indeed a woman of faith! As 3 John 1:4 says, “I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.”

  2. This is a genuine girl! She is for real about her faith. Her kindness and spunk stand out to me as gifts to this world!! Encouraged by your faith and how it propels you in all areas of life, Madi!!

  3. So proud of Madi for keeping her priorities straight and using her gifts and talents as a vehicle to introduce others to Christ. To God be the glory! But this is also a great example of what happens when a parent trains up a child in a biblical way. Congratulations on your successes Madi, both on and off the court.

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