Jaymeson Kinley Demonstrates Leadership and Resilience as a Butler Volleyball Team Leader

Writer / Ely Ayers
Photography Provided

An atmosphere as high-stakes as NCAA Division I athletics commands a level of both physical talent and mental fortitude that few ever walk with. Butler University volleyball ace Jaymeson Kinley isn’t merely a libero; she stands as a conductor orchestrating the delicate interplay between mental resilience, leadership and the pursuit of greatness.   Jaymeson Kinley

As she embarks on her fifth and final season in the iconic Bulldog uniform, Kinley’s narrative transcends statistics, delving into the intricate dance of pressure, the lionhearted spirit that defines her journey, and the constant reflection of what true leadership in life looks like. A two-time Big East Libero of the Year, Kinley has etched her name into the Butler record books, setting new standards for excellence in digs per set, total season digs, and what an overall legacy of greatness should look like for anyone who wears the Butler blue and cool gray.

From the first time she picked up a volleyball at the age of 7, Kinley knew her journey would lead her to the competitive stage of Division I.

“I’ve been playing volleyball since I was 7, so it was no surprise that my goal one day was to play Division I,” she says. “I was drawn to Butler for the competitive conference, as well as the family and team atmosphere. I really wanted to make a lasting impression here at Butler.”

This season, the court dynamics have shifted with an influx of talented freshmen securing spots in the starting lineup. It’s a challenge Kinley welcomes, seeing it as an opportunity to impart her experience and maintain team focus. Kinley admittedly thrives in a role of ensuring the team members are maintaining mental balance and strength for everything thrown the their way.Jaymeson Kinley

“It’s definitely different than previous years,” she says. “I feel as if my role is to keep everyone levelheaded and focused. It is super important to me as a leader to make sure everyone else is steady and in the right mindset. I like to remind myself that I was made for moments like this, and that this is what I’ve trained for my whole life.”

Kinley shares that her ascension is not just about her individual accomplishments. It’s a testament to the indomitable spirit she says she inherited from her mother, and a testament to what leadership beyond the volleyball court represents.

“I think seeing my mom work so hard as a single mom, seeing her drive, and seeing her overflowing her time and money into our lives to make sure we were successful, really drives me every day,” she says.

The echoes of her mother’s dedication reverberate in Kinley’s approach to the game.

“I always want to make sure that I try my hardest, am always giving full effort, and am loving what I do,” she says. “It is something that my mother instilled in me. It hasn’t gone away, and I try to show that every single time I step on the volleyball court.”Jaymeson Kinley

When asked about having an on-court alter ego that comes alive when competition approaches, Kinley humbly says she is “the same Jaymeson on and off the court. I think I’m just a more dialed-in version of myself.”

Her achievements speak volumes about her dedication to the sport – two-time conference Libero of the Year, All-Tournament MVP, All-Conference, and American Volleyball Coaches Association Honorable Mention. Yet, Kinley remains focused on the essence of her leadership, and uses her platform as more than a sport. For Kinley, it is a way to influence everyone around her to be great.

“I want to make sure I am as approachable as possible, and be someone that people always feel comfortable around on and off the court if they have something going on,” she says. “I love being the person to motivate and hype up my teammates, and that’s what truly drives my leadership – seeing other people succeed.”

Kinley’s journey has not been without its challenges. A little over a year ago she underwent double leg surgery, her first athletic injury ever. The months away from the court, she says, were mentally taxing, but it became a transformative period for her growth as both a player and teammate.

When asked about legacy, Kinley reverts back to a theme that remains constant – others.Jaymeson Kinley

“The legacy I hope to leave at Butler is, yes, it is always good to be a great player and getting awards and accolades, but the most important thing to me is being a great teammate,” she says. “If you can be anything, be a good teammate.”

In a sport where individual achievements often take the spotlight, Jaymeson Kinley stands as a beacon of selfless leadership, proving that true success is not just measured in points and awards, but also in the positive impact one leaves on their teammates and the legacy they build for the future of the game.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.

Send me your media kit!

hbspt.forms.create({ portalId: "6486003", formId: "5ee2abaf-81d9-48a9-a10d-de06becaa6db" });