Choosing a school wasn’t an easy decision for men’s volleyball player Ryan Bakke. When going through the process, it came down to the people he was able to make connections with on campus. He also grew up with small class sizes, which is something he was looking for as he prepared to go to college.
And both of these components are what made Trinity a great fit for him.
“I really enjoyed that type of atmosphere and getting to know my professors. That is an advantage of going to a small school like this,” Bakke said. “This is a blessing and you should always get to know them because you’ll never know down the road how someone you know might help you.”
Bakke, who is now a senior and captain on the team, brings up about how his experiences as a Trinity student-athlete helped him grow in his faith.
His coach, Rob Prohaska, told the team one day that they needed to give 100 percent every time they stepped on the court, and that stuck with Bakke. Not only did he keep this motto for the work he put into volleyball, but he also used it in the classroom, and will utilize it in his future career as a public accountant.
As he continues to move forward in his career at Trinity and look at what is ahead, he realizes that his faith helps him understand who he is as a person. He also learned about traits that aren’t necessarily measured by vertical jump and speed, but by what he can give to his teammates and coaches.
“What I learned through faith and through my athletic career, is that you don’t always have to be the fastest, strongest, tallest or jump the highest to be a great player,” Bakke said. "When we are created by God and have faith solely through Him, we notice soon in our athletic careers what we are gifted with, yet there are a few things that I keep in mind that require absolutely zero talent that will improve an athlete’s perception in their sport.”
Bakke goes by 10 guidelines, each that can be carried through to other aspects of his life outside of the volleyball court. For him, those guidelines are: being on time, work ethic, effort, energy, body language, going the extra mile, being prepared, being coachable and attitude.
Even with these aspects helping Bakke in different avenues of his life, he still had to rely heavily on his faith as he went through his job search. Although he went on various in-person interviews, he did not end up with the job at any of those places. But now, he secured a job as an incoming tax consultant at Deloitte upon graduation, which helped him realize the plan that was set for him.
“I was so excited to find out that through faith my hard work eventually paid off,” Bakke said. “Now I think about the verse in Romans 8:28, ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.’ After reading this verse, and experiencing life first-hand, I can truly say, everything does happen for a reason.”