Personal Experience Triumph Through Football: A Journey of Perseverance
Overcoming Odds and Seizing Opportunitie
Growing up in a city with a strong football tradition, every parent wants to see their child grow up across the district and shine in the lights on Friday nights. Even growing up in town means you have to attend one of two high school games every Friday night, watching from the stands, wishing you could be one of the 11 starters on the field. Tradition pushes you to be the best you can be and live your dream of being a college football player. However, no athlete can achieve this dream without hard work and determination. From personal experience, I know football doesn’t always go your way, but you have to learn to never give up.
In fifth grade, I immediately knew that not everyone likes to be a soccer player. I didn’t play much in fifth and sixth grade and only went to see a few plays. I am considered the ‘sub’ of the team. I know I’m not as good as the other players on the team, but I don’t let that bother me. I’m always training, always sprinting, and always trying to be the best teammate I can be. My parents would ask me if I wanted to go to practice, knowing that I didn’t have a big role on the team, and I would always go anyway. My coach at the time would always push me to be better and would always tell me to “strive for perfection.” I knew that he saw some potential in me, but I would never have guessed that my 5th and 6th-grade coach would have such a big impact on me later in life.
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In middle school, I decided that I would sit out my 7th-grade year, and I wasn’t sure if I would play football again. I wasn’t as big or as fast as the other football players in my grade, and I wasn’t sure if I was cut out for football. Then I recalled the sense of honor I felt when I put on my jersey in 5/6 and decided that I had to come back and play in eighth. I was the bridge. I’m the last winger out of 8, which means I have very limited time. The lack of playtime doesn’t bother me, though, as I know some kids are born better than me.
I know the only way to do it is to go to the weight room and get up to speed. My first year was when I really started to achieve my goals in football. My freshman year of playing football started when I was still in college, just because I got to practice with the rugby team every day after school. While training, I always use my absence as motivation to work harder. I made a promise to myself that that year, I would start on the freshman team and eventually get a chance to showcase my talents.
Overcoming Challenges and Fulfilling Dreams
The practice was getting harder and harder than it was in college, but I didn’t improve and managed to start my first game that year. I played full-back and outside full-back in my first year. Starting the first year was a big deal for me, but that didn’t compare to my ultimate goal of playing on the varsity team I grew up watching over the years. My sophomore year is the same as my first year, except that now I will practice with the varsity team while playing on the base varsity team. The players of the varsity team look like giants and set the bar very high.
I’m trying to be one of them, and I know that if I want to be like them, I’ll have to work as hard as them on and off the pitch. Playing in junior college also meant hanging out with the varsity team on a Friday night. I could feel the pride of the locker room, the pre-match speech, the national anthem playing just before the game. Match begins. I love playing on the university football team; this is where all my friends play, and it was the first time that I really enjoyed playing football. The following year was my football year, and I finally started to represent varsity defense.
I played as a full-back for another year, along with three other seniors. We lost a lot of coaches that year, but like a ghost of my last sixth-year coach came to coach the varsity team. It was surreal to see him come to my college training the same way he did when I was 12 and 13 years old. During the season until the 2013 season, he coached me like he did before. In the end, it all paid off when I played my first game in college in front of thousands of fans, including my parents, my peers, and my coach.
I’ve had a sense of pride that I’ve wanted to feel since I first learned about football in college. Everyone wants to strive to be the best they can be, and that’s what I did. I worked hard to make sure I got the chance to show what I could do. Playing college football seemed like a monumental goal, but little by little, I achieved what I’d been striving for for years. Most importantly, I feel like I feel proud of my parents, knowing that their son is doing something that few teenagers can say they are doing. As I continue to play football for my high school, I will never forget the pride and tradition that comes with it.
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