This I Believe

James - Albany, Georgia
Entered on April 13, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in picking up every penny. No matter if it be heads or tails, I pick it up. It’s worth 1¢ either way so why not? If you pick up a hundred pennies then you have a dollar, and you wouldn’t stumble across that would you? I never know when I might need it later on, so I go ahead and put in that extra bit of effort it takes to bend down and pick it up. I believe that a little bit of effort can go a long way.

As an athlete, I’m used to coaches telling me to, “Finish the drill!” or “Run it out!” What they are trying to do is get their players used to the good habits that help put up banners and win championships. Finishing a drill could be, simply, running that last lap with all of the energy that you can muster. It doesn’t take much, but it does add up. If I can find the incentive to do this every day in whatever it is that I may be doing, then I should improve in those areas a little bit from week to week. This could be the difference between victory and defeat.

When I was twelve years old, I was approaching my last year of Dixie Youth baseball. I had been playing since t-ball, and had always been a decent player, mainly, because I was bigger than the majority of the other kids. This year I was especially excited about the season, because I was a senior in the Dixie League program; and it would be my last year playing on this field. I started practicing early. It started with hitting Whiffle golf balls with a baseball bat, and I progressed down to Whiffle golf balls with a broomstick and then to BB’s with a broomstick. When I got home from practice, I would go out in the backyard and practice until I couldn’t even see the end of my bat. I would then put up floodlights and practice some more. Up until that point, I had never hit a home-run, but from the sixth game and on I hit thirteen home-runs for the remaining thirteen games. I didn’t have to make any dramatic swings or as Coach Murray says, “Put an S on my chest.” I just put in the little bit of extra work that was needed to succeed.

They say that it’s the little things that really count, and I believe this. If I can coerce myself into doing the little things, I should have no problem persevering in this world of inches.