This I Believe

Taylor - Little Rock, Arkansas
Entered on February 9, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

“Taylor, you’re the worst goalie ever. You will never make the team, just give up now. You’re wasting your time.” Many people told me this during soccer tryouts. They were right; I was horrible, but I was not about to quit.

When people spat these discouraging words at me, it made me want to work even harder to prove them wrong. I would push myself so hard that I could barely feel my legs after practice. The team would kick me when I was down; they provided no moral support. Their words were the coal that fueled my never-ending fire. Every day I went to practice and tried even harder. As time went on, it seemed as though I was never going to be a good goalie. I wasn’t improving; I would make the same mistakes every day. “Taylor, you need to dive further” Coach Mina would shout at me. “Coach, that’s as far as I can dive,” I would shout back. Every day I would run into the goal post; I was horrible. I was pushing myself as hard as I could and I wasn’t seeing any improvements.

As the thoughts of quitting dampened my raging fire, I often thought of Thomas Edison and Michael Jordan. Thomas Edison failed over a thousand times while trying to improve the light bulb. What if Edison would have quit after failing for his hundredth time? Who knows where we would be today? Michael Jordan did not make his high school basketball team, but he went on to win many NBA championships. These men are good examples of “quitters never win”. Eventually my hard work started to show. I was getting better. I was diving higher and stopping balls; I wasn’t running into poles any more. The more I improved the fewer discouraging words I heard. There were seven goalies trying out and the coach was only going to keep two. Every week it seemed one of the goalies quit. When the cuts came, there were only three goalies left, I made the team. This I believe: That quitter never win.