This I Believe

Joseph - Webster, New York
Entered on March 1, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports, work

Since I was 3 years old out in my back yard, soccer has been my dream. I longed to pass the ball through the freshly cut, luscious green grass with my father. I wanted to be the best, and constantly wanted to improve. You could say that I had an advantage, being that my father was, and still is, a soccer coach. From the beginning of my so-called “training,” my father instilled the core techniques of soccer in me. “Use your other foot!” my father would cry, usually followed by, “I told you that you could do it.” It was our love for the game that kept us working, and it was our love for each other that kept our spirits up. I believe that you should work hard to achieve your dreams, and do whatever makes you happy.

The summer of my sophomore year in high school, I was working harder than ever on my soccer skills and physical fitness. Running, ball work, and weight lifting were all on my training regiment. The upcoming fall, I was going to try-out for my high school’s varsity soccer team. I had dreamed of being on the team ever since I entered middle school. I knew that it would be a challenge to make the team, due to the amount of talent it already possessed.

As the week of tryouts approached, the anxiety became overwhelming. This next week was my one shot at fulfilling my dreams. Since the first day of tryouts I worked as hard as I could, remembering that one of the main aspects coach desired in an individual was their “heart.” Coach wanted someone who truly loved the game and would give 100 percent. I felt that someone was I.

About midway through the week of tryouts, I noticed a sharp pain in my back. At first, I was very concerned about the possibility of an injury destroying my dream. Even though the pain greatly hindered my ability to compete, I continued to work as hard as I could. While the thought of taking a break did cross my mind, I knew that I couldn’t. I don’t know whether it was my father’s love of the game that pushed me to perform under the intense pain, or whether it was my own desire to be the best that I can be, but I managed to fight through it.

On the last day of tryouts, I was extremely nervous. Playing soccer meant everything to me, and being cut would crush my spirits. Practice was coming to an end, and I felt that some of the players, including myself, were still on the fence regarding cuts. I said to myself, “This is it. This is my chance to prove myself.” I bit my lip, pushed through the pain and worked as hard as I possibly could.

As the team huddled in for the last time, coach informed us that he had already talked to those who were cut, and that we were the 2006 varsity soccer team. The feeling I felt can only be described as accomplishment. I had fought through my pain, and fulfilled my dream. I believe that with a combination of hard work and desire, you will achieve your dreams.