This I Believe

Kevin - Winfield, Illinois
Entered on December 14, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I Believe in Finishing

I believe in finishing the same way you start; whether it’s the closing seconds of a blow out football game or the last question on a big exam. No matter how one sided something is I always finish with just as much, if not more, enthusiasm and intensity as I start with.

The last football game of my senior year, my team was down forty points at halftime. As we ran off the field, low murmurs of disappointment and regret could be heard as we entered the locker room. As our head coach came in to deliver his usual halftime speech, we all realized that no matter what he said, it would not change the fact that our season was going to end with this game.

“Boys,” He said, as he pulled the hood down from his royal blue poncho. “I’m not going to stand here and tell you that we’re going to win this game, cause we’re not. That’s just life, sometimes things don’t go your way and you have to accept it and move on.”

Never in my life have I ever heard a coach admit defeat, but that wasn’t the reason why I remember this speech. The reason I remember this speech was because of what he said next.

With his hand resting lightly on one of boys shoulder pads he said, “Seniors, I want you to understand something.” All fifteen seniors slowly raised our heads, reveling our tear filled eyes.

“Men, for most of you this is your last game, you will never step foot on that field again. So, I want you to go and play your hearts out for those last thirty minutes.”

At the end of his speech, there was no screaming or banging of helmets. All seventy of us put our helmets back on and ran back out to the field. The fact that we went on to lose that game wasn’t important. What was important, was that even though we knew we were going to lose, we still left with pride and dignity because we never stopped giving our best effort.

In life, much like football, you can’t just stop and give up. If you ever want to be successful, you must be able to finish things and finish them well.

I’ve never believed in giving anything a half-assed effort. If I don’t believe I can give something my best effort, I won’t do it. When I start a project with high hopes that soon fade, I just suck it up and give the extra effort I need to get it done.

I believe that if I approach any job or difficult situation with the belief, that I can only give my best effort all the time, I will come out on top more times than not. This I believe.