14 December 2007
Determination Leads to the Destination
Soccer was never a sport that came naturally to me. Coordination was a problem, and I couldn’t make much contact with the ball. My “heavy foot” kept me from making a decent pass to help the team during recess. Every time the ball came to my feet, I lost it. “If you can’t kick the ball, just don’t play,” one kid said to me. Hearing this discouraged me, even though I enjoyed playing the game.
My mom finally decided to sign me up for an actual team because my friend was doing it. I went to my first practice, and as I was passing the ball with another player, the coach walked past me and whispered to the assistant coach, “I like the way this kid kicks the ball.” This generated a spark that flickered inside of me, creating a fire that motivated me to try harder. Soon, I realized my potential. Other kids did not judge me as a bad player. Instead, they viewed me as a worthwhile teammate. These kids became my friends, helping me to become more comfortable.
Time went on, and I became part of several different teams. New clubs came into the picture, as well as higher levels of competition. Through my progress, I kept a positive attitude and practiced with the desire to improve. I noticed that my skills and perception of the game changed. I was seeing more possibilities on the field. Improvement in my physical ability became noticeable. My speed increased and I gained more strength.
Slowly but surely, I advanced to higher level teams. This was possible by practicing on my own time as well as practicing with the team. I did not try to advance too quickly, but instead, worked my way up slowly with a sturdy foundation. The time finally came when I needed to start thinking about high school soccer. High school soccer is very competitive and is in some ways, more difficult than club soccer. I decided to try out and see if I could make the team. Many students signed up to try out, and few would actually make the team. On the last day of tryouts, the coach called us over and announced that we made the team. A jolt of happiness shot through my body. I couldn’t believe that I made the team, after beginning my soccer journey as an uncoordinated second grader.
There have been times when I have not felt like a good player, but that hasn’t stopped me. I realize that the spark that once flickered inside of me is determination. Determination is what has gotten me to this point in my life. Determination helps you achieve anything. Keep a positive mind, and the fire will burn inside of you, eventually helping you reach your destination. My journey is not yet over. A big future lies ahead of me. I believe that determination is the key to achieving anything you desire.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.