This I Believe

Mackenzie - Lake Oswego, Oregon
Entered on December 21, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

“If you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right!” This quote by Henry Ford has inspired me for many years. This summer I realized that it was true but I wouldn’t give up, that’s when I thought of this: Don’t give up on your dreams; they’re closer than you think. I have learned this many times whether it is in school or sports. In fifth grade I wanted to get straight A’s, so I worked hard. It took me a year, but I’ve earned straight A’s ever since. In soccer I want to play professionally. I have gotten halfway there. As a Regional holdover I am ranked in the top 12-15 keepers in the nation.

I have wanted to become a professional keeper since I started playing club soccer four years ago. Already I have made it far. A program called O.D.P. (Olympic Development Program) has helped me reach the point I am at today. Oregon O.D.P. is made up of the best players in the state. We traveled to a couple of out-of-state tournaments last year to play other state O.D.P. teams. I reminded myself throughout that season, “Don’t give up, you’re closer than you think.” Apparently that was true, because when the season ended and we went to Regional camp, I was one of the lucky girls selected to stay an extra week and become part of the Regional pool (made up of the best players from the region) making me one of the top keepers in the nation. I believe that when I repeated to not give up on my dreams, it helped me be selected, even though I wasn’t as good as the other keepers in some of the areas, I kept thinking Don’t give up on my dream, that I am way closer than I think!

Some of my teammates share my goal, but don’t want to work at it. They don’t even want to play when it’s too cold or too hot. I feel bad for them because they want the dream badly, but not badly enough. A couple of my teammates who share my goal tried out for O.D.P., but didn’t make it. I think that if they had worked on it for five minutes a day, they’d be an O.D.P. level player. A step in “Don’t give up on your dreams, they’re closer than you think,” is “You have to work hard to improve…it doesn’t just happen!”

The thing that surprised most of the players in the O.D.P. program was that I am on a “B” team. They didn’t realize that I decided to go down to the “B” team for better coaching. The players also didn’t realize that my “B” team is the top “B” team in the state. We often beat ourselves up for losing to an “A” team. Our team dream was to get into the top eight teams in the state. That didn’t happen this year, but if we don’t give up on our dream, I’m sure we’ll make it there next year! My coach has influenced our team that if we have a dream, we should strive for it, we shouldn’t let someone tell us we can’t.

Don’t give up on your dreams; they’re closer than you think.