Hard work paid off for me sophomore year when I tried out for the Liberty Baseball Team. Walter Camp said, “There is no substitute for hard work and effort beyond the call of mere duty. That is what strengthens and ennobles ones character.”
It was sophomore year and I was trying out for the baseball team. Up to that point I had been playing baseball since I was five years old. I played on the “C” team freshman year and absolutely tore it up. Between freshman year and sophomore year, I really hit the weights hard and got bigger and gained more confidence. So, going into tryouts sophomore year, I knew I was right on the cusp of being a breakout player on varsity.
There was a new baseball coach that year, Coach Colby, so I knew I had to really do well and work hard to show what I had.
The day of the try out I was very nervous. I couldn’t seem to get my mind off it all day while at school. Then while I was up on the rainy, soaking wet baseball field, I felt at peace. There is something about baseball that just takes my mind off of everything else. It is hard to describe. And when I do play, I go 110% and play my heart out every time.
As the try out progressed, I wasn’t doing my best considering the sloppy conditions.
The third day the roster was posted and I came to find out that I had made the JV team. I was very upset because I knew I could have worked harder. My dad, Eric Tracy, was also very upset because both of us knew I was better than that. That is the worst feeling in the world—when you know you could have done better if you would have worked just a little harder.
There was a week of practices before the actual season started. The weather cleared up and I took the motivation from being put on JV and applied that to every practice. It was the hardest I’ve ever worked in my life. I busted my butt. I hustled everywhere, made diving plays, hit the ball hard, did the little things and it paid off.
So when the Varsity Coach came up to me during practice near the end of the week and told me I was now on varsity, I almost cried. I had worked so hard. I tried so hard, and I got what I wanted more than anything—to play on the Liberty High School Varsity Baseball Team.
I went on to do great things that year. I am very proud of what I did and I still continue to push myself and work hard at everything I do. Not a day goes by when I think, “Could I have worked harder today?” I believe the best reward in life is one that you have worked hard at.
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