Believe to Achieve

Lottie - Kenai, Alaska
Entered on April 1, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports

Believe to Achieve

Lottie Barton

Achieving a goal takes hard work, determination, and heart, but the most essential step needed to make a goal achievable is belief. Recent victories have taught me important life lessons that can be applied to several areas of my life.

My hockey team, last year, was often told that we were just average, nothing extraordinary. We took those rumors to heart, and it quickly became a self-fulfilled prophecy; we started playing like a middle-of-the-road team. We beat the last place teams by small margins, we lost to the average teams, and the better teams thrashed us. We were playing hockey like a mediocre group of girls, not a team with great individual skills working together.

Our coaches were frustrated and out of ideas to get us motivated. The end of the season was approaching and they knew we were capable of so much more; they wanted us to end the season with some dignity. Just before we were about to step foot on the ice to play a game, against a team that crushed us each time we played them all season long, our coaches told us that this team had recently lost to another we had handily beat. The locker room was filled with shock, awe, and curious smiles.

“We can do this,” was the thought behind every smile.

Much to the surprise of the spectators and the opposing team, the game ended in a tie. After the game, our curious smiles transformed to victorious, ear-to-ear grins. All that was heard in the locker room was, “Nice shot!” “Thanks! Great game!” But, our coaches thought even higher of us. They said if we had a few more minutes, they know we could have won.

The next time we met this same team was at the semi-finals of the District playoffs, we entered the rink with one mindset–domination. Sure enough, we got what we wanted. We won!! That very team that ruled us most of the season was in shock over the defeat. We became a team of fifteen players working hard together and ready to face our next challenge: defeating a team ranked second in the nation. As we sat in the locker room preparing for the biggest game of our season, possibly the biggest game of our lives, our coach’s final words were “Work hard, have fun, and believe in yourselves”. We took those words to heart and created a major upset by winning that game and earning the title of Pacific District champions. What started as a group of self-doubting skaters became a glorious self-confident team.

This roller coaster of a hockey season taught me several life lessons. One of these includes what can happen if one believes in themselves. Nobody needs a life-changing story to know that. No matter the size or risk of a goal, it is within reach with self-confidence. I believe in believing.