Persistence and Dedication Go a Long Way

Emily - Syracuse, New York
Entered on August 28, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

About a year ago I had to use a skill I didn’t think I had, or at least one that I haven’t had to use often. That skill is persistence, which I have come to learn through experience, does go a long way. It was when I didn’t make the team, that I was persuaded to take action and be persistent, which in this case was simply writing an e-mail. This ultimately brought me where I wanted to be and more importantly the confidence needed to do so.

Playing volleyball throughout high school was one of the best decisions I ever made. Not only did I quickly learn to love everything about the game, but I also met most of my closest friends on that team, whom I still stay in contact with. I had no doubts when I got to college that I wanted to join the club volleyball team. I couldn’t wait to be a member of this new group of girls; that is, if I made it.

I wasn’t too worried though because I had started late in high school, and even though I had to put in more work my first year to catch up to the other players it was all well worth it. By my junior year I had made varsity and my senior year was the captain of that team. All this time I never thought of my “catching up” in high school to be considered persistence, but looking back I realize that I have been using and perfecting this skill for longer than I thought. Persistence as well as dedication helped me achieve my captain title in high school and I was about to use these skills once again.

Before the tryout began I watched the returning players so excited to see each other after the long summer. They laughed at almost everything they said, and I knew I wanted to be part of this team, not just for the volleyball but also for the company. The first night of tryouts went well. It was so good to be back on the court and playing with people just as passionate about the game as I am. I wasn’t surprised the next day when I got an e-mail saying I was one of the girls asked to return to the next tryout session. By the third tryout I was really starting to feel a part of this team. My skills I felt were at par with the other girls trying out and I made sure to step into the gym with a good attitude and mindset.

This however just wasn’t enough to get me a spot on the team. I was truly crushed that I hadn’t made it and my confidence about my skills plummeted very quickly. When I relayed the news to my parents they were equally disappointed for me. They knew how much I loved playing volleyball and how much I wanted to be part of a team. Any time they could slip it in with out me getting angry or upset about it, they suggested I write to the girls and ask if there was any other way I could be “involved” with the team. At first this idea sounded not only foolish but embarrassing too. There was no way I wanted to be the tag along, the puppy that follows you everywhere and gets in the way.

A few days past however and I wasn’t feel any better about the situation. I thought to myself, “What would I lose if I simply sent the girls an e-mail asking about joining practice”? Sure enough taking action by writing an e-mail was the best decision I could have made. I was warmly invited to join in on any practice I wanted. I began heading to the gym for every practice and I was soon asked to not only join practice time but their tournaments too. I went to every game that year and even traveled with the team to Nationals in Dallas Texas. The girls recognized my persistence and devotion to the sport and now I am every much a part of this team as anyone of them.