The Power of Football

J.J. - Marrieta, Georgia
Entered on October 23, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that the game of football can teach life lesson. Football has taught me to persevere. Two years ago, I began playing football. I thought I understood the game, when in reality, all I knew was what a touchdown and an interception was. I knew nothing of the game so the only way to have made a good impression was by aggressiveness. Every chance I had to hit someone, I took. Whether it was full speed or half speed, I always made sure to take down that damned halfback. However, this didn’t leave a lasting impression on our coach. At our first game, I remember never getting a chance to go in. No one thought about putting me in. The following week in practice, I took it a step further. No longer was I only going to make sure to get to the ball carrier, but I would be sure to deck any opposing team member to get in my way. I stopped trying to get around blockers and began running over them. This stirred some excitement among the coaches and I was a prospect for the week’s game. Saturday night, I was on the sideline again, but only until the forth quarter. Our coach, Coach V, decided to put me in as a linebacker. I clutched my helmet straps and snapped them into place, waiting for the click of approval that they were snug. Finally, I was given a chance to shine. Standing in between the defensive tackle and defensive end five yards ahead of me, I waited for the snap of the ball. On the count of one, the pigskin was snapped from the center to the quarterback. At that moment, I dashed into the hole that the running back was going to come through, waiting for him, like a leopard in the long, savannah grass waiting for its prey. At long last, that white and green jersey came into view and I charged at him. When I hit him, there was no sense of him fighting back, hinting that I hit him hard. I got up and all my teammates on the field surrounded me, congratulating me. Coach called a timeout and got our whole defense fired up, telling us all to hit someone like I just did. The very next play, the running back came it me again. This time I tackled the snot out of him.

At eleven o’clock that night, Coach called me and told me that he wanted me to be a starting player. My hard work paid off.

This taught me that perseverance is the key to success. There are always times when it seems like things won’t get better. But if you keep on trying, even when the light can’t be seen at the other end of the tunnel, things will improve. Then no one will stop you because they can’t take away what you believe in.