Lessons I Learned from Football
I believe in football. If I had to choose a turning point in my life, I would say it was the day I joined my high school’s football team. For two years I played varsity football, and in those two short years I learned lessons that would stay with me for the rest of my life. Everything football taught me holds a special place in my life, but of everything I learned perhaps the most important to me is the value of discipline and how I can use it to excel both on and off the field. It is this value that has formed the basis of my personal philosophy and helped shape me as a person.
Early on in high school, I had a lot of problems. I was very overweight and this caused me to isolate myself from others around me, making it difficult for me to make friends. This problem only got worse as I progressed through school, and I remained an outsider all the way into my sophomore year. As I entered my junior year of high school, I realized that I needed a way to lose weight and get healthier, so I decided to join the football team. In the beginning, the practices were very difficult and more than once I thought about quitting, especially since it was apparent early on that I had little athletic ability. Even though it was hard I knew that if I quit I might never improve myself, so I decided to tough it out and never allow myself to quit the team. After the first year I noticed how much I had changed, losing a great deal of weight and making a lot of good friends, and how valuable all that hard work had been.
I continued to play football for the remainder of my high school career, completing two full seasons with the team. Looking back I realize how much more disciplined football has made me. This new level of discipline has taught me things as simple as showing up on time to practice all the way to managing what I eat and how to take care of myself. I think becoming a more disciplined and committed person was worth every bit of work I put into football. Although I never became an all-star or even played much I believe that playing football was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Even though today I no longer play football, and probably never will again, I will never forget the lessons that I learned during my short time with the team. Whenever I think back, the only regret I can come up with is that I didn’t start playing as soon as I entered high school. I truly believe in the power of football and how it has helped me become a better person, and it is my hope that I can continue to use the hard-earned lessons of football to continue to improve myself both physically and mentally.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.