The Essence of Determination

Blake - Miamisburg, Ohio
Entered on January 20, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

The Essence of Determination

“People of mediocre ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don’t know when to quit. Most men succeed because they are determined to.” – George Allen.

This quote by George Allen emulates the essence of how I live my life. I’m in high school and although I have been blessed with many god given talents, there have always been areas in my life that I failed to be the best at. Being the competitive person that I am, activities in every aspect of my life have been accompanied by hard work and a lot of determination.

A time in my life that best exemplifies my hard work and determination was my sophomore year of basketball. I was never the tallest, quickest or most athletic player, but going into my sophomore year I had it set in my mind that I was going to make a name for myself. Coming off of 15 points per game on my freshman team, I entered the 2007 – 2008 season with a new coaching staff and a new opportunity to control my potential success the next season. Seeing this chance, I hit the weight room and the gym hard over the summer. I went from a first-rate freshman player to what I saw in my mind as a potential varsity player. With the new school year coming up and our preseason conditioning weighing in the balance, I spent those three months from the beginning of school until November working hard, running extra, and shooting every day I had the opportunity. I went into tryouts with high expectations for myself but doubtful, knowing that there were many good basketball players in the same gym as I and that I had to prove that I deserved a spot over them.

After three days of tryouts and a lot of anxiety I stepped into Coach Fries’ office hoping to learn that all of my preparation had paid off. Coach asked me to sit down in front of him and Coach Martin. “Blake”, he said, “First of all I want to congratulate you on making the varsity basketball team. Both coach Martin and I have talked it over and after seeing you work as hard as you did in the off season, we both feel that you are ready and deserve to be the starting point guard for Miamisburg.” He continued to say, “Blake, we believe in your ability, and we have seen you grow as a player over the past few months. We have full confidence in you as our sophomore point guard.” After he was finished talking I thanked him for this opportunity and I got my stuff and hurried home to share my triumph with my entire family. This was without doubt one of the happiest moments of my life. Yet it was the success that I earned, as someone with mediocre achievement as a freshman basketball player who was fueled by his determination which has been his cornerstone of strength for sixteen years.