I believe that it’s not how good you are, but it’s how bad you want it. It’s spring 2006; softball season. It would be another hard working season, but with nothing to show for it because we didn’t believe in ourselves. The last two seasons, the teams showed the same attitude towards the game; no interest, but just out there to keep themselves occupied. Even though each softball team had potential softball players, none had measured up to the expectations. Those expectations were to fight with all their heart and soul, believe in themselves, play with determination, and come out on top. Santa Cruz High School had softball players that didn’t commit.
That 2006 season was different though. It was 92 degrees, perfect softball weather. It was 3:59pm, four o’clock sharp would start the beginning of practice. We had our ears open and waited patiently for the chimes of the church bells, which resided across the street, to ring. “Ding, Ding, Ding.” The breeze swayed each of our ponytails from side to side as we began to jog around the outside of the diamond to start their warm-up. All you could hear was the cleats meeting with the dried grass.
“Why so serious!” yelled Coach Richie.
“We’re ready for a new season, Coach,” replied Desirea with heavy breathing.
“Is that right?”
“I’m one hundred percent sure, right ladies?”
A loud echo arose, “Right!” As soon as the run was completed, Coach Andrea yelled, “Bring it in, bring it in.” The herd, exhausted with dry mouths and ongoing inhaling and exhaling, went rumbling down to our coach. “I can see that you ladies are determined and ready to get started; I’m not afraid to jump right in now!” (chuckled)
“You girls got me all excited already! I see a lot of new faces on the squad, but I’m sure that will not interfere with anything.” We laughed along with our coaches, but at the same time we still had that focus held within our eyes. “Coaches, as you guys probly don’t know, but we already have a slogan for our shirts this year that we have all agreed on,” stated Natalie.
The coaches asked curiously, “O is that right? (paused) “ Well let us know!”
“It’s not how good you are, it’s how bad you want it,” pronounced Ava.
“We’re hungry coaches and we want it bad!” I hollered with my head held high into the sky, eyes tightly closed. We might not win every game, but we will fight hard battles. We’re not all that in a bag of potato chips, but we have endurance, drive, and commitment, so I promise that that’s all were gonna need to get us to state this year!” All the other girls started jumping up and down, applauding, and giving each other hugs because of the emotional speech that I had just given. The coaches smiled at each other with a sense of agreement and said, “That’s right, it’s not how good you are, but it’s how bad you want it.”
My belief… what exactly does it mean? It is determination, effort, and hard work all in one. It’s one of those things like when a person says, “I’m going to get an A on my test today!” I think it’s called “The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.” If what the person says is truly what he believes, then he will most likely get an A on his test. Even if that kid is not the smartest in his class, deep inside he is very positive, and that will allow him to achieve his goal. That’s exactly how my story relates to my belief. We knew that we weren’t the strongest or the best ones in the pack, but we were determined and ready to put forth, in and out of practice, all the effort and hard work that we could. We wanted to wear the victory belt for once.
Ever since that first day of varsity practice, I have never and will never forget that saying. It only consists of twelve words, but those twelve words really touched my soul! I mean, our softball team was just that. Not anything spectacular, but anxious to play some hard ball, and definitely ready to win. All I could say is that we had “heart.” I will never forget that saying because I believe it applies to everyday life and not only sports. For example, if a person wants to pursue a career in a profession that he enjoys doing, of course he’s not going to be an expert in his work. That person will have to go to school, and if he wants it bad enough, then he will eventually to some degree, become an expert in his choice of occupation. I want to become a Registered Nurse, or someday a doctor. I go to school Monday through Friday, study everyday of the week, and on top of all that, I have a job. If I don’t finish school, then I probably will never reach my goal. Even through all the work, and staying up extra late on some nights, I have the will power to stay in school and pursue my career. NO ONE ever has to be good at what he or she does, but if he really wants something that bad, then determination and hard work will get him there.
“Were at the bottom of the 8th, at the State Championship Finals, with the score reading Wickenburg 1 Santa Cruz 4,” Stated the announcer. The fans were screaming and hollering, “Let’s go SC! Defense…Defense!” It was insane. All I could think of was to stay focus and be aware because anything could happen. The batters in the lineup that were up were batters two, three, and four. My coaches and teammates were smiling at each other because we knew that we were only two outs away from holding the state title. Big hot shot number three batter was up to bat. On defense, we were on our toes, with constant movement because no one wanted to get burnt. The umpire yields his hand up because Santa Cruz’s head coach walked out the dugout. It was an instant reaction, and you can see all the defensive players chests rise and hold their breaths. The batter takes a walk. “O come on! Boo! Natalie could’ve struck her out!” Anticipation is expressed on our faces, while sweat dripped one by one from our foreheads. On the other hand, Wickenburg fans had no problem with that call. Next batter, number four was on deck. Her recent at bats didn’t prove anything. This would be an easy bout for us, or so we thought. At one point the count was full. We were on the field dancing, so anxious to see the effect of what we thought would be the last pitch to the batter. “Smack,” the bat hit the ball and…. Foul ball! I prayed to myself that this would be the second out. Again Natalie winds up, “Smack,” and you see our heads turn. That ball went flying. The batter heat a homerun and the score was now Wickenburg 3, Santa Cruz 4. We were all so devastated with slouched bodies, hiding our heads inside our gloves. I kept asking myself would that be the end of our long journey, and would Wickenburg come back and win? A moment later, while Wickenburg fans were still going crazy, we can see our spectators with their backs turned, pointing to the slogan shirts. We remembered to live by our slogan. We were now ready for what was to come. The number fifth and hopefully the final batter was up. “Easy out!” shouted first and second basemen. “It’s not over ladies, anything is possible,” yelled third baseman. At this point in time, yes, anything could happen. The count is 1-2, the pitch thrown, “Ugh,” hollered the pitcher. “Bink,” the ball was hit. It was a line drive straight to the pitcher. “You’re out,” completed the umpire.
Tears, and rain falls of tears, rain down our faces. We ran to the middle of the pitchers circle and celebrated with our state championship trophy. All I could think of was, “It was finally ours; the trophy, the glory, and all the bragging rights!” That feeling was like no other feeling that I had before. Being emotional, thrilled, and having the jitters bugs all at once is one heck of a feeling! Without our commitment, I think we wouldn’t have gotten that far. That’s why I believe that it’s not how good you are, but it’s how bad you want it.
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