This I Believe

Jordan - Floyds Knobs, Indiana
Entered on September 17, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: humility, sports
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

The Cover too Quickly Judged

Have you ever wanted something so badly that you were willing to take down the first person that got in your way? Or, have you ever dreamed you were someone better than yourself and had that same someone else’s talent? Welcome to the game of tennis. Not only is it a game for retired people who have joined a Saturday morning racquet club, but it’s also a game of dedication, concentration, and hard work.

I remember a couple years ago I had gotten pretty “hardcore” with my game, and I was practically beating myself to the bone to get to be one of the top 7 on my team. It was eat, sleep, and play tennis for me. And the only way I got to see my friends was if they played tennis too. Then, after pushing myself to what I saw was the limit, I was scheduled to play in an important match. It was against a girl from the school’s arch rival- New Albany.

Now, though I’m nowhere near the weight of say, Maria Sharapova or Venus Williams, my competition was a pretty hefty gal. So, by human nature, I automatically started making assumptions. I thought about how this girl wouldn’t like to run a lot, so I figured I would just make her chase every ball I hit over that net. I began planning out where and how I wanted all my shots to go; as if she were to be my dog, fetching the ball for the next couple of hours. I looked at her racquet and decided it wasn’t compatible enough for the level we would be playing at. Then, as I served the first shot of the game, I slammed an ace in her box. After leading the match, and not to mention winning it, I thought this girl would just throw down her racquet and quit- but boy was I wrong. In the end, I was the one wanted to throw down my racquet, because the outcome wasn’t at all what I expected. Instead of her walking away with the embarrassment, I was the one who carried the loss for my team. The final score ended up being 9-3, her. And boy what an upset!

Ever since then, I’ve only thought about my game and my abilities; because if there’s one thing I have learned it’s to not judge anything by its cover. Besides, you know what they say about assuming… (just break up the word). Anyway, a little later in the season we had to play our arch rivals once more; and you’d never guess, but I had to play the same girl again. So, I went into the match well aware of my abilities (and hers) and decided to expect the unexpected. At the end of the game, the result was what I had expected the first time around. It was me winning 6-0.