This I Believe

Jeffrey - seymour, Connecticut
Entered on May 25, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports, work

It was the end of a tied game. The cool night was alive with the lights surrounding the field. The fans reacted to each play, gasping and cheering with the flow of the game. The game timer was down to one minute and the seconds were ticking away fast. The other teams forward lost the ball and it was sent it up the line towards the goal we were shooting on. The ball was taken into the corner and crossed into the air. It hung against the night sky reflecting the bright lights as if in slow motion. The crowd got louder in anticipation, the noise filling my ears and hindering my concentration. The ball fell quickly and I realized it was falling to me…

I believe in hard work paying off. I believe that if someone devotes themselves entirely to a purpose, that purpose can and will be acheived. In this case the purpose was soccer related. Thoughout the opening weeks of my freshmen season I could not score goals. Every other part of my playing ability seemed to be going smoothly, but when it came to scoring I seemed incapable.

One day after a particularly frustrating practice in which I could not score at all, I decided to try and make a change for the better. As the rest of the team took off their equipment and loaded the bus, I told the coach I would be staying behind. I got another player to stay after as well. In the following hours I practiced scoring. Over and over and over. I had my teammate cross the ball to me again and again until he had to leave and after thanking him I returned to work. I threw the ball into the air, then shot it into the net as it fell, retrived the ball and repeated the process endlessly. I stayed at the field until it was too dark to see. Finally with my legs like lead I trudged home. As I lay in bed trying to sleep that night, I played a scene in my head again and again. In it I pictured myself sending the perfect shot sailing into the back of the net to win a game…

I didn’t remember closing my eyes that night but when I opened them I was on the field again. It was silent now though, no noise distracting me. As I looked up I spotted the ball and followed it as it descended. My eyes traced its path and without thinking I brought my leg back and then forward striking the ball sending it flying past the diving goalie into the back of the net. Suddenly the silence broke and the scoreboard buzzer along with the roar of the crowd filled my ears. The game was over and we had won. As I celebrated with the team I realized my hard work had paid off. From that night on I believed in the power of hard work. The best things in life come only with hard work. If you are willing to put in the work, you will reap the rewards.