This I Believe

Jenna - Alpine, California
Entered on February 19, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in never giving up. From a very young age, I was always taught that once you start something, you finish it. No matter how hard or boring it may be, you stick through it until the end.

One experience that was very hard for me to stick through was playing freshman volleyball. Volleyball was one of my most favorite sports, and I always tried my hardest and put in my all. I have played on various teams since I was seven. I started playing club volleyball in Junior High. When I made the team in High School, it was expected, but I was still thrilled to be on it. The season started off great. I was working hard to impress my coach and to contribute to my team. We were playing against difficult teams but kept our heads in the game and always pulled through for a victory. My team was undefeated. Then about a quarter of the way through our season, my coach’s attitude had changed and started to make volleyball hell for me.

To begin with, my coach played favorites. There were his three players, who he would never ask to put the net away, never make run extra laps, and never yelled at if they did something wrong. My coach also decided that he strongly disliked my friend and me. While we tried just as hard as any other girl on the team, we were never trying hard enough for him. At one point during a game, I got hit in the face with the ball and my mouth was severely bleeding. I got taken out of the game and then yelled at. At the next practice, my team had to do drill after drill and then run suicides because, “Someone on the team was inexperienced and got hit in the mouth with the ball.” After that situation, my coach rarely put me in games. One game day, during our pre-game warm-ups, my coach told me to go sit down on the bench. I asked him what I had done wrong, and in front of the entire team he told me that I was, “Trying to hit him in the head with the ball.” When in reality, the ball had gone nowhere near his head. He made me sit out the entire game because of this. I talked to my parents about this situation numerous times and finally came to the conclusion that if I quit, my coach would be winning.

Dealing with this stressful volleyball situation, and completing the season to the end really made me feel like I had overcome a challenge that I had never gone through before. I know that while sometimes life can be a breeze, other times it will be really tough. The way we deal with tough situations shows what kind of a person we are. Dealing with difficult situations also helps us to become stronger, so taking the easy way out is not always the best. This is why I strongly believe in never giving up.