Hard Work and Determination

Craig - Bedford, New Hampshire
Entered on April 16, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe that hard work and determination pay off. If I am dedicated to something I want and I truly put my mind to it, good things will happen. I cannot decide I want something and get it right away; I have to work hard for it, because I know things aren’t just going to be given to me.

I have always been naturally athletic, and as I got older, I knew I wanted to play soccer at the highest level. I knew I needed to do something to separate myself from the rest. Practice alone wasn’t going to get me where I wanted to be. I worked on my skills and strength on my own. My hard work was paying off, until I had a serious injury. It was a high school jamboree game during the summer before my sophomore year. We were about fifteen minutes into the game, which didn’t count for anything. I went for the ball and an opposing player hit my leg just right and broke my knee. My initial shock soon gave way to anger. I had worked myself to such a high level of play and then all was gone because of a pointless game. I knew I would have to start all over. I was angry, depressed, and confused about why it had to happen to me.

I had to wait six months before I could even touch a soccer ball. When I was cleared to play again, my coach had me play with kids who were no older than eight. I could not do anything. The little kids were running circles around me. I had no muscle in my leg and running felt foreign.

I couldn’t try out for my club team, but my coach gave me a spot anyway. Many players tried out and did not make it. They were mad because I had a spot and didn’t even try out. I knew I deserved the spot, so I ignored those people and focused on proving myself. I worked out constantly. I ran and lifted weights to make my leg strong again. It was rough at first, but now, a year later, I am a better player than I ever was.

To be all I can be, I need to be dedicated and stay away from temptation to get off track. If I don’t dedicate myself to hard work in soccer, I will never get to where I want to be. Hard work and determination have paid off so far, and I plan to keep the same mentality throughout my life. My next goal is to play college soccer. I still push myself to be better by running, lifting, and practicing my skills as much as possible. I know if I continue to work hard, I will play in college. Results may not come right away, but if I stay dedicated and commit myself to soccer, all the hard work will pay off.