This I believe

Tyler - USA
Entered on June 11, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in working to achieve greatness, and to never ever give up. Throughout my life I have encountered many obstacles where greatness has had a different meaning. Each obstacle challenged me, and made me work and work to achieve each one.

I will always remember my first Region 1 ODP camp. Region 1 ODP is when the top 20 soccer players from each state travel to one camp to try out for the national team. I was chosen to attend this camp.

I traveled down the beautiful state of Pennsylvania, extremely excited and anxious to begin. Over the next few days, my dream of “greatness” had changed immensely. I had gone from wanting to make the national team to just making it through the week. I began the week over eager and lost all of my energy. Deep down, I still wanted to make the team, but I was exhausted and could barely stand. I had worked to impress the coaches with my soccer skill. I thought it had worked! Even when my goal of “greatness” had changed, I still worked hard and never gave up.

On the last day there was a final game where all of the national team scouts came to one field to watch a few selected players. My hard work had paid off, and I was selected for the game. Tired and sore, I sat there on the cool grass and thought about whether to play or not. I decided to fight through the throbbing pain in my bruised knee and push for my goal of making the national team. The game went well, but I would not know if I made the team until later that day.

When I went to check the team rosters, I noticed my name was not posted. Enormously upset, I didn’t know what to do. I thought back to the beginning of the camp. I had met my goal of making it through the week, and I had succeeded in one way. One the other hand, I hadn’t made the national team. That was okay because I tried my best and worked on achieving greatness, even when that meant I had to play with a hurt knee. I had never given up and was incredibly proud of that.

Anyway, there was always next year! Next year I would take what I learned and use it to my advantage. This experience has taught me many lifelong lessons on how to never ever give up and nothing comes easy without work.