I believe that being cut from a sport team shows a person’s true character

Jonathan - Syracuse, New York
Entered on September 1, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: setbacks, sports

I believe that being cut from a sport team shows a person’s true character. Making a team requires hard work, discipline, and relies on natural talent. No matter how talented/skilled an individual athlete may be in a sport, it is always a relief to make it through the tryouts. But what about the athletes that do not make the roster?

Everyone feels disappointed after being cut from a team whether they act it or not. There is no denying the fact that the athlete wanted to make the team. Why else would they have tried out in the first place? I find that players who are cut from a team typically follow one of two paths; they either look outward or they look inward.

The outward looking athlete blames everyone else for their failure. They may lay the blame on the coach, another player trying out, or an uncontrollable factor like weather. They will not accept the fact that the only person responsible for making the team is his/herself.

The inward looking athlete, on the other hand, takes responsibility for their own actions. They will analyze their performance and identify key factors that led to their failure. For instance, if they were not fast enough or their reaction time was not quick enough. Over the following 12 months, the player will practice those particular factors. Even if they do not make the team the following year, the inward looking athlete will be successful in life because they do not accept defeat, take nothing for granted and will always continue to develop their life skills.

I believe that a person’s true character shows through when faced with adversity. In other words, people who overcome failure will lead more successful lives, just like the inward looking athlete who prepares for next year’s tryouts.

This reasoning is why I disagree with parents who get involved when their children do not make a team. Some schools have even adopted a “no cut policy” where teams have to take every athlete that signs up. What is the motivation for student athletes who don’t have to try in order to make the team? Do these children really learn anything from this policy? Are they going to grow up thinking that life will be handed to them when they do not face failure and adversity early in life? In the work force, is an employer going to take every applicant? Of course not! So why do these policies exist, especially during a time in a child’s life when they learn most by example?

I have been cut from a team before. It was after I moved from London, England to Toronto, Canada and I had played on a club football (soccer) team where I lived in Surrey. When I moved to Toronto I was coming off a broken leg, but still I thought that I could make the school team because I had played against tougher competition in England. I went in too over confident and did not make the team. I was very disappointed in myself and learned a valuable lesson that nothing is set in stone, you have to earn what you get in this life.