The power in perseverance

Jamina - Durham, North Carolina
Entered on September 4, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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Going into High School, I started thinking about the past middle school years. All of the things I had done and experienced and all of the things I had learned. Then I realized, that my values and beliefs has changed after I had gone through middle school. But one belief that had stayed with me is this, that just because someone put you down, it doesn’t mean that you should keep stop trying. In fact, you should keep trying so that when you do succeed, you can prove them wrong.

I learned this during volleyball season, I had made the team, and like all the other 7th graders, had to learn from the 8th graders. As the season started, we were actually doing well, sometimes we lose, but we were always positive that we would win our next game. One day in practice, our coaches started teaching us how to serve overhand. It was really difficult, only a few 8th grade girls managed to do it. But one of my teammates, a 7th grader, Chelsea was able to hit the ball hard enough for it to go over the net.

She couldn’t get the ball over the all the time, but she still practiced. Then come game day, we had to play against the team that were just as good as we were. Our coaches said that we absolutely could not do our overhand serves because we weren’t ready, but we knew someone who could. We won the point in the 1st round, but it was the 2nd round we needed, to win the game. We were 2 points behind the other team. The our coaches decided for our 7th grade star player, Chelsea to try her overhand serve.

The coaches knew the risk they were taking, but they didn’t mind. But unfortunately, the ball didn’t go through the net. We were somewhat disappointed, but at least she tried. Then one of our teammates scornfully told her to never serve overhand again because she wasn’t good at it. That comment tore her apart. Chelsea had to call for a substitute because she felt like she couldn’t play anymore.

The rest of us were shocked that such a thing happened in our team. Our coaches always encouraged us to be positive whether we win or lose. Chelsea ended up not playing the rest of the game. Since she was feeling bad, it had a domino effect on the team and we felt bad too. We ended up losing the game. But ever since that day, Chelsea always came into practice determined, that she would be able to do the thing that would be almost be impossible for us. She would work on her serves and it would improve. Until finally, her serves were getting in and she could do it consistently. That made me understand the importance of rising up after one has fallen, to try again, to persevere, and to not be afraid of failure. This I believe.