Excellence is a Habit

Eryn - hot springs, Arkansas
Entered on October 13, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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After the sixth period bell rings, I’m no longer in school; my focus and main priority is cheerleading. As I walk on the tough artificial turf in the greenroom, on my way to the newly designed bathrooms, I can already feel the pressure of the demand for excellence suffocating me. I experience pressure from my peers, coach, and myself to be the best I can be in what sometimes seems like everything. Aristotle has said “We are what repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is a habit.”

Being a junior and captain of a ten “time state championship cheerleading team” is an incredible honor and demanding responsibility. I have learned through this breathtaking summer to tune out the negative responses made towards me and the squad. Getting pessimistic opinions from people I once respected can break anyone’s drive to be the best he or she can be.

My drive and motivation transpires from sometimes negative perceptions. The negativity from fellow cheer mates and doubt from others who believe there will be no success for the 2008-2009 cheerleaders is an off-putting force which I constantly strive to overcome. I transfer these perceptions and turn them into my motivation. By working my hardest, I can achieve my goals for perfection.

I believe in consistency and confidence for myself in order to exceed. Mental blocks happen to most athletes I have known that make their sport a top priority. Trusting myself is a dreadfully important aspect to have in order to overcome any mental set backs. I have overcome mental conflicts by getting tired of not hitting my skills when everyone else obviously knows I can. I also remind myself that I should want it more than I’m scared of it.

When I know that almost everyone knows who I am because of my title, I have to try not to make any mistakes. I feel if I make one mistake, everyone would know what I’ve done wrong and their own opinion on how I should have done it differently. I try not to put myself in situations where I can’t make embarrassing mistakes and set myself as a good example to the ones who look up to me.

As I grow stronger I still feel the need to try and help myself and others to be the best. By pushing myself in honors classes and extra workouts I prove to myself the wisdom of Aristotle’s philosophy.