Hard work pays off

Tyler - Phoenix, Arizona
Entered on October 24, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: sports, work
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This I Believe

I love playing basketball, ever since I was four years old that has been my life. I’m not really the biggest kid in the world so I had to work for every skill that I possess. Michael Jordan once said “I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come. I don’t do things half-heartedly. Because I know if I do, then I can expect half-hearted results.” I agree with this quote because if I had messed around at every practice, or every time I played, I wouldn’t be half the player I am today. Everyone says that “basketball is a big man’s game,” and “you can’t teach height,” but I believe that if you have heart and a work ethic, people are able to overcome these obstacles.

All of my hard work paid off too; at my I started my high school career on the freshman team. After that game I was moved up to the varsity team and remained there my senior year. I was a 14 year old kid going against 18 year old men; also I was only 115 pounds then, and I was going against 170 pound players.

I used to endure the worst taunts from fans. One taunt that comes to mind is when I was playing against Deer Valley, one of the fans told me “Kindergarten was down the road and that this was high school.” Over the course of the year I heard all sorts of jokes regarding my size. I took these as a sign of respect, because even though they were making fun of me I knew my hard work had paid off because I had a key role on the varsity team. I also took all these jokes as motivation to want more. I wanted to prove that even though I was small I could still play.

Throughout the off season I attended numerous practices and camps so that I could work on my game. I still wasn’t the biggest kid on the court but I was able to earn the starting spot as the point guard. The point guard is the most important spot on the team because he controls everything that happens. I was the leader of the team and I was the youngest player on it. It was a very rough and exciting season but the team made it to the state playoffs for the first time in school history. My junior and senior years were the two best years for me. All my friends had reached the varsity level and all were willing to work just as hard as I do. We could be seen three months before the season trying to get in shape and working on our game. Laps and sprints became a part of our everyday life. During these two years I was named to two all-tournament teams, MVP of a tournament and two 2nd team all region awards. Pretty good for a 5’8” 130 lb. kid.

I believe hard work pays off because if I had sat around and not worked on my game at all I wouldn’t be where I am as a player. Before I even step on the court most people will look at me and assume that I cannot play, but because of all the work I have put into basketball, they will realize after the game that even though I’m not tall that I have heart and will do whatever it takes to win.