Learn to Compete is Learning to Succeed

stephen - Albion, Michigan
Entered on November 2, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

To Learn to Compete is to Learn to Succeed

I believe that sport teaches you the competitiveness you need to succeed in life. For me, football and basketball have been the two doing the teaching

The first time my four teammates and I walked into the larger than life Breslon Center on the campus of Michigan State University, we realized that was the moment that we competed for since we meet in the fifth grade. We stepped back in awe with the Class B Basketball State Championship on the line. The largest obstacle in our way a five foot six inch eighteen year old kid named Tajuan. This was our time to shine, on the largest stage we could find we were ready. To compete has taught me that there is someone always one step behind you that can assure you if you aren’t willing to compete or do your best all the time you will never be able to succeed to your fullest. For me, the fear of losing drives me more than the thrill of victory. We were snapped back to reality and forced to stare our fears in the face with a devastating loss. Now zero for one.

By the time April rolled around, we figured out fast the meaning of dedication. Dedication is not just showing up on game day and hoping that you’re good enough. Dedication is being in the gym every waking hour determined to be at your best. It is the early morning running or late night shooting. With our competitive edge and dedication to being at our best, we hit the football field, determined to compete and be dedicated to winning. Winning is what we did, now one for two in the biggest games of our lives, we looked forward to basketball.

After winning the football state championship and the seasons changed we were in the full swing of basketball. There were now 28 games, or opportunities for us to mess up, be lazy or just plain be un-professional. After a couple of close calls and two disheartening losses, we made it back to the playoffs ready to make another run. Dedicated, competitive, and professional, we showed up March 07 ready to fight again. Once more we left that arena the most upset we had ever been in our lives, one for three in the biggest games we could have played in. But we still walked out, we learned, we all moved forward to play at the collegiate level and now we are pursuing the next “big game”.

From the intensity of the competition to the professionalism of preparation, all sports have taught me to compete. Once you have learned the benefits of an intensely dedicated and competitive effort, you can employ that effort in multiple arenas, and even if you are not the biggest, strongest, or fastest, you can become successful.