I am a Student-athlete
As far back as I can remember, sports have been a part of my life. Anytime I kicked a soccer ball, bounced a basketball, or swung a bat I found happiness and joy. My introduction to sports and athletics changed me for the better. Some people have little regard for sports and athletics. They ignore how difficult it is to participate in sports activities, or what that sport may offer a person. Regardless of what anyone else thinks, being a student-athlete has made me the person I am today, a person that I am really proud of.
Being an athlete taught me about hard work and dedication. I’ve learned that to be good at what you do, you can’t just sit around and expect things to always go your way. I was never blessed with physical gifts, but I did put in extra work to make the team and be the best player I could be. In order to be a starter at my school, you had to earn it. This is in fact my team’s motto “always earned, never given”. Being an athlete required me to practice constantly, give 100 percent effort, and do extra training like going to the gym even when I didn’t feel like it.
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Skills aren’t something you just inherit. The phrase “Practice makes perfect” is reality. If I wanted to be the guy playing at a critical part of a close game, I had to prove that I was willing to work hard and be dedicated in practicing my position. Being a student-athlete introduced me to teamwork. I’ve learned the importance of playing well with others. When I work on group projects in school, and when I’ve interviewed for jobs, one of the basic questions I’ve been asked is if I work well with others. In football and track, the concept of teamwork is instilled into you daily. Every member of the team serves a particular role, whether it be catching the ball or sprinting a certain section of the track.
As a member of the team, I’ve learned that I am part of something bigger. It’s not just about me and my needs. In order for me to be successful and for the team to be successful, teamwork is necessary to achieve a common purpose or goal. Being a student-athlete also taught me perseverance. Sometimes you train really hard, practice many hours, and it is still not enough. Even though I would work hard in practice, other players would start ahead of me. It got so difficult for me to deal with that I considered quitting sports altogether because my situation didn’t seem fair.
Fortunately, I was able to see beyond my lack of playing time and continue on. I didn’t take these slights personally. Situations like this helped build my character. I’ve learned to not get frustrated with my lack of participation and deal with challenges as they come. My parents would often tell me luck favors the prepared. Opportunities don’t always come when you expect them. Being a student-athlete also taught me balance. In my sports not only did I have to worry about practices or games, I also had to complete school assignments. If I didn’t meet the minimum grade in a class, I wasn’t allowed to participate in sporting events. I had to be in good standing for academics and athletics.
The most difficult part of being a student-athlete is having the dedication to balancing school work and practice. I learned first-hand that student-athletes have to work harder than most. It can be overwhelming for some. Balancing school, sports, and my social life weren’t easy. Overall, being an athlete taught me how to be a person with character. Hard work, balance, perseverance, and teamwork are just a few of the characteristics that made me a man that I’m proud to be. Participating in sports while being a student takes knowledge, patience, and most of all, heart. Being a student-athlete taught me how to love something that makes me a better person. It allowed me to participate in something that lifts my spirits and gives me as much as put into it. I am grateful that I was given the opportunity to participate in sports which have made me the individual I am today.