Athletics

Post submissions here that match this topic thread in comments.


A note from your blog host, Professor Meghan Fair:

I just read this article about elite runner Gabrielle Grunewald, who passed away this June after she began fighting cancer while in college. Shortly before she died, Gabby expressed a kind of “This I Believe” statement that resonates deeply with me:

“Being brave, for me, means not giving up on the things that make me feel alive,” she wrote on the website of her cancer research foundation.” (New York Times, June 12 2019).

To read more of Gabrielle’s heroic story, click here.  So, what do you believe?

120 thoughts on “Athletics

  1. I believe athletics is the key to advancing everyone’s personal development. Athletics teach students responsibility, teamwork, respect, time management, etc. As my high school sailing coach always quotes Paul Elvstrom, an Olympic sailor, saying, “You haven’t won the race, if in winning the race you have lost the respect of your competitors.” Not only does this exemplify the meaning of respect for the competitors and fair play, but teaches students that even though they win doesn’t give them the right to brag and/or disrespect their opponents, at the end of the day we are all humans.
    Not only do athletics teach morality, but athletics also educate athletes about time management, and commitment. Being apart of a team means more than just having teammates, being on a team is like joining into a family, if a member of your family doesn’t show up to dinner it shows the lack of commitment and loyalty which directly relates to an athlete not showing up to practice or even a game. These moments help a students personal development because they learn how to plan their schedule so they can still attend practice, and can commit to their team.
    Participating in sports means working with other people with different backgrounds, traditions, and cultures. Athletes learn to understand and learn about different identities and learn how to use them as a strength to win games because if oneself doesn’t know about one another teammates then they can’t efficiently work like a well-oiled machine.
    In conclusion, students participating in an athletic event don’t only learn how to play and get better at their sport, but they also learn to work with different people, how to manage their time properly, and be respectful to everyone around them. Therefore, I believe athletics is the key to advancing everyone’s personal development.

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    • I agree with all of the statements and points you have made in your post. Without sports I feel that I wouldn’t be as well rounded and being a student-athlete has definitley taught me to manage time and take advantage of any down time that I may have. I also wouldn’t have had the same high school experiences without being involved on a sports team.

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    • I absolutely loved what you said about a team being a family. I’m an only child, and I don’t have anyone in my family around my age. Being apart of a team gives you a family. It really gives meaning to the statement “It takes a village.” It gives you people to trust and teaches you not only to rely on yourself, but also to rely on others.

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    • I think the same way, being a student athlete brings out a new sense of understanding characters and identities. Learning these are definitely important in learning others personal development.

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    • I like that quote your coach used. It definitely sets one team apart from another when they’re all around good people and are there to have fun and respect each other, but don’t lose sight of their goal.

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    • Football has been a huge part of my life; it has helped to shape and mold me in so many important ways. To most people, football is just simply a game. However, I believe that this sport has far more significance than just entertainment and fun. Football has taught me many valuable life lessons. Since the young age of seven, football has given me a form of daily structure. Being involved in football forced me to stay in shape and maintain good grades. The structural foundation that football instills in youth is so important. Although looked at as a rugged sport, football gives kids a chance to let energy out in a fun and safe way. Playing football requires a huge commitment of time which is a good thing for teens and young adults because it keeps them from having too much time for making bad decisions. Football has also taught me how to manage my time between school and athletics and I believe time management is a necessary life skill. Additionally, football has taught me how to communicate and work well with others which will serve me well in all aspects of life. Football helps to build leadership skills and character. Although football players are known for being rough and tough; football can be humbling as well. Lessons learned through big wins or tough losses help teach people how to deal with lives ups and downs. I truly believe that if I didn’t play football I would not be the person I am today.

      —Connor Donohue

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      • I totally agree, football has taught me many transferrable skills that I will use throughout the rest of my life. It has molded me into a more grounded individual all thanks to my coaches. The goals they set are a smaller example of what happens in the real world which build character in a young man.

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      • I totally agree with everything you said. Sports can provide the foundation to a well disciplined and structured life. And they can provide you with many life skills that will be valuable all your life.

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    • So true! Playing sports has taught me a lot of the lessons you listed and has helped me tremendously in my everyday life! I couldn’t imagine my life without sports!

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    • I strongly agree with your statements. Being a student athlete teaches so many lessons that people may not have learned had they been one or the other. Especially morality. I also really like the quote your coach made it’s powerful, I feel like more coaches should say things like that to their players in critical game moments when players forget the goal is bigger than winning.

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    • Athletics is a very important aspect of everyday life for me and other American teens. Sports allows many people in general to enjoy something they love and have an outlet to express themselves in a way they might not have had otherwise. The reason I enjoy sports a lot is because I can do something I find amusing while also dispatching all negative emotions in a nonviolent way. Sports also allows young athletes provide a platform for themselves that can increase due to the popularity they gain. This can help students from struggling environments to make it out of their endeavors and help support their family and needs. Athletics also contribute to a lot of school spirit and traditions that go on and usually have significance in most schools. Athletics is a staple in all schools worldwide and in the hearts of most kids and adults alike.

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    • I totally agree with everything you said, most importantly the time management part. I have played sports my whole life and I feel that playing sports and then going home and having to do homework helped me with time management more than anything. As annoying as it may have been to get home late and still have homework to do, I feel that if I had not had to do that but instead had all afternoon to do homework I would have started putting it off until the last minute and been rushing around to do it even though I had all day. I also believe sports is great for making friends and learning to work with people. Whether you like everyone on the team or not, you have to learn to work with them and it is important to learn that while your young. If you don’t have that experience you might go into your first big job and be getting in fights with coworkers because you never learned to get along with people you don’t really like.

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  2. Sports are defined as; an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment. However, when you are 4 and you show up to your recreation game with your matching socks, cleats, water bottle, and fresh new soccer ball, you simply view this game as fun. I have spent 13 years playing this game and I have experienced the benefits that this game and all sports have to offer. This game teaches everything you need to be successful in life whether it’s working with a team, attaining responsibility, showing up on time, teaching perseverance, boosting confidence, determination, and the idea that working hard truly does payoff.
    When you work with your teammates it’s the same as working with co-workers as you all come together to get one job done. The game teaches responsibility as you must be familiar with when you have practice, when you have a game, and always remember both jerseys because you never know what color jerseys the other team will have, “Don’t forget your drink!”. Make sure to be on time just like school and any other things that you will be attending in life. Perseverance is also influenced among players because the game teaches us to face obstacles and no matter how difficult it may be we will keep working. When we achieve success we will feel confident in our accomplishments. One of the most important feelings is determination and the idea that hard work really does pay off because when you worked hard and won the game you will carry that over to everything you do in life. That is how sports can teach more than just leading a healthy lifestyle as each element of the game can shape who you are as an individual.

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    • I know what it feels like to be dedicated to a sport for so long that you can’t even remember a time that you didn’t have it in your life. It teaches you so much about determination and perseverance. I completely agree with everything that you’ve said.

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    • It’s definitely so important to build a strong relationship with your teams and take away the life lessons and moral skills that sports teaches you. I’ve never played, but I can totally agree that working together in any aspect, whether it be in school, at work, or in sports can definitely help make the win or accomplishment that much better of a win since effort was put in by all members to achieve a goal.

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    • I completely agree that sports help to create teamwork and build stronger relationships. Sports are a tool that cultivate a supportive environment that build confidence and help one achieve things beyond the field. How to communicate under pressure, support others and deal with complications is all apart of any game and it builds character. An environment involving sports also fosters the ability for one to have determination and strength in what they do.

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  3. I agree with everything written in this article about athletics. I believe that every team is connected through their sport and how special most teams bonds are, are one that will always e remembered. The teamwork, responsibility, perseverance, and responsibility are definitely huge factors coming into not only athletics but a bigger part of life. This is why I am an athlete, it has helped me overcome and try new things.

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    • Thank you for sharing your thought in regards to the importance of athletics. I have had limited experience being on a sports team, but I completely agree that people develop multiple skills while participating. Even if a sport requires more independent roles, each one contributes to the teams personal growth.

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  4. Going into high school I had anxiety and throughout my freshman year it had greatly affected my work performance. It eventually came to a point where I was going to be retained and my counselor had asked my gym teacher to be my peer mentor because he knew I had a great passion for basketball.So me and my gym teacher were always talking about how it could help a lot of kids if we had a basketball team. So I took it upon myself to start a petition for a basketball this kept the anxiety away for a little my petition Passed and they gave the position of athletic director to my gym teacher, since he had brought the idea along with the petition to the board of school members. This now meant that our school was going to start having sports the following year. In the fall we started basketball camp and on the first day it was back , my anxiety. My anxiety had gotten so bad I had gotten into a fight that same day my AD had pulled me to the side and we had a conversation about controlling my anger and how I can take it out on the court and how I play. Basketball season was now approaching and my grades for once now looked good. My AD helped me to see how I can be a leader on and off the court once basketball season started I was named team captain. Basketball helped me get through the last couple years of high school especially with maintaining high grades to make sure I was eligible to play in games. Anxiety can sometimes get the best of you,make you act in ways you don’t want but my advice would be to find something you like or find people you share common interests with to distract yourself.

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  5. I believe that athletics as well as physical activity, has not only the power to motivate and engage a person, but may also help shape and change them in ways they did not think were possible. My time as a member of the Tri-County Wrestling Team has given me these beliefs, as well as reinforced them at every turn. I have personally witnessed many wrestlers go from goofy kids without anything to do, to serious athletes with dedication and drive. I have seen typical out-of shape teenagers become a incredibly athletic. I personally have experienced these effects of athletics, and of the Tri-County Wrestling Team, which is why I choose to write about them. Going into freshman year I was fat, unconfined, and out of shape, whereas graduating my senior year I have confidence in myself and my ability both on and off the mat, I have become healthy, and I feel I am better for it. I am both proud of myself and those around me who have gone through similar experiences through athletics and physical activity, and I am thankful for those who have shaped my personal journey. The effects may differ from sport to sport, however, across all sports there is the opportunity for lasting friendships and connections between teammates unlike many other friendships we may come across, a deep-rooted bond stemming from similar interest, that has been nourished by the intense trials the team has faced together. I have witnessed friendships flourish because of athletics, and I myself have gained many strong, deep-rooted friendships because of my sport. Athletics have an abundance of positive effects on those who partake in them, and can shape your life in a better way which you may have never thought possible

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    • I completely agree and love how you added the physical benefit you gained along with the connections you make. Everything you said was so accurate and I can relate to the similar benefits and long lasting friendships I have made from sports as well.

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  6. I believe athletics help you stay on the right path to succeed and be a better person in life. I grew up in a city called Lawrence in Massachusetts. Lawrence is a city with a lot of immigrants but it has a lot of culture, it’s a beautiful city. But on the other hand, Lawrence has a bad reputation growing up in Lawrence, I had a hard time staying on the right path. Walking on the streets of Lawrence, I’ve seen so much. I’ve seen used needles, I’ve seen gangs, and much more. Even though I live in a city where no one wants to live in, I love my city. It’s the city where my parents immigrated to, so I could have a better life and so they can start a new life and achieve the American Dream. Athletics played a huge part in my life, Growing up in a city that no one really wanted to live in because of it’s so called bad reputation. I felt like I needed to play a sport to keep me busy, so I decided to play football. This sport called football was all new to me, I never played any sports growing up but it did keep me busy and it helped me clear my mind. Football helped me stay out of trouble. Some of my middle school friends joined gangs or didn’t care about school, but football helped me be a better person and stay focused. I believe athletics gives you wings and it opens doors for people to be great.

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    • I totally understand where you’re coming from. I was born and raised in Fall River with a family of immigrants. Many people always told me that Fall River was a horrible place to live. I chose instead to show them the real Fall River, filled with real people and real dreams. I’m one of only a handful of people in my family who have above a 4th grade education. When my family came to watch me swim, I could always see the pride on their faces. I’ve even gotten my younger cousins to join sports as well.

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    • I agree with your point of view on sports in a major way, because for most people, sports are what they use for comfort or to lean on when they need it in rough times to help. It definitely opens new beginnings for everyone as well and when people find what they love and are truly passionate about it, it becomes a huge factor into their everyday life.

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    • I completely agree with you that sports keep people on the right track in life. I have recognized at my high school that the kids who play sports tend to have better success in and out of the classroom and avoid trouble more then the students who do not play sports.

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  7. At the age of six I started playing football. I hated it because I was terrified of getting hit by bigger kids and I hated waking up the day after a practice or game with new pains all over my body. But I really wanted to play at the same time because my older brothers played and they always made my dad really proud. I wanted to be just like them. So I never spoke up about how I didn’t like the contact in football, Instead I persevered through the pain and I ultimately became better from it. Struggling through those early years of football helped me learn that I actually love football and taught me important life lessons. Lessons such as always finish what you started, perseverance,toughness, the importance of winning and losing, and how to work well with others.

    I think everyone should participate in some kind of competition, it doesn’t have to be a sport. I think it’s important because you learn a lot about yourself and how you compare to others. It also shows you where you need improvement. Both reasons naturally make you a better person.

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    • I honestly felt this blog a little different. When I first started football I hated the contact as well, id assume any 7 or 8year old wouldn’t want to be getting hit the way we are on the field, but just like you I continued through it and fell deeply in love with the game of football. From the first practice in the summer thru all the blood sweat and tears shed on that field; I love every ounce of the game and what it has brought me to in life. I also agree with your idea of everyone getting out there and competing because sports aren’t the only competition that could help a person find ones true self. overall good blog

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  8. Each and every one of us are all comprised of values that define who we are. The strange part is, with obvious exceptions, we all strive to have the same set of core values: honesty, commitment, respect, and so on. However, the way we earn these values are through vastly different situations. Every minute of every day has some sort of impact on us, whether we know it or not.
    I choose to believe that I have experienced and hoped to earn many of these values through sports. The many years of camaraderie amongst my teammates has shaped me. I have learned that a group of girls from all over, with drastically different personalities can come together and play as a whole. Coming into my freshman year of high school, I was terrified. I was always a shy person who kept to myself much of the time, but as I entered the next four years of my life I decided to play field hockey. It was a sport that I had never played, and quite frankly knew very little about. Although, a few of my friends were playing, so I thought I would too. I picked up on the sport pretty quickly and fell in love. After my first season was over, I was no longer the shy little girl from middle school. I was confident and proud of who I was, which I never imagined I could ever feel that way. Playing field hockey taught me that it was not always about winning the game. I took away some of the greatest life lessons after a hard fought loss. By playing teams that had the power to completely shut us out and drive up the score mercilessly, we learned how to accept defeat with pride and respect for our opponent. My coach expected nothing less than the utmost respect and commitment to our team and to the game. I can honestly say that playing field hockey shaped me in various beneficial ways and I am proud of the person I am today.

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    • I found I was able to relate to your story very personally, as I had a similar experience when joining wrestling, and I feel many others had similar experiences when joining their sports in high school. Your story was able to capture the emotions most people feel when both entering high school and joining a new team in a very relate-able and understandable way. Overall it was well said and likely true for a wide array of athletes

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  9. I believe that the definition of sports that we often use while in high school as well as college should be an activity most if not all capable kids should participate in while growing up. When I went to high school, the clubs I had once been a part of in middle school no longer existed, and I wanted to find another activity to participate in after school, which led me to the sport I would be involved in throughout high school: robotics. Upon hearing this, many people dismiss the idea of robotics being a sport, citing reasons such as not fitting the standard definition or not enough physical work.

    The definition for sports is a “game, competition, or similar activity, done for enjoyment or as a job, that takes physical effort and skill and is played or done by following particular rules” (Cambridge Dictionary, https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/sport). My robotics team was created to participate in the competitions arranged by FIRST Robotics (https://www.firstinspires.org/). This organization establishes the rule set, guidelines and in-season competitions. Thousands of teams exist worldwide under this organization to build and compete against each other and their robots according to yearly guidelines. Each team has a crew of people including adult mentors, team captains, programmers, metal fabricators, public relations, and many more. The teams then develop their own strategy and robot to accomplish the tasks set out by FIRST. They must execute these tasks alongside allied teams and against opposing teams. Spectators and fellow robotics teams watch the matches either online or in the stands of the arena. Each team must travel to the designated locations where the events are being held and compete in order to qualify and rank into the next level of the competition, starting with qualification matches and ending with the world championships.

    Based on the definition of sports given by Cambridge Dictionary and what goes into robotics, I believe it absolutely qualifies as a sport. Robotics is heavy on using our most important muscle: the brain. If we were to truly include the above qualifications in our definition of criteria pertaining to sports, robotics and many more activities may finally be recognized for the sports they are.

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  10. I think the same way that Being And athlete brings character and leadership to the table because you have to work as a team to achieve your goals.

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  11. I believe that life its self is a sport it takes time and practice to be good at it. Athletics is a phase in life that challenges you in ways you’ve never thought possible. It’s character building and person finder it teach you how to over come obstacles in life. I also believe without Athletics I would’ve never been able to set on this computer and blog this because that was my motives of getting out of high school and not dropping out. Athletics is the second most challenging phase in life.

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  12. Athletics is something not many people can truly define. Everyone has their own meaning of each sport and how things work. Sports or being apart a team will make someone into a new and improved self. In sports you’ll learn new skills that not many people will possess and have more knowledge on communication and teamwork.
    Being apart of an athletic team gives an opportunity to learn how to manage their schedules and how to communicate with others. In a sport you’ll have to make time and show effort to make it to practice and games, so you’ll make time in the day or week to appear at the times given.You’ll also have to show Commitment and dedication throughout the season. Being an athlete is like having another family. You’ll learn how to work with others differences leading into culture and different races and become close or none to these differences.
    There are also many health benefits from sports. Either everyday or every other, you will be engaged into running, lifting and alternative exercises. While you gain skills, you’ll also gain muscle. This can help you stay fit and healthy throughout the season.
    In conclusion, being apart of the athletics department will create a athlete with more character and leadership. Also gain numerous skills people may not have or know what commitment is like and being more trustworthy to others.

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  13. I believe athletics are an incredible way to work on various social skills and build friendships. When playing a sport with a team, you develop friendships and build team skills. I played softball for many years throughout my life and made many friends along the way. When you’re part of a team, you learn how to work with others to accomplish goals. Aside from teamwork and friendship, you also learn to manage your time, gain confidence within yourself and handle losses with good sportsmanship. These are vital life skills to possess.
    Participating in a sport is a way to find yourself while learning about others and how to work with people different from yourself. As we take our first steps into our careers, we will have co-workers that we will learn about and work with to obtain a goal just like practicing with a team for a game. Within a team, we learn to build one another back up after a loss which will happen in our careers too. We learn from our mistakes and will figure out how to build from them together. Unification is the key to making groups of people work to their best abilities.
    Lastly, the most important thing one learns from being part of a team is how to get along with those you may find differences with. You learn to work together and put aside any negative feelings towards one another and strive to achieve a mutual goal. This will be one of the most crucial skills to have when in a work environment. Sports can shape who you are as a person and provide you with skills that will be mirrored throughout your life in the workforce.

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    • I 100% agree! I also played softball in high school and my team was my second family. I could always count on them when I needed help and they knew how to help me when I was struggling. What you say about being on a team is so true, and teamwork is found in everything.

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  14. I believe that engagement in some type of regular physical activity should be strongly encouraged for students all over the world. This could vary from participating in a team sport (competitive or recreational), yoga, going to the gym, or hundreds of other physical activities. I personally found participation team sports to be helpful to me in high school as my grades would improve during sports seasons. Studies show that regular exercise can help better you perform better, both physically and intellectually.

    Engaging in activities such as sports, yoga, or going to the gym is also an excellent way to meet new people and get involved in other activities, social or otherwise. Being a part of a team or a group of friends who go to the gym is a great way to learn about commitment which is a crucial to success in the “real world”. Although not all physical activities require a person to win or lose, it is also crucial that everyone learns how to compete and when you do lose, how to recover and use the loss as for motivation in the future. As the saying goes, “You learn more from losing than winning.”

    In my opinion getting involved in physical activities has provided me opportunities to excel. I met many of my closest friends and athletics motivated me in the classroom when schoolwork seemed overwhelming. If it were not for sports and recreation, I would not be the person I am today. I look forward becoming involved in activities when I get to UMass Dartmouth and continued success both in and out of the classroom.

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  15. When I was in middle school, I was going through a really rough time. Life just got hard. My only sanctuary was the few times a week I got to go to swim team after school. Swimming gave me a chance to get away, to focus on myself, but also to forget about the struggles that I was facing. I’ve been competitively swimming for 8 years, and I honestly believe its one of the reasons that I keep going.
    When I entered the 9th grade, swimming gave me the confidence I needed to make it as a freshman. I walked into school a week before the school year actually started, and the team welcomed me. No I wasn’t the fastest, but I was always the one who never gave up. I constantly persevered. Swimming allowed me to be myself. It gave me a second family. Spaghetti dinners made me laugh, and got me away from studying all day. Every time I dove into the water, I became someone else, someone free from life’s struggles. Someone better than myself. I became part of a team. Being an only child that was very important to me, to have other people to lean on and help.
    Things began to change my junior year. A previous injury forced me to stop swimming during practice. I refused to be sidelined from a team and a sport that I loved so much. So instead, I began diving. It was hard, really hard. But I wanted to do everything I could to help my team and to be as involved as possible. Swimming isn’t really a contact sport, so it was strange coming home with bruises. But I kept going.
    My senior year was more of the same. But this year, I got to be captain, and it was the most gratifying experience of my life.
    What I believe, is that swimming gave me a family. It gave me a life. It saved me from some rough times, and it gave me good times in return. Years from now I won’t remember who came in first or second. Years from now I’ll remember the people who made my experience swimming so amazing. I believe, swimming gave me a second chance.

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  16. I believe that athletics are such a great way to get involved and learn various things from team work, social skills, and learning how to create friendships. I have been involved in sports from a young age. I started off playing soccer and I eventually found myself playing softball and realized it was something that I am truly passionate about. Playing sports has taught me so many valuable lessons that will help me throughout life such as learning how to be apart of a team, working hard, responsibility, and perseverance. Softball and athletics in general have taught me so much responsibility. You need to know when you have practices and games and you need to show up and be there no matter what. From such a young age I have been setting my alarm for those early practices and games, packing my bag for tournaments, and showing up on time. Perseverance is also a big thing for people who are involved in sports. Athletics teaches players to keeping working hard despite the challenges you may face along the way. When athletes have success it brings them confidence but when they face failures it can help bring them the determination they need to do better and improve in any way possible. Softball has taught me so much and it has given me so many friendships along the way. I do not think I would be the person I am today if I had not been involved in sports. I know the skills and lessons that athletics have taught me will be extremely beneficial for me in my future.

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    • I believe that athletics help with many things in life. It can help with communication skills, anxiety and even teach life lessons. One of these communication skills that you can learn from sports is leadership. This can come from a variety of different situations. One situation is stepping up in a clutch position and leading your team to victory. The other leadership skill that can be learned from playing sports is when you are put in the position of team captain and have to use communication to lead your team. Leadership is important skill to have especially in this day and age. You need to be able to communicate effectively with your peers to solve problems in the workplace on a daily basis so learning this early on from sports will be vital in your success. Not only do sports help your communication skills, it also helps with dealing with anxiety. Sports teach you how to deal with anxiety in a variety of ways. One way is when you are put in a clutch situation and your anxiety and adrenaline levels are at all time highs. Dealing with this stress and pulling through that situation will make you a better person in the future as you are used to dealing with stress already. Another way it helps with anxiety is it helps with social anxiety. Performing under so many watchful eyes can be stress inducing, but sports help you deal with this common fear and persevere. Not only do sports help you manage your stress levels and help you communicate better with peers, it also teaches life lessons. Kids nowadays are brought up learning that everyone wins and everyone should get a medal. That isn’t how life is and sports teach kids that they will fail, and fail again. As long as they keep trying and don’t hang their heads in defeat they will end up doing just fine in life. The lessons that I have learned from sports will carry on with me throughout my life.

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  17. I believe that athletics help to build character in students, creates friendships, and makes students become more motivated with their education. I have played soccer ever since I was a little kid and it has helped me to become stronger and hard-working, make friendships, and keep me motivated in school.
    Athletes are forced to stay hard-working if they want to succeed in their sport. They can’t get better without putting the effort and dedication in. They also have to be strong in their sport, sometimes both physically and mentally. It’s important to have the mental strength to keep pushing through hard conditioning and hard criticism. Athletes have to allow themselves to not be as sensitive to the criticism, and that alone will make them a stronger person. In high school soccer, my coach would always pull me aside after substituting me out and she would tell me what I need to fix. Instead of getting upset or trying to argue with her when I thought she was wrong, I would listen and take her constructive criticism. It made me a better player as well as a better respected player to my coach and peers.
    Athletes are also able to play on so many different types of teams. For example, as a soccer player, I could play indoor and outdoor soccer, and for my town, club, high school, and hopefully soon for college. Within all of these teams, I have been able to make so many friendships, one of them is my best friend and has been for years.
    Lastly, as a student athlete, I had to maintain my grades throughout all of high school in order to stay on the team. This pushed me to always study and work hard in my classes. Being an athlete motivated me to always work hard no matter what time of year, how tired I was, or how much time I had. Being a student athlete who also worked forced me to have great time management all of the time as well.

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    • Sports was a huge motivator for me to keep my grades up and maintain eligibility too. I also made some of the closest friendships with teammates throughout my time playing.

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    • I agree with everything you said about athletics! I have been playing soccer since I was little as well. Most of all I agree that it makes you a stronger person. As a goalie who was the shortest person on my team, I faced a lot of criticism but learning to deal with it respectfully and allowing it to make you a better player and person is important.

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    • I think that sports teach its athletes important traits that people will carry into their professional lives. I think you did a good job showing this through your own experiences and the traits you learned while playing sports. I also like how you talked about making new friendships because I feel like athletes can get so focused on themselves that they forget that it is an easy atmosphere to meet people and building friendships.

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  18. I believe athletics build a better person and instill discipline, I know coming from myself my city wasn’t the best growing up, I knew people who have been incarnated or worse and athletics was really a way to turn others away from that. In Lawrence it was often tough to walk down the street without finding something that could get you in trouble. My mom kind of knew early on I was the kind of kid that might get caught up in the wrong situation and signed me up for sports, don’t get me wrong I wasn’t a bad kid nor were my friends but I guess my mom’s worse fear was me being influenced or worse. I think realizing that as I was older it was the best thing my mom could have done for me. Rather than doing has my peers in my apartment complex I had Track practice right after school and on weekends and enough homework to make me want to scream. I had no time slack and had the discipline of juggling multiple things at once. Track gave me multiple opportunities to meet Christian Coleman a world record holder, Boris Berian and much greater track athletes. I know meeting people like this who excelled in the sport I loved so much only pushed me to want to be better and to get so much further in track as terms to the national level and winning meets from me doubling up on races. I learned teamwork, discipline and perseverance just from an early involvement in athletics.

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    • Sports can teach you discipline, I completely agree! I liked your insight a lot, running track and your commitment to it put you on a positive path. It even helped you become more well rounded, being able to balance your athletics and school work.

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      • I was signed up for track by my mother as well and at first I was really upset that I had to practice but I agree with your point on time management. Track is one of the best sports to learn how to manage time, how to prioritize, and how to really commit.

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  19. The Importance of the Outdoors
    By Ted Stauffer
    When I was informed about having to write this essay, I wasn’t sure what to talk about. The problem was there was so many topics to talk about that it was hard to choose just one. There were some like the importance of family, and education, but I passed on those as I feel like those two are talked about to death, and there’s nothing new to say. After thinking about the topic, I decided to settle on talking about the importance of the outdoors. In this essay, I will be talking about why the outdoors is important to me, and what made me choose this topic.
    What makes me think the outdoors are so important is because most of our necessities are present outside than inside. The fruits and vegetables we eat are grown outside, most of the air we breath is outside, and the sun gives us the light we need to survive. How I discovered that the outdoors is so important is that I go outside every day. I’m someone who can’t stay inside all day long without going crazy. It might be because I feel confined inside sometimes, and I don’t outdoors. I enjoy going outside to take walks, going for bike rides, and in the summer, go swimming. But really, when I go outside, it feels like going on a mini adventure.
    Now I’d like to get into the story of why I decided to touch upon this topic. One day during this summer, I saw an injured bunny while mowing my backyard. It was injured, and didn’t have much time left, but me and my Mom made sure it would get the care it needed for the last few hours of its life. We made a little nest of grass for it to stay in, and we also provided it some lettuce. We weren’t able to save it, but we were able to help it out. That story stuck with me, and that’s what made me to discuss the importance of the outdoors. What also made me talk about this topic is just I spend a lot of time outside, and it just made me appreciate the world we have to wonder. My views on outside will always be this way, and I’ll continue to explore what the outdoors have to offer.

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  20. The world is more or less built around athletics and the pursuit of glory through sports, and I believe that sports should continue to be a way we as a people unite. Whole countries are built around and upon athletics, funneling immense amounts of wealth and influence into major sports such as Soccer and Football. Beyond just wealth or hobbies, sports can be an instrumental tool in uniting the peoples of different worlds and lifestyles. The power of camaraderie can nullify the feelings of hatred that people may feel towards one another, giving them a mutual goal or reason to be together. This dream-like feeling between people should be used to unite more people around the world over their differences. An example of this is the Christmas Truce of 1914, where British, French, and German soldiers mutually agreed on a ceasefire even though their warring governments would not agree to an actual ceasefire. The soldiers played soccer in the space between their trenches, reveling in the joy that the sport brought them and forgot for a while of the world that was around them. If a sport is able to bring together people who are trying to kill each other in such a way, just imagine what sports could do for our world today. We are currently dealing with other countries over resources and ethics, but if we could somehow use sports to unite everyone, I think people could find a way to bond and compromise together.

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  21. I believe athletics can be connected to somebody’s success in the real world. The world of sports teaches you that you either win or you lose and that it is up to you to work hard to try and be the better competitor. Athletics taught me that you have to put in the time and do the work to get better. This is something that I’ve been able to carry with me and apply to everything that I do always putting forth all of my effort into any task presented to me. Athletic success on the field translated to academic success as I had the drive to do the best I possibly could and continued to try and improve. I didn’t pick up organized sports until middle school and my tendencies changed immediately once I began, noticing immediate improvement in my organization and ability to complete my work. Athletics also teaches you structure and punctuality, something that is crucial to someone’s success as an adult. You have to be at your practices consistently and on time with no incentive because this is something expected of you. Being expected of something as a young kid teaches you that there isn’t always going to be a reward for what you’re tasked with completing but that it’s something that you still must do. While I do believe many things have helped me get to where I am today, it is clear to me that much of my success has stemmed from the Values imprinted into me from Athletics.

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  22. I believe that Athletics gives people the character trait of integrity. Integrity is defined as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.” This is a trait I hold very dear to my heart. As a person who played both Golf and Tennis in High School and is an avid player in both sports, I take pride in having the most integrity I can have, because I see Athletics as representing not just yourself but, your school and your community. Furthermore, you would not want your school to be seen as ‘that school that cheats”. For me this means if say in Tennis I did not see if the ball clearly hit the line or if it was out, I will call it in and lose the point because it was my own fault that I could not see the ball and the other team/player should not bear the repercussions of my mistake. Or in golf it is my job to hold the integrity of the sport and if my opponent asks me my score I tell my correct score and not take off a stroke even if I mess up bad on a hole. Integrity, in my eyes, is one of the most important character traits there is it shows that a person is honest and is able to be trusted by everything and I believe athletics can give that trait to anyone.

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    • I totally agree with you on that sports grants a person integrity. People often take sports for granted and see them only as a way to glorify yourself or so others will like you, but sports can definitely give you integrity to carry with you throughout your life. It allows you to have greater responsibility and respect for others and yourself, and I appreciate that you made this point.

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  23. Movement, something every biological human was designed to do. Yet, what do the majority of people around the world do…sit. That’s right we as a society have designed our workflows and means of life around sitting. One of the most common jobs around, the classic office job, mostly consists of sitting at a desk in front of a computer. Humans every day die from easily preventable diseases: heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. We eat bad food, sit with poor posture, and stare at a screen all day and that needs to change. Sixty-six days. That is the rough estimate of how long it takes to create a habit. It takes about two months for your body to commit to muscle memory and for your body to automatically follow habit. I offer you a challenge. Thirty minutes of movement every day for the next two months. It could be anything: a walk on the beach with your dog, jog on the treadmill, yoga, dynamic stretching…etc. The possibilities are limitless. Take my challenge. Do something active every day for 30 minutes, then after you can stop. But, I’m almost positive that you’ll continue after the challenge is over. After all, our bodies were made to move.

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    • Great advice! A lot of people nowadays don’t realize the importance of physical activity, no matter how small. Being active for just 30 minutes a day can really make a huge difference. Additionally, it’s also imperative that everyone has a healthy diet. Refueling your body is just as important as physical maintenance. I believe that this advice can help make anyone’s life much healthier. Only a little bit of effort can help you go a long way 🙂

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  24. I believe that athletics can bring out the great in someone, they can open doors that would have never been open, and provide many kids with opportunities that may not have been present at all. Sports build character, and teach the young kids how to work as a team, and how to effectively communicate which translates to real life. i think that sports helps us develop a sense of hard work, and pride in what we can achieve, and it can also drive us to achieve more than what we thought was possible. Athletics also teach kids, and teenagers to never give up and persevere throughout anything, and all of those qualities present in successful people.

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  25. I believe athletics teaches much more than what is seen by outsiders or non-athletes watching. As athletes we are often seen as just athletes or “Jock’s”. We’re often considered more of the bronze and less brains, well that is really far from true. We are students of the game. We all play totally different sports, but all sports can teach us different life skills. Not only life skills but everyday just people skills, through sports I have learned to rationalize, strategize and empathize with my peers. Not only that but athletics can also tach an individual, trust, communication, and overall building better people skills. Sports have turned strangers into brothers, groups of random people into families. Also, early age sports develop a hunger for success. Motivation that we aren’t always born with can be developed It takes much more than just being a good player to succeed, with love, passion and determination, all is possible.
    As a child in the fourth grade, I finally started to understand the game more of basketball and football and how it was just not putting a ball into a hoop or scoring the most touchdowns in a game. My fourth-grade coach was very adamant on teaching us children how to work together as team and to communicate with each other on the court or the field even if we did not necessarily like each other. This is what started me loving my football career even more and I believe if it wasn’t for my coach teaching much more than what the game is really about, football would not have the same effect it does on me now.

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  26. Most people believe sports are just a good way to stay in shape and to receive that ultimate stereotypical title known as “jock”, so you won’t get picked on in high school. However, if you’ve played and loved a sport for as long as I have, you know that is not true. I started playing softball when I was 4 years old and I’ve had a passion for this sport ever since. When I was young it was all about having fun, but as you get older it quickly switches to “You have to take this game seriously!!” and “If you want this to take you somewhere, you have to be all in.” Although this is true, I never let the rigorous training and high expectations make myself lose sight of the true meaning of the game. Softball is not just about knowing how to throw a ball and swing a bat, it’s also about learning valuable lessons that could be applied to the real world. For example, it teaches you to never give up no matter how many times you fail. Softball is a perfect example for this expression because as my coach used to say, “This is a failure sport. So it’s all about how you react to your failure and push yourself to become even better.” This has helped me tremendously with every aspect in my life because as you all know, life knocks you down more times than you can count. But in the end, all that matters is that you get up and use it to become an even stronger person.

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  27. I believe that athletics have changed my life and everyone else who has participated in athletics. Athletics have been apart of my life since I can remember. The teams I have been on all opened me up to be more outgoing and I gained many close friends that just started as teammates but now are still my best friends today. Going into high school I was very nervous as many of us were but athletics definitely made me enjoy school so much more as I made many new friends even in just my first semester. It really made my experience much better. Then, as time went on and over the next few years I continued to dedicate myself to playing soccer and being apart of the team. When it was my senior year I really saw how soccer changed my life when I was named one of the captains. I realized how soccer changed me throughout the years and now I was a role model for all the underclassmen as they would now look to me for guidance just like I looked to the captains when I was a freshman. Athletics helped me in so many ways and I could not be anymore thankful to all the friends I have made from sports and the skills I have learned to guide, organize, and communicate so we can unite as one to achieve the same goal.

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    • Evan,
      I agree with how you view athletics as I have the same opinion. I have made so many friends between baseball and basketball that I am still very close with today. Athletics teach you to play as a team so nobody is selfish.

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  28. I’ve always been healthy and in shape, but most people would put me on a list of the least athletic people they knew. I could run, but not fast. I could kick or throw a ball, but it wouldn’t typically land in the place I planned for it to. It was safe to say that sports or athletics have never really been my thing. Sophomore year of high school, I really started to pick at little things about my appearance and decided I wanted to put on weight. I did leg workouts at home every day, simple exercises. But, I had begun to lose weight instead of gain in the places I was looking for. I had been satisfied with my appearance until that point, it could look worse but could look a lot better, yet now I felt worse.
    In May of 2019, my senior year of high school, my friend pointed out to me that teenagers from about fifteen to eighteen years old can get a free gym membership at Planet Fitness. I found immediate interest in this, since I knew she was educated on what there was to know about nutrition and exercise and because I hadn’t had an interest in paying twenty dollars or more a month on a membership. We decided to sign up.
    Since then, I’ve done research, watched YouTube Videos, read Question and Answer forums from social media fitness influencers, saved workouts … the list really goes on. I’ve been steadily going to the gym about two times a week since mid-May, and have learned so much about the importance of balance with weight lifting and nutrition, and my motivation is at an all-time high. I believe that I still have a lot to learn, but staying motivated and applying it to things outside of fitness, such as remaining dedicated to my studies and getting my bachelor’s degree and obtaining a job for my future in nursing, will help create a better version of myself. My motivation benefits my physical and mental well-being, as well as helps me learn how to apply it to goals I continue to set for myself.

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    • Allison, I can see your point of view about being athletic but not really being seen that way. It helps to know that because I would describe myself as an athletic person but not someone who is great at every kind of sport. Soccer has always been my outlet and has given me motivation just like how you got your motivation from lifting and nutrition. Thanks for your point.

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  29. A time that something I believed in during sports was challegened was a few years ago when I played football. It was about winning and as nice as winning is i thought it should be fun too. That season the team had been doing really well and because of this we had to keep facing better teams. The problem with facing better teams means harder practices and we got worked till we could breathe at times. The problem that I had that season was I didn’t think we were being worked properly it seemed that we were being overworked at times and I thought that wasn’t right I knew the commitment but it got to a point where the coach seemed to think football was more important than getting our school work done. There weren’t many times that something in my life that I believed in had been challenged and Im lucky for that and this was just something that I felt should have been changed even though I could see why it wasn’t. Sports have always been a part of my life so I do use sports as part of many of my beliefs and I will always so when one thing isn’t what I believe it tends to pop out a little more than other things to me.

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  30. I Believe as an Athlete you overcome many obstacles in your life. As an all star athlete you are given many challenges such as waking up to workout, to do what others won’t. Another positive is that you are being conditioned on how to take negative information in a positive manner to better yourself and to better the people around you. Being an athlete is a challenging task that shows your mental and physical toughness. Also it proves to yourself that if you work hard in life you can always get what you want and if you choose not to work hard your just gonna be an ordinary person. Don’t be yourself, Be Different.

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  31. My passion for field hockey began in fifth grade. 7 years later and I can’t imagine not playing. What started as an after school activity became the root of unforgettable bonds with my teammates and coaches which, through team dinners, bonding, and practices, became family.
    The season of my junior year, my high school had their smallest team ever with 17 girls and two boys. Yes, that’s right. Two boys on a high school field hockey team. They were a part of this family we created. I imagined their passion for field hockey was similar to mine since so many people openly and negatively expressed their opposition to them playing. We all painfully watched them be bashed for their passion on and off the field from opposing teams, coaches, and fans.
    I walked onto the field for my third tournament field hockey game that season and looked around to see each of my teammates standing for what we believed in. Instead of beating the competition, it was a matter of beating the shocking comments of “Boys play football and girls play field hockey”, that the boys “should know better”, and “It’s obviously wrong”. To me it seemed simple; if it makes them happy, go for it. I believe in letting people following what makes them happy and I hope one day the world can open their eyes and see the world beyond a person’s outer layer.
    I may not have won a state title but I gained so much more that season. Those 17 girls, two boys and three coaches, who became my family, taught me more in that one season about holding my head high, standing up for what I believe in, and putting aside stereotypes than I ever could in the past 18 years and that means much more than any game.

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  32. I agree, I grew up in the same city and I know the hardships of it. Sports teach people how to be discipline and to keep persevering. It is a way for people to express themselves and to compete in a non-violent way. Sports help people get connected with the people of their communities and other communities.

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  33. I believe sports can better people’s lives. I have been playing volleyball for four years. I started my freshman year of high school. Being part of a team has taught me valuable life skills. It has enhanced my confidence. Going into high school I was very shy and volleyball helped me open up to new people, which sparked life long friendships. It has also taught me that hard work and determination pays off and renders success. From the very first time I stepped onto the court freshman year, I dreamed of becoming captain of the team and a starter on varsity. This dream inspired me to get better. It pushed me to put in 100% effort into every workout, practice, and game. I became a starter my junior year and captain my senior year. Having achieved the athletic goals I had placed on myself was an achievement I was extremely proud of. I learned that anything is possible if you work hard. Sports have also taught me responsibility. I was required to be on time to every practice and game. I had to be prepared by bringing my necessary equipment: knee pads and shoes. It has also taught me a different kind of responsibility. It taught me to take responsibility when I make a mistake. Volleyball is a team sport but it is also a sport of mistakes. By taking responsibility for my mistakes on the court, I was able to grow as a player. I learned what I needed to work on during practice, which helped me succeed. Volleyball has taught me a lot about myself and who I am. I believe sports help advance one’s personal development and can shape who you are as an individual.

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  34. I believe that athletics can be very important to someone’s life and could even shape the person that they are. Athletics can get you closer to someone, and it also allows you to meet new people you’ve never knew before. Also athletics can boost someone’s self-esteem, and make them feel better about themselves. Lastly, athletics can allow you to try new things. Since a young age I have always been involved with sports and they have had a very positive impact on my life. When I first started playing sports I was around 6 years old, this allowed me to meet new people and I was able to meet some friends who I’m still friends with to this day. Throughout my years of playing sports I have met many other people who I was able to get along with and become friends with. Sports have allowed me to create bonds with people that I’ve never had before. Playing sports not only did this, but it allowed me to feel better about myself and it gave me more confidence in my life. It has made me a happier person, and if I was ever feeling down I could go play sports to get things off my mind. Lastly, sports have made me more of an outgoing person, and they have made me the person I am today. All in all I believe that athletics are a very important thing, and many people should try them, and they could benefit you in the long run.

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  35. I believe that athletics have many different purposes, for many different reasons. For example, athletics could be used as an outlet for whatever pressures people may have in life. In addition to being what gets people out of their houses, or towns for that matter. As well as being what keeps one out of trouble they would be in had they been using the time they spend at practice doing things they shouldn’t be. However, every athlete has their own reason for being involved with a sport. Drive and passion in athletes can not only come from the love of the game or their craft, but how what they do on the court, field, stage, etc changes them. Athletics have the ability to make someone feel needed by their teammates, force them to learn time management and how to prioritize, and make them feel proud of themselves while giving them teams of friends they’ll have for a lifetime. Personally if I hadn’t been involved in sports I would not be where I am today and most definitely wouldn’t be the person I am. The teams I’ve played on, the coaches I’ve played for, the places I’ve traveled to for games, all stand prominently as the memories changed me majorly in some way shape or form. I’m a strong believer in things happening for a reason, that being said, whether something bad happens I can always think about where I would be or who I would be if athletics hadn’t been in my life.

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  36. My whole life until this point, where I find myself so close to embarking on this terrifying yet exciting journey known as the college experience, I was playing a sport, but this is where it changes. Starting in sixth grade, and eventually throughout all of highschool I was a three sport athlete in baseball, basketball, and football, being the one where I was chosen as last season’s overall MVP. As you can see, athletics are a serious part of my personality and my life, however because of how much I am involved in these athletics, it was inevitable that at the end of high school, the question had to be asked, “So are you going to play in college?” Somehow, during the gap between after the football season and school ending, the peers at my school, my coaches, and members of my family seemed to have decided for me, that I wanted to play of course. They even fooled me at first, with all the support of a decision that I didn’t make. I decided that if this many people think it’s the right call, then it must be the best option, burying my doubts about what I wanted to do for my future under the praise of others. However, as the deadline to report to camp inched closer I realized that I was dreading the day, and that realization showed me that if it was I who was making the decision to play, then I would have been looking forward to playing. The first person I turned to was my best friend, who simply told me that my future was up
    to me and not what others wanted my future to be, regardless of what others think. I took that advice to heart and broke the news to my parents soon after, which did cause some unfortunate ripples and backlash within my nuclear, and distant family. However, I know it was the right decision for me and my happiness, and the true supporters of my future supported me whole-heartedly. Throughout this whole ordeal I learned that you are the one who controls your own happiness, and now that is something I truly believe will change me for the better and help me achieve a happy life.

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  37. I believe that any form of athletics can drastically improve someone’s life. For me, the sport that had the biggest impact on my life was gymnastics. As a kid, I was diagnosed with ADHD and was constantly jumping around my house, so as a way to exert some of the energy, my parents thought it would be a good idea to introduce me to gymnastics. At first I wasn’t interested in the sport, but, my parents convinced me to go to a practice and as soon as I walked into the gym and saw the older kids tumbling, I instantly wanted to start. I started gymnastics at the age of 7, and started competing that same year, and continued competing until 16, when I eventually quit. Quitting gymnastics was one of the hardest moments of my life, and I honestly couldn’t imagine not going to the gym and working with my friends for 4 days a week after doing it for 9 years. I ended up quitting because of major problems in some of my joints and because of the amount of time it took up, but even though I was no longer competing, the sport still stayed a big part of my life. Throughout my years I went to three different gyms, went to numerous competitions, and met so many amazing people. Gymnastics taught me discipline, determination, toughness, and so many other important traits, and I know that gymnastics has completely shaped who I am today. Although gymnastics was so impactful for me, any sport or any type of athletics can have the same impact on other people, and whether or not athletics is a staple in your life or a small hobby, it should still be a key component and is beyond important.

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  38. I believe that athletics is one of the reasons I am who I am today. When I was younger I tried a lot of sports but one really stuck with me. Being a swimmer has not only helped me become more active but it has shown me what it is like to be determined enough to reach your goals. As a young kid every parent wants them to have good role models to show them what its like to live in this world. When I started to swim I didn’t have the best coach as a role model, but that never occurred to me until a couple years ago. Throughout my swimming career I have had over 30 different coaches, just for one team. But each coach has taught me something different. When I was younger I was surrounded by other swimmers who told me I wasn’t good enough. When those kids got to my head I realized my coaches thought the same thing. Once my coach didn’t believe in me I didn’t believe in myself, and then I started to drift away from my team. Everyone on the team didn’t talk to me, they just left me in a lane to go last and not reach my full potential. My coaches didn’t care that I wasn’t trying, again because I wasn’t the star child. Getting put down by coaches that I thought were there for me was heartbreaking to me as a little kid. I got in my head and got the idea that I wasn’t apart of the team which stuck with me for a while. All until a recent coach that I had helped me learn that I can do what I believe. This one coach helped me realize that I was in my head, that I was holding myself back. I struggled with being in my head for a while but never actually knew what it was until she said something to me. Each day I worked on not getting into my own head, and because of her I became a better swimmer and a better person. I stopped letting other people tell me I can’t do something and I started to believe in myself more. Having coaches that believed in me and helped me reach my goals is the reason I still swim today and have the confidence to do it.

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  39. I believe that when it comes to athletics, it’s more than just a game. I started playing baseball when I was 6 years old and ever since then it has taught me so many great things about the game and taught me lessons I need in life. Throughout the years it has really made me open up as a person and made me more outgoing which allowed me to gain some really great friends. I would have never met those amazing people without baseball. During my senior year of highschool I was named captain, being a captain was what really taught me how to be a leader. The skills I obtained by playing the sport is something that I am really proud of and I will never forget the memories and values I made by playing ball. Many people who play sports tend to realize how much it means to them and how it impacts their life. Playing sports is a very important role in our lives and it allows us to overcome many obstacles that may come our way. Overall playing sports has taught me values that I can use later on in life such as, leadership, communication, responsibility, and being part of a team. I can only hope that more and more people get into playing sports because it really is more than just a game.

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  40. I was five when I first started playing the sport I love. Softball. I have been playing since then and I don’t know what I’d do without it. I definitely would not have made all of the friends I have, old and new. I met my best friends through softball and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. They’re the most important people in my life, including my family. Softball has also taught me many lessons over the years. It showed me how to be hardworking, kind, how to work with others, and good sportsmanship! I’ve also learned how to take harsh criticism and know not to take those words to heart! I know that they are just trying to make me better and know I have more potential! Softball has helped me in many ways, even to get my dog! When I was fourteen, I made a bet with my mom that if I could hit a homerun (with at least someone else on base) in a game that she’d get me a husky, my dream dog. It took a while, but finally I hit a three run homer, the coach had walked the girl in front of me because she was also a dangerous hitter, and I showed him up and hit my first. My mom was in shock, but she was so proud of me, and lo and behold, two years later, I got my puppy. My hard work had paid off and I gained another best friend. Softball has been my passion for years, and I hope to continue my career on the UMass Dartmouth softball team!

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  41. Growing up in Worcester I was always involved in sports whether it be softball, dance or field hockey . I always enjoyed playing but I never quite fell in love with any of the three so when I started high school I wasn’t sure about joining any of the teams until my older brother suggested I joined the Crew team. Rowing was not a very popular or advertised sport at my school because we didn’t have our own team, it was a joint team with all of the public high schools in the city. In the spring I decided to forgo softball tryouts to become a rower and I couldn’t be happier about my decision.
    Rowing changed my life in so many ways. I not only learned incredible time management from the long practices and even longer race days but I also learned to push past my limits. I spent more time with my teammates between school and practices than I did with my family so naturally they also became my family. We created a bond that was nothing like what I had with any other sports I played. Without this team I would still be the shy anxiety ridden freshman that walked through the doors on the first day of school but by trying something new on a whim I learned so much. Having ADHD I always had to work extra hard to make sure I handled my time and schoolwork the right way but rowing gave me an outlet for all of my pent up energy. I rowed all four years of high school and I watched my grades rise, my attitude became more positive, and most importantly I was happier than I had ever been. My teammates have become some of my best friends that I will have for a lifetime. After every bad practice or race not matter how angry or upset we were, we came back the next day and worked harder and pushed through together. I firmly believe that without this sport I would not have become the person I am today and I feel this is the case for many athletes.

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  42. I lived in Grafton, Massachusetts for my early years in life, all the way until the middle of 3rd grade where I moved after my parents had divorced. I went to live in a small apartment complex with my twin brother and my mom and it had a big playing area in the background. Of course, being shy and not knowing anyone, it was hard for me to make friends in school or out of school. It was also hard to make friends in the middle of the year as many people had there friend groups sorted and I kind of felt alone. So my mom forced me to play in the town soccer program and I had always loved sports and still do to this day but I was afraid that I would be judged and I wouldn’t make any friends. However, after one practice, I had made enough friends that it boosted my confidence and also brought me closer to the game that I would soon begin to love. I slowly began to have more and more friends both on the soccer team and where I lived.
    In the next few years, I stopped playing other sports and began paying more and more attention to soccer. When I came to Westborough, I was on the C-team and I knew I wasn’t very good, but as I enjoyed soccer more and more, I began to work harder and set goals of my own such as get 5 assists and 3 goals in a season to use my left foot to score. I began to realize that in life and generally in school, you won’t be able to achieve anything unless you work hard, set goals, but also have fun. To this day, I try to play soccer with my friends or try and make school teams. I tried to get on a soccer program called Best FC and got on during 8th grade, however I wasn’t able to get onto the freshman soccer team for high school. This made me understand that sometimes life is just like that. So I began to train harder and harder as the goal I had set was to make it on next year. Throughout the years, soccer has thought me soo much and I believe that everyone should do a sport or some physical activity in order to have determination and have goals for themselves.

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  43. I believe failure is critical to succeed. Growing up I was always the smallest kid, even through high school I was always one of the shortest boys in my class. Maybe I just had a tall class? But it always seemed to impact me one way or another, whether it was in gym class or just a pick up basketball game with friends I seemed to be the odd one out only because of my size. I truly started believing in the importance of failure in 8th grade. I had been playing hockey since I could walk, and my parents supported me to no end in this sport. Come 5th grade I had moved to a travel hockey team and for four years I played with that team and made some amazing friendships. In 8th grade the team I played for was getting a new coach, which meant tryouts again. Through a full week of gruesome tryouts it came down to one phone call, If I got a call from the coach I made the team if no call came then it was all over. I waited the whole day by the phone, Nothing came. It wasn’t until 11 o’clock at night that the phone rang, But it wasn’t what I was expecting. The person on the other side was not the new coach, but my old coach. He had told me I did not make the new team, and the reason was only because of my size and nothing to do with my skill. The new coach had thought I was too small for his team. I was devastated. But in the end it made me stronger. I spent that year training, working out at the gym, running at home and practicing in my driveway until it all payed off. The following year was high school and because of the training I had done the previous year I made the Varsity Hockey team as a freshman, the only one to do so. Now I understand the importance Failure can have in all aspects of life from relationships to sports, as well as in school.

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  44. During my four years in high school, I competed for the track team, for both Winter and Spring and I felt like part of the team. That means that I practiced every day and I competed at every meet. My teammates cheered me on by name and I competed alongside my friends. These people have been some of the nicest people I have ever met and I have looked forward to season after season with them.
    Winter and Spring track taught me many lessons but the most important one is about winning. You don’t have to score to be a good athlete. Of course, if you do score, it’s great! But scoring isn’t the only measure of how well you do. Sometimes you can run a race and come in just after the top three runners, and miss out on scoring. But if you have run a good race or beat your best time, then you really are winning, even without scoring. Athletics to me is working hard to achieve your individual goals in an environment with the support of the team.

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  45. Athletics can be very challenging but is extremely important for everyone to get involved with it. Playing sports is obviously important because it allows you to meet new people and make friends, stay in shape, and it reduces stress. However, more importantly, I feel that people involved will learn incredible life skills that some don’t have an opportunity to experience. Sports taught me many important lessons, such as how to endure any situation. Although I was passionate about sports, sometimes I just wouldn’t have the motivation to go. I needed to realize I committed to a team, and that it was my duty to contribute. I would continue to go to every practice and game and I had to battle through many injuries. I had three concussions and partially tore my ACL and my MCL, however I kept pushing myself to be there for my team.
    Another skill that sports had taught me is how to have a proper attitude because it determines how you play. In my Freshman year of Baseball, I was batting incredibly well, was consistent and almost hit a home run. In my Sophomore year, I wasn’t doing nearly as well and I would get frustrated. I would become angry when I was up to bat, and then I’d strike out. Late into the season, I realized what I was doing wrong, and began to go up to bat with a clear mind and a positive attitude. When things would go wrong, I’d reassure myself that I would do better next time. Overall, my time of playing sports has taught me to strive to be my best and to push through any situation I encounter.

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  46. Bottom of the seventh inning, I’m looking out onto the unkempt field to see my teammates working hard in the sweltering heat. I’m sitting on the hard and cold metal bench, in the corner, not contributing. It was my last game as an eighth grader, and I was spending it sitting on the bench, next to sixth graders. On that day forward, I vowed to never let someone think I wasn’ t “good enough”. Over the next month, I joined my usual travel team, only this time I took the season seriously-I needed to prove myself. I went to every practice and game with the intention of making an improvement. I would watch my older sister play softball, and I appreciated her masterful skill and passion. In my local community, she was well known as a softball star. I admired her greatly, and asked her to teach me. She kindly took time out of her day to give me hitting lessons in our backyard, and she gave me encouraging words to keep me motivated. I treasured those lessons and took them with me to try out for my high school team. Tryouts were laboring, however, I successfully made the team. I was incredibly honored and I was excited to work even harder. As the result of some winter training, I earned a starting position as a freshman. I was so proud and relieved that all my hard work had finally paid off. I spent the next four years of my life trying to master the craft of softball as best as I could, and I had a rewarding four years. Although I’m unsure of playing softball in the future, it taught me to value perseverance and motivation. I had to focus on my objective and what I wanted for myself. I envisioned my goal and took opportunities to make that dream a reality.

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  47. In eighth grade I learned a valuable lesson that has stuck with me to this day. I was sitting on the bus as my team was heading back as the North Central Massachusetts Basketball Champions. The bus ride gave me a chance to reflect on the past season and the one thought that stayed on my mind was, this championship was won because all of us put our selfishness aside and worked together.
    I used to be a selfish player, at the beginning of the season; I would catch and shoot the ball without even looking to see if someone else was open. I’d have times that it would work in my favor, but I didn’t always have the best shot. As the season went on, I started to compromise and work with my teammates. The more practices/games we had, and the more I got to know each player, the more I realized that being selfish was doing more harm to the team than good. Being a team player really paid off in the championship game.
    The game was intense throughout from beginning to end. Each player had their strengths and we had to be able to recognize and assist one another. Our center knew that the shooter would take outside shots, and he had to be ready to get the rebounds and put the ball back in the hoop. The players that could finish around the basket cut towards the hoop and knew to keep an eye open for the shooters if the defense collapsed. Near the end of the game, the score was tied with only a few seconds left on the clock. We just came out of a timeout, and I was the one making the inbound pass. Tyler was the best shooter, so he was the number one option, so I made the pass to him for the shot. Tyler took the shot and missed, but CJ was ready, got the rebound and put it back in for the game winning shot. That victory was the result of us all working together as one.
    I reflect on that experience often when I have to do work that requires me to be on a team. As Helen Keller best put it, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”. 1 know that I cannot do everything on my own, and that no longer is something that bothers me. I know that I can rely on the resources and people around me.

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  48. When I look at my life, sports have always been one of the consistent pieces. With that being said, I have learned many lessons through my many years of a wide variety of sports, but two stand out to me the most. The first of these lessons is one of perseverance. Sports are a great way to learn this life long trait, as the opportunity to fight through adversity and tough times is extremely present in sports. Whether it be an injury to you or a teammate, losing the big game, or simply finishing the last session of conditioning, you must fight through it. This translates to the real world in the same way, you must always fight through the problems in order to grow and achieve your goals. The second lesson to be learned from sports is dedication. To be successful at your sport you have to be dedicated and put in the hours of work. The sport you play becomes your life, as it should, and you have to keep to it or you won’t be able to continue. Just like in the real world, determination is key for you to keep your job and get better at your craft. Sports are the greatest part of my life, not just because of the fun of it, or the memories made with the great teammates, but because of the lessons and traits that you gain and develop through participating. I thank sports for helping me become the person I am today.

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    • i agree sports is a great way to learn the most important lessons in life. it also brings people together and not just friends and family like random people that you sit next too when you go to the games

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  49. I believe that schools should implement their sports teams more than they do right now. Nowadays schools just mention that they’re proud of their team for winning but they do not get into detail. Sometimes athletes want more credibility and honorable mention, maybe because they showed up in the game when it mattered and helped the team win or maybe one little shout out can boost their confidence a lot. Everyone tends to focus on academics more than anything, which isn’t really bad but if the team is winning consistently or losing consistently we’d love to know that through everything we still have supporters. Being an athlete is a pretty hard job, you have to worry about homework, projects, sleep, practice and managing time for friends and most people do not think like that. To focus on all of that and still manage to play to full capacity and not receive anything more than just a congratulations is upsetting to some athletes. I believe that schools should do things for their sports teams even after the season is over just to show how much they care about their athletes, it is almost 100% that athletes will get love during the season but its after the season that we look at. We look to see who supports us year round instead of just during the season , it is seen as fake love to most people but to athletes it means so much more than that. This is how athletes and teachers and administrators get closer than they already are.

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  50. I believe that Athletics gives people the character trait of integrity. Integrity is defined as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.” This is a trait I hold very dear to my heart. As a person who played both Golf and Tennis in High School and is an avid player in both sports, I take pride in having the most integrity I can have, because I see Athletics as representing not just yourself but, your school and your community. Furthermore, you would not want your school to be seen as ‘that school that cheats”. For me this means if say in Tennis I did not see if the ball clearly hit the line or if it was out, I will call it in and lose the point because it was my own fault that I could not see the ball and the other team/player should not bear the repercussions of my mistake. Or in golf it is my job to hold the integrity of the sport and if my opponent asks me my score I tell my correct score and not take off a stroke even if I mess up bad on a hole. Integrity, in my eyes, is one of the most important character traits there is it shows that a person is honest and is able to be trusted by everything and I believe athletics can give that trait to anyone.

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  51. I believe that athletics are a great way to relieve stress along with teaching athletes about character and discipline. My coach would always tell our team that when we were older, companies preferred to hire athletes because they could be trusted with responsibilities and perform at a high level. Being apart of a team, helps develop communication skills along with good work ethic. These two skills are vital when working in any professional field. I have played baseball since I was four years old and it has improved my communication skills along with many other important traits. These are the types of skills that I want to carry into my career when I am older. Communication is key with your teammates if you want to win games just like it is key with your coworkers if you want to succeed at a given task. Baseball, along with other sports, teach people respect which is very important to being a successful worker. Ever since I was a child I was taught by my coaches to respect the umpires along with the opposing team. This is something I will take into the future because an umpire could be compared to a boss and the other team could be a client. In order to satisfy both parties and get the job done, respect is key. Athletics have taught me to manage my time between sports, family/friends, and school work. I felt it was very important to have a healthy balance between these three things. Every single year I had to manage my time in order to be a successful athlete, spend time with my friends, and be a good student. Again, this is something that I will take into my professional career. In conclusion I feel like sports is an activity that is preparing you for the rest of your lives. They teach you important life lessons and traits that everyone will use in their professional careers. I am very thankful for all of the lessons athletics have taught me during my life and I am eager to see what else I have to learn from them.

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  52. I believe that athletics is crucial aspect of my life it taught me traits such as leadership, teamwork, hardship, persevering, ect. I’ve had my ups and downs with sports, the ups have been as high as playing in the little league World Series, while the low point have been missing out on winning a high school state championship in baseball because of a stupid mistake. Hardship has hung over my head like a tiny storm cloud ever since I can remember. Growing up I was always a hot head snapping when things don’t go my way, and although its good to show emotion in sports my behavior was definitely over the top. this really affected the amount of either innings or minutes I got to play and that added even more fuel to the fire. But there was one coach that really changed my mindset completely. He once told me “There are only two things that you can control on a baseball field your attitude and your work ethic.” Before I could really take that statement to heart I ran out of time and my high school sport career came to an end. While I haven’t participated in any sport related activities since I’ve made it my goal to put in maximum effort whether it be just helping my parents around the house or at work. These teachings from coaches, peers, and even some parents are the core values I will take with me the rest of my life.

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  53. i believe that sports is one of the most important parts of a kids life. it teaches them discipline, team work, how to work hard, but most importantly how to take a loss. losing is something that every person has to go threw and it is one of the toughest parts of a persons life. weather its not getting accepted to your top school or its losing a family member youth sports can help with this. Now obviously losing a family member is a lot worst than losing a football game but it can still help you get over the depressing parts of life.

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  54. Athletics, to me have always been a fun, and healthy way to exercise. However, as I grew and my peers started taking athletics more seriously, so did I. Athletics expand your entire horizon with an array of various opportunities. When you get to high school you encounter better athletes, better role models and the environment alone changes so much from middle school athletics. This advance in competition causes dedicated athletes to train harder, practice more, and to get stronger, in turn improving their mental and physical health. Athletics are a great avenue to take when trying to lose weight, gain muscle, or just be healthier. Along with all of this, athletics are a great way to learn discipline, gain skills in problem solving, and drastically improve effort. Additionally, you can meet many people to befriend and to learn from. I have done track and field since 8th grade and the number of people I have met along the way that I have either learned from or befriended is unfathomable. These friends I wouldn’t have met otherwise have become some of my closest friends even to this day. The same with coaches. I have learned just as much information, if not more, from other teams’ coaches rather than my own. Athletics to me is more than just exercise, or a fun game to play. To me its part of the reason I’m going to college. Athletics have opened a gold-mine of opportunities available to me. Athletics have shaped me all throughout my life, so I am looking forward to taking it to the next level in college.

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  55. One thing I have learned throughout my life to be completely true is that hard work pays off in the long run. No matter what an individual is trying to accomplish, if they do not put in hard work than one can not obtain its benefits. No matter the activity, if one does not work to their potential then the effort does not reflect who they are. If people work hard and make sure to stay the right course they will see the benefits. They might not be seen right away, it takes time to see personal efforts. The thing with hard-work is that it may not show results right away, however; people just need to give it time. I see this all the time with myself, specifically with my athletic workouts. If I do a new workout it may be really hard at first, so I may not accomplish what I had wanted to do. If I keep trying and do not give up, eventually I am rewarded.
    One thing I have worked hard on in my life is ice hockey. I have spent many hours practicing, playing, and watching films to better myself. I know that I have worked extremely hard to be the player that I am today. I remember a time when I was playing for two teams and I only tried hard and gave my best effort to one team. I did not care about the other team or my other teammates at this time. I realize now that I should have equally tried hard because the skills I was learning on this team could have helped me to be a better player for future teams and a better person in the hockey community. I know that the hard work I have put into my hockey will carry over into other areas of my life too. There have been times I really wished I had put in more work and effort into my academics as well as athletics.
    Overall, putting in the time and energy really cannot hurt. One may still lose the game or fail the quiz, but as long as individuals put in the effort it will eventually pay off. A coach once told me “losing is learning” and this has stayed with me for all sports experiences since. I know that I can carry this motto with me to all areas of my life. As long as I work hard and put in my best effort, good things will eventually happen. This is a lesson I think that everyone could benefit from, just put in your best effort and work hard every single day. I personally have felt the benefits from my hard work on the ice rink as well as on the soccer field and with my job. I know the importance of hard work, and I believe that if people are hard workers, they too will ultimately be successful.

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  56. I believe that football is the greatest sport in the world. Throughout my five years of playing football, I’ve played with over one hundred different players and five different teams. Each season had its own ups and downs. Some seasons we barely made it to the first round of playoffs, and others we played at Gillette Stadium. Throughout each season there was always a common theme. The close-nit environment that comes with football. This environment is extraordinary because each person on each of those teams is like a brother to me forever now. No matter what I will always be there for my brothers as they would be for me. I still talk to people from my 8th grade team and even though I went to a different high school then most of those guys I keep in contact with most of them. When kids that I played with 5 years ago found out that I was playing at Gillette stadium, A lot of them came to the game to support me and my high school team. After that we all hung out and caught up like no time had passed. This is why I love football so much, you make connections with people that you never could have had without it. All the memories of practices and pasta parties before games an even in games are memories I will never forget. I’ve been the new guy walking on the field not having a clue what’s happening while everyone around me is a veteran at what they’re doing, and I’ve also been the captain of a state championship team. No matter what, it is still the greatest feeling on earth to be part of a team. Especially a football team.

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  57. To me, athletics is a teacher. Athletics has taught me all sorts of valuable life lessons. Because of it I learned the value of hard work, determination, and discipline. My first first time ever playing a sport was my freshman year of high school. Honestly I had no clue what I was getting myself into, and I had only signed up because a friend of mine wanted me too. I can still remember how sore I was after that first practice, and waking up the next day not wanting to go, wanting instead to just curl up and go back to sleep. Instead, my mom talked me into going back, and I am still thankful to this day that she did. I came home just as sore as before, but this time when I woke up the next morning I didn’t have that want to quit. Instead I went to practice, and when I came back I wasn’t as sore as before and instead I was actually feeling pretty good. As time went on practice got easier and easier and the feeling became stronger and stronger. Soon I was coming home feeling like the king of the world. I started to lose weight and gain strength. I was making more and more friends who would go on to help all throughout high school. My life changed on that fateful day for the for the better, and for that I will always be thankful for the things sports has taught me.

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  58. Athletics have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Even my earliest memories include my father and I playing catch with a baseball in the backyard of my childhood home. I could not imagine life without sports, they have given me so many traits that I have used to become the man I am today. Athletics have aloud me to see that being confident and cocky are two different aspects of sports. Being confident allows you rally a team in the fourth quarter. While being cocky is self proclaimed arrogance. Don’t get me wrong, being cocky also has its advantages, but the point is that athletics have made me who I am today. Not only have playing athletics made me what I am today, I also believe that watching and studying the greats before me have also enriched my athletic ability. Sports have given me friends, communication skills, and all the traits that would make me successful in the future. I believe that athletics show skill, and rewards it with fortune and fame, because athletics are a crucial part to everyday life. Sports are a great exercise to do, a great past time to watch, and an overall great way to have fun. Without sports I would image my life would be very different.

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    • I agree with everything you said about how athletics have molded you into the person you are today. I Couldn’t imagine what my life would be like without them. Athletics have always played a role in my life and without them I don’t think I would have learned the same lessons and traits I carry with me today.

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  59. I believe in the importance of a good support system, especially in athletics. I’ve been an athlete my entire life, starting with soccer and soon working my way up to sports like basketball and softball. When surrounded by other supportive individuals, playing a team sport can really create a positive environment and help a person’s self-confidence a great deal.
    Throughout middle and high school, I struggled finding that positive environment. I had ongoing knee issues, and without the proper support, I began to fall out of the sports that I love. It can be hard to perform your best in a sport when you’re made to feel like an outcast. After shuffling through many sports and positions I finally found my niche, field hockey goalkeeper. I hadn’t made this discovery until the latter half of high school, but began to do very well in this new environment where I could be myself and always know that my teammates as well as my coach were there for encouragement. We won very few games in those two seasons, as we were a young and inexperienced team, however we were having a great time. With this new position I was able to become much more self-confident, and learned how to stay calm under pressure.
    I feel like this event happened at a very important time in my life, moving on to college in just a week from now. It has helped prepare me to bring my best to the UMass Dartmouth field hockey team. I’ve learned that if I could just bring just a little bit of that positivity that was shown to me, I could really help others both on and off the field.

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  60. I believe athletics are necessary for those who want to strive and make a difference in the future. Through playing baseball, I have came across many times where i was doubted. A bad game would be followed by a sleepless night thinking about what could have changed the results from the game. Playing sports introduces you to the real world. You have to work together with your teammates to achieve a goal. Baseball has taught me how to deal with adversity. As a pitcher I have been put into many games where the team’s chance of winning was all in my hands. There have been times where I have allowed walk off hits. However the amount of times I have led my team to winning is what I will remember. After a bad game in the ballpark, I have learned that there is nothing better than letting go and moving on. Baseball really is the best sport to prepare athletes for their future lives. Every player on the field has responsibilities and every player is put into the spotlight a couple times every game. In football you can hide behind the covers. However, in baseball, there is no hiding. Athletics also allow people to find new friends and meet people. Being able to meet and talk to new people is key for growing up. Through athletics you could meet potential business partners and clients. Baseball is more than just a sport, it really is life.

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  61. Mountain biking is not your typical suburban town athletic program. Something about being in the mountains with your best friends having the time of your life on a bike. I have never felt more excited and motivated to do something than ever before. Since then the obsession continued, growing at a rapid rate. I had two jobs at bicycle stores and absorbed as much information as humanly possible. I learned the industry from company markups to the raw mechanics of a bicycle. But during all this I looked around and almost nobody knew anything about the sport, most people don’t even know how a bicycle works. I then made it a mission to bring as many people into the sport as I could. Everyone so far has loved it just as much as I do. But, my favorite part is racing, there is nothing more fun than riding as fast as you can at blistering speeds. The way you weave through the trees is just a magical feeling but just scary enough to keep you alert. The best part is the environment around. Every soccer game I’ve ever been to consists of angry parents screaming their heads off at the players or the referees. In mountain bike racing you will never hear anything but positive and supportive cheering. There is no pressure, it is just plain fun. But at the end of the day it’s nice to know that I have friends that I would have never met under any other circumstance. Having people around you that share the passion of the sport just as much as you do is a great feeling. It doesn’t matter if you meet someone from Pennsylvania or New York, you know that they will be at the next race in the mountains of Vermont. Mountain bike racing has been a passion of mine for 3 years now and many years to come in the future.

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  62. I Believe that athletics are an essential part of learning that sometimes failure is okay. I have been participating in sports for as long as I can remember and I couldn’t even count the amount of times I have either struck out, made an error, or missed a shot. Through all this experience I have learned that while failure may suck I have always learned to get over it. While getting over it, I have always found the motivation to do anything that will make sure I don’t repeat that same failure. Obviously there are some mistakes such as missing the baseball on a swing that you will never stop from happening again it is the determination to improve that sticks with you. This determination is what pushes me to learn from failure and turn it into success. Doing anything I can to make sure I don’t strike out again or miss another ball has in turn helped me to make sure I don’t get a question wrong or fail another test. Learning how to fail has proved to be one of the most important traits that I have gained and I dedicate it completely to athletics. You can always miss a ball or drop a pass and give up and decide not to play again or accept that you could never have caught the ball or made the play, but deciding to work and to not let it happen again will go along way in not just sports but in life. Athletics has taught me that while we will always fail, it is the determination to never give up and improve that has made me a better person.

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    • I agree, I believe that failure in athletics at a younger age has given me a larger tolerance for failure as I have grown up. I also agree with your statement of wanting it more after failure, and believe that failure drives you towards success.

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    • I strongly agree with your comments on learning from athletics. Athletics at a young age teach so many different lessons to kids that they might have a hard time learning otherwise. I think it is very important to give all kids the opportunity to participate in athletics at a young age because of this.

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  63. December 9th, 2017 it happened. It was a Saturday morning, cold with snow and ice on the ground. Everyone drove down to the facility to stretch before our coach showed up. All the kids, including their parents, were arriving at the facility with frost on their windshield and Dunkin Donuts in hand. Everyone grabbed there gloves, placed them on the side of the turf, and began stretching. Legs first, arms, then sprints to get the blood flowing. Then we all grabbed our gloves, partnered up and began throwing. My arm felt fine. I just thought it was going to be another normal practice. Another opportunity to get better. I began throwing short distance and was backing up gradually, maybe after every five throws to increase distance, and while I was doing that I was throwing harder by increasing velocity. Then I was playing third base and my first four throws were fine. They were right to the base and my arm felt fine. Backing up to get my fifth and final ground ball I got ready and came through the ball. When I released the ball I heard a loud pop and a crack in my shoulder. I knew then something wasn’t right.
    When I went to the hospital on Monday they took x-rays and an MRI. I waited in the room for the doctor to come back with the results. The doctor came in and said hope you’re not doing anything on Friday because I am going to cut you open and put you back together. As soon as he said this there was a look of disappointment on my face. The doctor said it would be a nine month to a year recovery before I could go back to doing anything athletic related. He even said I may never play baseball again with how bad my shoulder was screwed up. I looked him straight into his eyes and told him I am playing again and you’re wrong.
    Three months passed and the words “physical therapy” made me so happy. Finally, I could do something that doesn’t involve me sitting on the couch and watching TV. All I wanted to do was go back to a normal life that consisted of me going to the gym and practicing with my team. That following day was my first day of physical therapy and I was shaking. I had no idea what to expect from myself or of what my therapist expected from me, but with whatever that was about to happen I was ready to accept the challenge and prove that doctor wrong. He gave me exercises to do at home and they were simple. Too simple for me and I thought I was ready for more advanced things.
    I took it upon myself to lift some weights and do every exercise possible to make myself better. Physical therapy lasted for about four months. Making myself better was what I was determined to do. I wanted to prove that doctor wrong and I wanted to come back a lot sooner than a year. The doctor was astonished by what I was able to do. I was able to play and I am doing better than ever. This injury has taught me that things can be taken away from you so don’t take anything for granted. I have also learned that nothing is ever given to you so work hard if you really want something. I obviously would not want to have the surgery I had, but I am glad I had it because it has taught me a lot and it has me working harder than I ever have before to get better and be better than everyone else. This is the reason why I believe that I am committed to play college baseball because I have worked really hard for what I wanted to accomplish. Sports has played a big role in my life and this is why I feel sports are important to me. Sports push me to where I never thought I could be no matter what the set back is.

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  64. For many other people and I, athletics is much more than just a hobby or something to do for fun; it is a great teacher and molder of personality. I could not even begin to think about my life without sports, hockey in particular. I was particularly lucky that my parents allowed me to play as many sports as possible at a young age to find exactly what sports I liked and which ones I did not. Without fail, the sport that always stuck out to me was ice hockey and from the age of three and a half, I have never looked back.
    Hockey has taught me some of the most important life lessons and values that I believe are crucial in a young person’s life. Things like teamwork, competitiveness, and self-confidence are instilled into the minds of many young hockey players from the drop of the puck, at the start of their first game. But, the most important thing that hockey has taught and pushed me to do is to not be afraid to step out of my comfort zone. At 12 years old, I was able to attend a hockey tournament in Quebec, CA, in which the players lived on their own with a Canadian family. It was the most nervous I had ever been and the thought of living with strangers made me feel uneasy. After the tournament, I realized what an amazing experience it truly was. From that time in Quebec, I have learned to be very open to change and experiences that seem challenging at first. Without playing sports and hockey in particular, I don’t believe I would have learned that amazing lesson. It is for this reason why I, and so many others, believe that sports are way more than just a hobby.

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  65. I believe that athletics is something everyone should try. While playing sports comes with its own risks, so does everything in life. As a child I was one who played many sports until I found ones I loved. I played soccer for almost 8 years for my local youth team and 2 years on a competitive team. I tried many other sports until I fell in love with tennis and found a true passion for it. Playing a sport you may love doesn’t mean you have to go professional, but gives you life lessons that you can always use. While playing sports you learn the lesson that you will not always win and will have games or matches that you won’t be ready for. In sports you learn that similar to life you won’t always get the ending you wanted. By playing to sports you learn how to take a loss and grow from it. Sports also teaches a person how to work together with a group of people. By working together with your teammates and coaches all together you can work towards a common goal and achieving it. Although they’re many beliefs that sports have more harm to them then they do benefits it is all in the sport and how you look at it. Sports give children an opportunity to express themselves in a way that can be only seen on a court or field, as well as, gives opportunities to get a better future. Sports give an outlet to children who may not have the best home situation. Sports have also been known to help keep students focused in school and learning time management. Although competitive sports may no be the path everyone wants to take, recreational sports is also something that anyone can and should try.

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  66. I believe that athletics is a big part of most children/teenager’s life. Athletics is a type of getaway for some, and I believe that it is great with mental health. Obviously school can become stressful and sometimes hard to keep up with, but with the help of sports you can kind of forget about everything when you are out on the field. It keeps kids engaged with their education because they want to do go in school so that they can continue to compete in their athletics. In my own personal experience I know that getting up and going to school was not something that really excited me and sometimes I felt like I couldn’t do it. However I did always get up and go to school on time and payed attention because I wanted to be able to play in my game that day, or go to practice with my friends. Athletics truly helped me succeed in High School and if I hadn’t played I’m not sure if I would be able to say I succeeded in school. On the mental health aspect of athletics I believe that it is a big help with anxiety. During high school I suffered a big loss in my family and I had a very hard time coping with it, until it was time for sports. Competing was a stress reliever for me and with playing a team sport I had a huge family behind me to support me through it all. I believe that everyone should give athletics a try even if they don’t think they could do it.

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  67. I believe that athletics are a crucial part of a young person’s life. When a kid decides to pick up a sport to play they do not see the lessons that they will learn with playing the sport. Growing up I was always bouncing around from sport to sport until I found the right one that fit me, at the time that sport was football. Football had everything that I seemed to want, it was a competitive sport that relied on teamwork and that stood out for me. The atmosphere with the sport was something different and I really loved it. As the sport progressed into high school it started to grow more and more on me. As the sport came to an end I really reflected on all the years of the sport I played. Looking back I could see the reason I enjoyed the sport so much is because of the group of kids I was playing it with. The sport allowed me to connect to a bunch of other kids my age in such a special way. The bond I was able to have with these other kids is something that I think everyone should be able to have. Sports allow kids to step out of their comfort zones a bit and make friendships that will last a lifetime. This is why I believe that athletics are something that every child should at least try out.

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  68. Athletics is very important in the schools extracurricular system. It is very important because it keeps people motivated and satisfied at the same time. Personally for me, basketball has been a huge motivation in my life and has kept me focused and out of trouble. To be quite honest, I was not very motivated about school but basketball was considered my life since the age of five because I was really good at it and I was always told by my parents that if I don’t handle my business in school then I can’t touch a basketball and at the time this was a huge issue for me because basketball kept me happy and in my own space. Basketball made me a little more motivated to want to go to school and earn good grades because I knew that if I did not meet the school requirements then I wouldn’t be allowed to play. Athletics is also important bc it brings people together and it also helps people connect outside of sports. From my own experience, a lot of the people that I have a good relationship with now, came from playing basketball together and doing other sports events with them. I feel like sports can bring people together and create a secondary family for others. For example, I’ve been playing basketball at a common Cambridge park called Columbia park, and this is where I met my soon to be basketball teammate, Angel. He was really talented and just as motivated as I was to improving, so we ended up meeting at the park every day in the afternoon to work on our game and to this day, I consider him my brother.

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  69. I believe that athletics shapes who people are. I believe that if you are determined enough to succeed in athletics, you are determined enough to succeed in life. As an athlete, I thank athletics for making me the hard worker and the dedicated person that I am. Without athletics, I have no idea where I’d be today or how motivated I’d be.

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  70. Growing up athletics have always been a huge part of my life and they have truly made me into the person I am today. Throughout every sport I’ve played my mother and father have always told me to out hustle everyone on the court/field and never give up. Always give one hundred percent and you will not fail. This has always helped me in my life because how can someone or something get the best of me if I’m constantly giving my all and not backing down. As I got older I started realizing that sports and the outside world are truly connected and my parents were not just giving me advice for the game I was about to play. They were giving me advice about the life I’m gonna live. In realizing that I’ve never stopped using it throughout my everyday life, except instead of trying to out hustle opposing teams or players I do it with life’s challenges and hardships that come my way. I’ve also realized that some of the most successful people in the world live this way and have had their ups and downs so I am no different. No matter what I may come across in life, no matter how tough the situation may be, if I constantly put in the hard work and give it my all I will always succeed and come out on top. For example, in sports you may not be winning the game the entire time, but if you never quit and never stop giving one hundred percent you’ll be the winner by the end. If I ever do start to feel a sense of defeat or that I am losing, I like to say to myself “Even LeBron James was down three one.”.

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  71. My journey venturing hand in hand with athletics throughout my life has been anything but a cake walk. I began my athletic “career” when I was of the tender age of five, and my fondness for athletics has remained vigorous ever since. Even through the many grueling practices, games spent idly watching from the bench, and some truly devastating losses, I tried to always maintain a sense of optimism and focus. While sometimes my optimism and focus wavered, and I wondered if their truly was a light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes athletics gave me a sense to continue onward, a crumb of what could be with perseverance. My senior year of high school, my soccer season was not going well to say the least. A freshman goalie, who in my humble, but obviously bias opinion, was not as talented as I, was chosen to start over myself, a four year member of the soccer program, and a three year member of the varsity squad. As one can certainly assume, I was not very delighted with this decision, but chose to keep my head down and mouth shut and continue to keep working, in the hopes that maybe he would slip up and I would get my chance. After many losing games with no change in net, my perseverance began to waver. My hardworking nature began to falter, and practices and games felt more like a chore than a reward. I spent many games watching from the bench with my hands neatly folded into each other, my heels nipping at any chance to enter the game. Our team had made it farther than expected, a mere three or four wins. Yet, by some strange technicality we had qualified for the state tournament. Everyone expected us to be nothing but a joke, ourselves included. The practice prior to our first tournament game the starting goalie was nursing a thumb injury, and as such I was selected to attempt to save the penalty kicks in a drill we often partook in. Anyone who knows anything about soccer (or football for those who know it by its “real” name) knows that the offender has a clear advantage in penalty kicks. The penalty line is a mere 12 yards away from the net, giving the goalie a monumental task indeed. I however, had a fondness for these truly turbulent events. I loved having the cards stacked against me, my back against the wall, with all the pressure on myself. The pressure led to some truly great saves, some of which I myself could not believe I even made. As such on this day my penalty saving ability was on full effect, as virtually none could score on me. As practice ended, I remarked on how it had been a fairly good day, as the penalty kick drill was one of my favorites. I thought nothing more of this seemingly trivial drill. Flash forward to our first tournament game. It felt as if we were playing in the eye of a tornado, with winds etching up to 25 miles per hour, the ball had a mind of its own. We definitely had our opponents outmatched on paper, yet the wind put us on an even playing field of just trying to figure out what in gods name is even going on. Up until about the 57th minute the game was kind of going our way, we were even, one to one after a goal that the wind virtually scored. Yet, the tides had looked to be turned as one of our defenders went for a slide tackle in the box, a risky move indeed, and had earned a yellow card for the maneuver. As such, a penalty kick was to be awarded to the opposition. Our goalie was in such turbulence over the call though, that due to his antics he himself had been awarded a yellow card, and too had to be subbed from the game. Thus enters I, the backup goalie all year, getting ready to go in to attempt to make a game deciding save. In a state of confusion and panic, I run onto the field, forgetting my shin guards of course. The referee is nice enough to let me retreat to the sidelines to put them on and I take my stance on the line. The wind is howling in my ears so I can’t really hear much of anything. Now, remember how I said the game was tied up to this point? They had scored of a penalty kick from earlier and the same player was lining up to shoot on myself. I had recalled that he had shot on the right side of the net. As such when he began to run up to the net I ran all the way to the right post. I saw him briefly look up from the ball in a state of utter confusion as to why I wasn’t positioned in the middle of the net. At that moment, I knew I had him.Sadly for him though he had come to this realization far to late, as he was not mere inches away from the ball and forced to shoot. Thus he rockets an absolute cannon straight for the middle of the net. I swiftly locate the ball, bend my knees, and dive with a force that would make Greg Louganis stand in awe. The rapidly spinning ball barrels into my chest and I fall to the ground with a sigh of relief. My teammates immediately swarm me, the stands are going crazy, really none expected this of me, and to be honest I didn’t expect to save the shot either. As I took my place on the bench after the starting goalie came in, I cracked a smile noting that my perseverance had payed off. We ended up winning that game, but lost in the second round to an extremely talented private school. While the season may have not gone the way I wanted, it showed that perseverance does pay off. While I was only given a crumb of what perseverance gives, it made me have an unquenchable thirst for the whole pie, not just a crumb. As such, athletics have showed me that when it seems as if nothing can go right, if you keep your head down and power through eventually things will fall in your favor.

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  72. I believe sports is one of the most important aspects in life. Sports can develop communities, change lives and financially do incredible things. Not only that sports teach life lesson that are difficult to learn outside of athletics. Everywhere people play sports and when you come together as a team it literally builds a community. I believe sports is the bridge to equality and peace in this world. For instance some of the most influential people on Earth are athletes Lebron, Ronaldo etc they have the power to positively motivate millions of kids and teens. Also, majority of males look up to these athletes and adore them. Sports is a gateway to so many other things music, politics social injustices. I believe sports is another outlet to pursue your dreams and motivate the world. Their are so many success stories through sports. So, many stories of players being overlooked and working their butts off to become stars and reach their dreams. When it comes to school I have met so many people who only came to school because of sports. Not everyone is built for school but, because sports and education go together millions of people finished school because of sports. For me the sport of basketball showed me the importance of hard work. The amount of hours you put in working on your game will determine the amount of success you will have during the season. Without sports I would definitely not be the person I am today I would not have met so many amazing people I love sports.

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  73. I believe that being involved in athletics is one of the best ways and most common ways to build character as a person. Being on a team helps you learn about aspects of life that would more often take longer in life to understand. For me personally and i’m sure many people can relate athletics often help serve as a distraction or getaway from problems in life that you don’t want to let bring you down. From experience I know that athletics and being on sports teams have helped me through my lowest points. Not just because these things distract me because being on sports teams with people you come in contact with people who can relate to you and offer their own insight on how they dealt with the same struggles and possibly help you to get through your issues. Also I strongly believe in the claim I made that athletics build character. I personally going into high school was not the type of person that was quick to take responsibility for my own mistakes and hold myself accountable for things but as soon as I started playing football I started to change because with sports teams you are a unit and if one person doesn’t pull their weight, it ruins the whole system and there’s no avoiding the fact that it’s your fault. This carried on into my life outside of athletics and built the hardworking reliable person I am today. For these reasons I believe that athletics can be very beneficial to ones growth as a person.

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  74. Soccer has played a huge role in my life and taught me many skills that have shaped me into the person I am today. Soccer is more than just a sport , it unites people from all over, different ages, races and ethnicities. The beautiful game can captivate people and make them lose all sense of time and what is happening in their life. I had the honor of being chosen as a captain of my 8th grade and Senior year soccer team. These opportunities had taught me a lot on communication and leadership. These are 2 very important values that I can bring with me everywhere I go in life. Being more of a quiet person, it helped me get out more and be more communicative on and off the field. Playing this amazing sport has had the biggest impact on my life. I can’t possibly imagine how different I would be if I never walked onto that field back when I was 6 and developed such a passion. It is incredible to think that a sport can play such a big role in someone’s life. The values I’ve learned and been taught over the years will help me in day to day life forever. I’ve made some very close friends over the years from playing for club and school soccer. Soccer completely captivates me and has helped me learn a lot to be a better person today and for the rest of my life.

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  75. Sports have always played an important role in my life. Growing up I took part in football, baseball, soccer, you name it. Through these activities, I’ve made bonds with friends that I will never forget and learned many lessons that still guide me day by day through my journey of life. However, one experience in particular sticks out.
    It wasn’t until the age of 12 when I decided to pick up and play the game of basketball. At the time, and a couple years to follow, I was blind to the love I had for the game. The experience I’m referring to occurred in the last game of my sophomore year. It was the first round of the state tournament where we were up against a higher seed team and reigning state champions. After a sluggish start, we found ourselves buried in a hole down by 20 points at halftime. In the locker room my head coach ripped us apart, yelling and screaming negative connotations into everyone’s ears. After he finally stepped out, my assistant coach, Theilker, took the stand. The team admired coach Theilker, his passion and motivation for the game was contagious and although sometimes I found him scary, he became one of my role models in life. We were ready to get torn apart once more by Theilker but instead he was calm, telling us there’s a lot of game left and that we just need to “WANT IT MORE”. As he continued his motivational speech, he was staring into my eyes. I felt like each and every one of those words touched my soul and it set a fire inside of me that I never knew I had for the game of basketball. I always played for fun and enjoyed it, but at this moment I noticed that it’s more than just a game. We came out hot to start the second half and fought our way back to within four, but we were unable to get away with the win. The team was heart broken, and in that moment, for the first time we all came together. This experience pushed me everyday to get better and become the best leader I can be on and off the court, it truly shaped me into the man I am today.

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