Losing With Passion

December 10, 2011
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Ever since fourth grade, I dreamed of being the starting quarterback for the high school football team. I painted a vivid picture in my mind; small town hero, homecoming victory parades, being carried off the field after a game-winning touchdown pass. The Friday night atmosphere would be electric in Naples, Maine as the community showed their support through every game. Our town would erupt with pride as we held the State Championship trophy high, showcasing the strength and skills of the Lake Region football team. For the next eight years I chased that dream. I attended every weight room session, dedicated my summers to practices in the sweltering heat, and studied thoroughly the tactical and technical aspects of football.


Finally, senior year arrived and my dream became a reality. I won the hard-fought slot of starting quarterback, and in recognition of my hard work and demonstrated leadership abilities, my coaches named me a team captain. I was filled with pride to have the opportunity to carry out my dream of leading a team of highly motivated players to victory. However, the complete opposite happened. We lost every single game, and struggled to put points on the scoreboard. I watched the morale of the team plummet with constant fighting between teammates. On many days, less than half of the team would show up for practice. I began to grow weary that my teammates had lost sight of their love for the game and that the community had lost faith in our team.


Then something very valuable happened that I will carry with me to college and the rest of my life. I learned that leadership is most important during tough times. From then on, I worked closely with the coaches and my teammates to solve problems and bring back team cooperation. I implemented creative approaches to reignite my teammates’ passion for football and to unite us as one. I stressed that being a champion is not just winning games, but it is keeping your head held high in tough situations. Although all of my approaches didn’t work, I remember walking off the field after the last game-- I looked up at the scoreboard, 14-41, another big defeat. However, when I looked at my fellow teammates and coaches, I sensed a spirit of victory. We managed to finish a losing season with our pride in tact and our love for the game as strong as ever. While I never fulfilled the dream I had since fourth grade, I truly believe that my year was far more valuable.


The lessons I learned from football and other activities will bring a unique perspective to your institution. I am confident that the leadership skills I attained throughout high school have made me a better person and will allow me to make important contributions to your student body. In particular, my problem solving and communication skills will allow me to work effectively in a group and bring cohesion to any academic program. While I am planning to immerse myself in the new and diverse academic environment of college, I will never forget where I came from. In my heart I will always be the small town fourth grader with a goal, forever pursuing what I love and chasing my dreams.





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