Keep On Trying This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Keep on Trying by S. P., Leeds, ME



For every known sport in high school, a teenager must try out. Whether it is field hockey, football, basketball, baseball or softball, the coaches always say, "Just do your best. Strive for the best and keep on trying." Teens usually hear these words the first night of tryouts.

The last night of tryouts, teens usually hear, "I just want to let you all know that choosing the team was a tough and difficult decision. It took a lot of time and thinking. Please don't think that any one of you did not do a fine job, because you all did very well. The list of names will be posted on the bulletin board when you get to school tomorrow morning. You all did great, and I really believe that you all tried and did your absolute best."

Being a sophomore, I have had many experiences with trying out for sports. Some were good, and some were bad. I know that after we have all heard these words on that last night of tryouts, many things run through our minds. We wonder what the morning will be like when we see the list of names. Who made it and shouldn't have, who didn't make it and should have, and, most of all, did I make it, or could I have maybe tried just a little harder? All these practically drive us crazy until the next morning!

Finally it's 7: 20 a.m. and the big chance to see if you made it has come. Some look at the list, find their name, scream, and turn to hug their buddies or give them a high five. Others look at the list, fail to find their name, let a tear roll down their cheek, and turn to go out the door.

Having bad experiences with basketball tryouts two years in a row, I know what not making a team feels like. Freshman year, after two nights of doing my best dribbling, shooting, and running, the big morning came. I walked into the locker room as others came out with smiles across their faces. A part of me wanted to look at the list, but part of me didn't. I hugged my friends and congratulated them. Finally I knew that it was my turn. I walked over and took a quick glance. Not finding my name, I read the list again. My friends came over and hugged me, and said they were sorry. I tried to hold back the tears, but when a person gets cut from a team, whether they admit or not, cut is exactly what it does. It really hurts, especially if that sport is one you really enjoy. The summer before my sophomore year, a friend and I went to Colby Summer Basketball Camp. By the end of the week, I felt that camp had helped a lot and I felt confident for this year of basketball. Fall came, along with tryouts. My boyfriend had helped me practice for nights before, but I guess nothing seemed to help. Again, I glanced at the list and failed to see my name.

Some words for those of you who may be trying out: Just because you may not make a team, don't get down on yourself. The only thing that ran through my mind, both years was Man, Sheri, what were you thinking? Obviously, you are not able to play basketball correctly. You made such a fool of yourself, and now you have to go out there and face everyone, only to say, "No I didn't make it." The last thing you want to do is put yourself down, even though that is usually the first thing that runs through your mind. Just know in your heart that you did the best you could, and try to look at the better side. Tell yourself that you will prove to everyone you really are an athlete, and go out for a different sport, one you are more familiar and confident with. Most important, always have a good, easy-to-get-along-with attitude. Don't automatically think of the coach as a bad person. I still say hi to the coach who cut me, and I have decided that I am putting my all into softball.

I know that sometimes we tend to take things more harshly than we should. If you happen to not make a team, though you know you did your best, always keep an open mind. I've been through it, and I know how it feels, but I also know that you can get over it. Whatever you do, don't think of yourself as a failure, but as someone who went out, strove for the best, and kept on trying!


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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