The Season I Found a Reason

Throughout life I had always been an avid sports player and a fierce competitor but during 7th and 8th grade is where I truly found my passion. Middle school consisted of football, football, and more football. Looking up to the greats such as Randy Moss and Ladainian Tomlinson during our adolescent years as young football players was an everyday occurrence. Striving to be like the best players in the world became an obsession at Canandaigua Middle School. Although for me I was much too small and skinny. I was a back up running back on the 8th grade team, and hardly ever saw much playing time. Lucky for me my time was coming, I just didn’t know it yet.

During the early autumn of my 8th grade season with the leaves crunching on the ground and the cleats stomping on the turf, my luck would quickly change. My coach, a 6 foot 4 man with a deep but caring voice called me into his office one day after practice. He had offered me a proposition, I could move down to the 7th grade team and become a starting player or continue my journey on the 8th grade team with my backup role. I had a tough decision to make and I was uncertain what to do.

After talking with my parents, coaches, and teammates I decided I should join the 7th grade team in order to give myself the best possible position on the team. This action would go on to be one of the best things I had ever done because it taught me a lot on and off the field. I had a brand new team and made all new friends and more importantly I finally felt like I had a valid spot on the teams roster. Rapidly I became an integral part of the offense and began contributing to the team right away during practices, scrimmages and games.

When I first joined my new team I had feelings of embarassment because I was moving down to the younger team. Other members of the 8th grade team had made the switch before me so it helped me ease into the transition. I did’t let these feelings hurt me, instead I used them to motivate me and help my overall skillset. I had acquired an “older brother” or “leader” role once everyone was aware that I had joined. They looked up to me and asked me for advice on and off the field.

Despite my fear and nervousness going into this transition I had a brand new mindset and a fresh outlook on football. My former and my newly found teammates all belived in me and trusted the process of my move to the new team. This new team was a “family”, and gave me life. I started grinding and work harder than ever before. This hard work paid off and showed in my performance in games. I scored a touchdown every game for the rest of the season and grew strong chemistry with the new team. I had finally felt a sense of importance and a sense of relief knowing that my hard work was paying off. This success on the field helped become transparent into my day to day life.

This event taught me a lot of things about life. Most importantly it taught me how to always evaluate your options and make the most out of every opportunity. This event changed me because it transformed me into a better man by swallowing my pride and follwing my heart. In the long run it has helped me because it’s a constant reminder to me of an event when times were tough and how they will get better in the future. That football season will forever hold a special place in my heart and will forever provide me with a fresh and realistic mindset on life moving forward.

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