Learning about myself through an experience

As a freshman, university football-shaped me into the person I am today. The varsity football mentorship programs influenced my entire perspective and understanding of the current world. Previously, during my freshman year on the varsity, I was inexperienced, timid, and showed low self-esteem; a condition that left me powerless to face the everyday obstacles that awaited me. Many of my concerns have been dispelled by my participation in football, which has shaped me into a symbol of optimism and respect. The team coach started the ball contact drill on my first day on the football field, with the aim of checking ball control skills. We all spread to different groups and given various positions, and the game started. I realized that I was not running towards the ball and opening up to get an open space to get a pass, like my teammates. This was because I was worried of losing the ball to the opponent and being blamed for such a mistake that would cost my team. I evaded the responsibility of helping my teammates due to fear of blame. This aspect of my character took center stage in the whole of my life period as a freshman to the extent that I feared to ask clarifications and questions in class in the sense that they could be considered stupid and foolish by the teacher and colleagues. Nevertheless, I kept on practicing and often got physically and psychologically fit.

My situation continued to prevail on many occasions in that I did not hope for any of my teammates to get hurt and get my replacement. I still held on to the fact that I was not ready to take up any challenge and responsibilities that came my way as a player. These fears occasionally came true when we had a match with Chicago stars, where I was positioned to defend. I kept on making mistakes and received jibes and loud accusations from my team coach, teammates, and fans. Although most of the errors were inconsequential, the positive criticism and corrections from the team helped me to improve on my individual fears. The bitter verbal lashings from my coach slowly started to turn into praises when I sometimes showed great moves and outfoxed my opponent. Yes, I did not always make mistakes, but the very essence of making such mistakes exposed my weaknesses and provided me with an avenue to place my best gambles on the positive values required both in the football and the outside life. Therefore, as it dawned on me that, two critical values, determination, and responsibility, as applied in soccer are equally important in the outside world, I considered myself a changed being.

As time went by, I realized that football taught me what it takes to achieve in life. My football experience especially during tedious trainings instilled in me the principle of hard work. Teamwork was my core lesson since working together with teammates, and the coach taught me how to participate in class work actively. Most importantly, I realized that taking risks is the most crucial part of achieving success in life. The captain of our team always told us that nothing is impossible and that no matter how many times you fail, rising is what will determine your second chance. Now I know, and it is vital that football theatrics made me accept my challenges and deal with them decisively.

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