Unanswered [7] | Urgent [0]
  

Home / Undergraduate   % width Posts: 4

Common Application Essay - Person of Significant Influence (coach)


lke 3 / 9  
Nov 11, 2009   #1
The is my essay for the common application: indicate a person who had a significant influence on you and describe that influence. I would appreciate any feedback and/or suggestions. Also I was wondering, do theses need to have a title, and if so does anyone have any ideas?

He was a coach for our football team's bitter rival. He killed a young girl in a drunk driving accident, yet he's a man I respect and admire. He has taught me more about football, hard work, and life in just three years than people I've known for my whole life.

It was the summer before my tenth grade year. My football coach told us we would be getting a new coach from Windber, our biggest rivals. The next day when he showed up, he certainly wasn't shy. He wasted no time in yelling at us, correcting our mistakes, and making us work harder than we ever had before. He sounds like a jerk, right? We thought the same thing at first, but throughout that season we got to know him better and realized that he wasn't strict and demanding because he hated us, but because he wanted us to be as good as we could be.

During football camp we learned the reason he wasn't coaching for our rivals anymore. Two winters before he was in a drunk driving accident and killed a teenage girl. He was immediately shunned by his entire school district, longtime friends wouldn't talk to him anymore, his fiancé left him, and he was fired from his teaching and coaching position.

Our team had been below .500 for the past five years, but that year with him we won six of ten games, the next year eight of twelve, and so far this year eight of nine games. There is no doubt in my mind that the biggest reason for our success is because of his active role with us year-round working in the weight room or on the practice field, pushing us more than we were ever pushed before he came.

What impacted me more than anything was seeing his work ethic and devotion and how much he cared for the students at our school, even the ones who didn't play football. The entire off-season he spends every day after school with the football players and other athletes in the weight room while still working a full-time job. During football camp he's with us from eight in the morning to eight at night, and he still works the night shift for eight hours. What is intriguing about him is he is such a smart individual, but because of one bad decision he works as a welder and an assistant coach and goes on two to four hours of sleep per night.

He's taught me far more than I could ever put into words, but some of what he has taught me is, no matter how smart or talented you are, you can throw it all away with even one bad choice. Even if you do throw it away, you can still overcome your mistakes and live a happy and rewarding life. When you make a mistake, it's your responsibility to fix it. Another huge lesson he's taught me is that you can't judge someone by one mistake. Every person, extraordinary or average, has made mistakes. It's not about the mistakes you make; it's how you overcome them. And the most important thing I've learned from him is your success is directly related to how hard you work. His example, positive and negative, is something I will never forget. I intend to learn from his mistakes, and I will strive to be as determined, caring, genuine, and diligent as he is.
christiek 6 / 65  
Nov 11, 2009   #2
He has taught me more about football, hard work, and life in just three years than people I've known for my whole life .

--> ...more than any other person I've known.

We thought the same thing at first, but throughout that season we got to know him better and realized that he wasn't strict and demanding because he hated us, but because he wanted us to be as good as we could be.

--> I totally understand where you are coming from, because I play sports too, but I think it's cliche-ish. Do you see it when you read it over?

Two winters before he was in a drunk driving accident and killed a teenage girl.

--> Two winters ago, he was drunk...

pushing us more than we were ever pushed before he came.

--> I feel like you mentioned this 3 times already

What impacted me more than anything was seeing his work ethic and devotion and how much he cared for the students at our school, even the ones who didn't play football.

--> What impacted me more than anything was (verb) his work ethic, devotion, and his care for all students at our school. HOW??? How/Why does HIS work ethic, and HIS devotion and care for other students impact you?

What is intriguing about him is he is such a smart individual, but because of one bad decision he works as a welder and an assistant coach and goes on two to four hours of sleep per night.

--> He is intriguing because he is smart? I thought it was because of how he pushed your team to the max, or because of his work ethics, devotion etc... It's getting kind of messy.

Another huge lesson he's taught me is that you can't judge someone by one mistake.

--> I think you should use a different adjective than "huge"

And the most important thing I've learned from him is your success is directly related to how hard you work.

--> You state about three things you learned from him...I think you should stick with one or maybe, if you must, two. I feel like you just list the things he has taught you, but never really explain it with vivid detail or experiences...

--> I think most people know that hard work = success. What have you learned from him that is "unique?"

- I actually want to know if we need titles for our essays as well. haha...

- I really really hope I wasn't too harsh or anything... I just really want to help.
- So, the thing is, I really think that at the end of the essay there is no real substance. I feel like this situation is very common to most people who play sports.

- The thing that sets him apart from others is probably because he killed someone when he was drunk, and now he is your coach.
- Maybe you should expand on that part...
- But see what others think. You can still write about him, but really answer the prompt. DESCIRBE THE INFLUENCE!

GOOD LUCK!!!! : )
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Nov 12, 2009   #3
Christie, you are great! Thanks for all this effort you invested in somebody else's success.

This essay is powerful and intriguing. It is so impressive that you look deeply into the facts of the situation.

...was seeing his work ethic, devotion, and how much he cared for the students at our school -- even the ones who didn't play football.

Another place to use dashes:
He's taught me far more than I could ever put into words, but part of what he has taught me is that -- no matter how smart or talented you are -- you can throw it all away with even one bad choice.
lycjack 3 / 11  
Nov 13, 2009   #4
I totally agree with Christie. Focusing on one point would make your essay logically coherent.
You start the essay by saying "He killed a young girl in a drunk driving accident", and latter state that how positive and active he was in his work.That seems a little deviated from the main idea.

More focus could be given to how he changed his habits, how did he return to a normal or even an optimstic life.And that process is what you could learn from him(As you said:Even if you do throw it away, you can still overcome your mistakes and live a happy and rewarding life).He doesn't seem like very happy in your essay.

Just personal opinion.


Home / Undergraduate / Common Application Essay - Person of Significant Influence (coach)