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UC#2 : "You're either getting better, or getting worse, nothing else."

jefftwomey 2 / 2  
Nov 22, 2009   #1
UC prompt #2 Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?

I'm just about to submit this and would appreciate any and all feedback. Thank you!

One of the most important lessons I've learned this far in my life is that nothing is static; therefore, you're either getting better or you're getting worse, nothing else. Early on in my life, I was convinced that life is solely to be enjoyed; so having fun is paramount to everything else. As I've matured I've come to realize that enjoying life is not a goal to aim for, but rather a by-product of continuous hard work. Through my experience as an undersized high school football player I have discovered that only when I sincerely and consistently invest all of my time, talent, and effort towards a specific aspiration can I reach my true potential.

Football was the first teacher in my life to clearly demonstrate how much better I can make myself when I fully commit to something, whether it's athletics, academics, or community service. I was always just below-average height, weight, and speed for my age, a disadvantage that was exaggerated by the fact that most kids who play football are the tallest, strongest, and fastest of their peers. I always loved competition, but I knew that sheer athleticism was not going to get me where I wanted to be, starting linebacker. Instead, I had to focus on a different part of the game, the technical and mental aspects. I had to understand all the intricate details of our coverages better than anybody else. Each week the coaches offered sessions to watch film of our upcoming opponents and dissect their tendencies. I was one of the few to attend these religiously; however, I knew this would not be enough to set myself apart. I had to do more, so along with a few other players who were as determined as me to improve, I began organizing informal practices. We would stay late after practice and go over the same plays or drills that our coaches had worked on that day. I also began spending my lunch breaks in the coaches' office being drilled on which coverage works best in which situation, or watching film of our practices and listening to their advice on how I could improve my technique. The time spent with them was invaluable because not only did I master our entire playbook, but also I was able to demonstrate to my coaches how hard I am willing to work to get what I want. I didn't see immediate results, as I was still on the sideline for most of our first few games. That didn't deter me though; in fact, it motivated me to work harder because I knew I had the potential to play. It wasn't until the fourth game of our season that our starting middle linebacker broke his fibula; and although I wish it were under better circumstances, I knew that this was my opportunity to prove how hard I had worked and that I deserved to play. The offense lined up and I quickly recognized their ace formation from that week's film session and suspected they would select their favorite G-power running play. My suspicions were confirmed as I saw their line open a gaping hole for their ballcarrier with nobody but myself standing between him and the end zone. We charged full speed at one another and then suddenly, without any resistance, my helmet was driving his chest backwards and down onto the ground. All of the tackling drills had paid off; I was able to easily bring down a much stronger athlete by using perfect technique and getting my helmet lower than his. Six years later, and I can still visualize it perfectly because this one play taught me one of the most important lessons of my life. This one play illustrated that only though a genuine and persistent investment of time, talent, and effort can I reach my full potential, and reaching that potential is the one aspiration that is truly paramount for me.
EF_Susan - / 2,364 12  
Nov 23, 2009   #2
Wow, that's some good writing! At the end, I felt as though I'd just watched a great movie.
I found just a few small things;

so having fun was paramount to everything else.

high school football player, I have discovered...

I have always loved competition, but I knew that sheer athleticism was not going to get me where I wanted to be, a starting linebacker.

Each week, the coaches offered sessions to watch...

I had to do more, so along with a few other players who were as determined as I was to improve,...
shinding21 1 / 2  
Nov 23, 2009   #3
Nice job! You get your point across in a smooth and easy-to-understand way. The only thing I would think about changing is the word choice in your last sentence. I noticed that you used a lot of the same words that you used in your introduction, so it felt a little repetitive to see the same thing again at the end. Maybe you could use some synonyms, or an altered sentence structure so that it doesn't read the same way.

Six years later, I can still visualize
--I'm not sure you need the 'and'

Check out my essay for prompt 1 if you get a chance. Please and thank you =]
Pikafu 4 / 15  
Nov 23, 2009   #4
"demonstrate how much better I can make myselfjust how much I can improve myself "

Other than that I couldn't find anything to complain about, which I usually do in essays. Congrats man! It was great storytelling, and an awesome essay.
ivan9210 5 / 26  
Nov 30, 2009   #5
This was a truly wonderful story and honestly for me, it seemed like a movie from the very begining. You managed exquisitely the whole show don't tell thing. I wish I will be able to write such an engaging story as this one.


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