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UC prompt 2: Significant achievement (Soccer)


calderon 4 / 7  
Nov 15, 2009   #1
"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 am, to a certain extent, a gifted student. My grades were consistently high and I found my academic life rather easy. But in my early teens I never found true satisfaction with good grades and amazing reports. While my grades did please me, I felt that my life lacked something to strive for. Something that really taxed my industrious and perseverant streak. Something which didn't come to me naturally, with minimal effort. With these thoughts I turned towards the 100x50 yard soccer pitch outside my classroom.

My early soccer days were fraught with intense training, conversations only about tactics and matches. Long hours of kicking a ball in my neighborhood only to be rewarded with making the school team one week and intense disappointment the next. My inclusion as a central defender in the Under-14 year's category of the soccer team was a moment to cherish.

Happy, but not entirely satisfied with my accomplishment I trained even harder to cement my place in the team. As I expected, my determination to play was severely tested with several people asking me why I chose to choose a new path to success instead of exploiting my academic prowess. "Stop wasting your time with sports," my friends would tell me.

To me, the hours spent on soccer were anything but wasted time.
I held a place in the school soccer team right through high school and my passion for the sport was undiminished by an increase in academic workload. Just before an Under-17 match, my coach told my fellow defenders and me to each pick out one opponent and follow him like a shadow all over the pitch (a tactic called man-to-man defense). This made us all very nervous as if any opponent scored, we would know who to blame. During the match, however no one saw suppressing one opponent as their sole task but helped each other win the ball back, chased after stray attackers and called for assistance when needed.

Although our goal scorers reaped the glory, the fact that our defense spontaneously and seamlessly worked together as a single impenetrable unit responsible for the big zero next to our opponents' name on the scoreboard made me happier than any test score had.

As I moved past my high school years, I dreamed of playing as a professional. Sadly where the dream was, the requisite talent wasn't. Academics became my main focus but soccer continues to be my passion. In retrospect, being on the soccer team taught me the true values of teamwork, perseverance and strength of character that neither academic awards nor prize money did.

Hi everyone. Does the first paragraph make me seem too much of a braggart? Also, do you think I should elaborate more on how my achievements on the soccer team reflect my personality?
SmH 2 / 6  
Nov 16, 2009   #2
Just before an Under-14 match, my coaches told my fellow defenders and me to each pick out one opponent and follow him like a shadow all over the pitch (a tactic called man-to-man defence

Although our goal scorers reaped the glory, the fact that our defence spontaneously and seamlessly worked together as a single impenetrable unit responsible for the big zero next to our opponents' name on the scoreboard made me happier than any exam marks had.

defence is spelled wrong. it's defense.

and yes. the first paragraph makes you seem a little obnoxious. how can you not find true satisfaction in straight A's and good grades? tell them it came naturally- unlike your time on the soccer field. by the way, fix the syntax it's a little awkward to read.
karyenu 2 / 12  
Nov 17, 2009   #3
I'll be honest. Yes, I do think your essay seems to be bragging a bit about your academic acheivements and to me, you kind of seem a bit snobbish (not that you are, just your essay).

It's a great topic, but I would fix it up a little.
Sorry that I can't offer any suggestios on how, because honestly, I'm not sure.

Maybe delete the parts about 'because i can because it's easy...' and maybe the friends snatching your report card.

I think 'having having conquered the academic world' is already well put, and you don't need to include the other stuff.

Just suggestions.

best of luck
gumdrop41 6 / 30  
Nov 17, 2009   #4
Just tiny things

I would take out all the parenthesis in the essay, as they could be much more effectively transitioned into along with the rest of your story

Also I feel like the sentence and the rest of the paragraph starting with "Just before an Under-14 match.." come in too suddenly. You talk about your desire to have a challenge and your qualities but then you suddenly jump into a story

Your last sentence is a bit cliche, perhaps make it a bit more specific to your team or experience?

Good job though :) It's coming along nicely
XLZ 2 / 10  
Nov 17, 2009   #5
The core of your essay seems very good. All the other comments would really help improve your work. Personally, I couldn't help feeling that your essay was unoriginal. Soccer, sports, and teams just seem to be used by many others. Maybe you could add something to make it stand out. In general I thought it was a good piece, it just needs to be a bit more focused.

READ MY COMMON APP ESSAY. THANK YOU!
JennB2288 2 / 6  
Nov 17, 2009   #6
Your essay topic seems good and nice organization but you probably just need to work on a few small things...

1. You don't sound like you're bragging, it just seems like you're overemphasizing the introduction. Try toning it down, by getting rid of the "because I can, because its easy, because its necessary"

And instead transition to the actual point of your essay, soccer.

2. Some places, the sentences seem long and awkward. Try to make your essay flow more.

3. the dialogue part, "Your brain has helped you win so many awards and earn a lot of money," my friends would tell me. "That's the right life for you. Don't waste your time with sports". - doesn't really seem like something someone would actually say...

You could change to "You're so smart! Why are you wasting your time on sports?"

4. A part in your last sentence, "I dreamed of playing as a professional. Sadly where the dream was, the requisite talent wasn't and academics became my main focus." Is negative. It may explain your thoughts, but try deleting that part and keeping the end of your essay positive - it helps make your essay stronger.

Otherwise, good essay :]
Hope I helped


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