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USC (Reflect on a challenge you overcame through persistence)

Fiddysin 6 / 15  
Oct 27, 2009   #1
Comments and criticism always welcome! THANKS!

Thomas Edison failed many times before successfully inventing the modern electric light bulb. He said, "If I find 10,000 ways something won't work, I haven't failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward." Reflect on a challenge you overcame through persistence. (500-700 words)

What if you had worked on something all your life, but had to suddenly modify this effort and still be expected to perform at the same level? Can this simple change ruin everything? I was faced with this situation during my sophomore year on the varsity badminton team. The majority of the starting lineup had graduated the previous season, so there were many spots that needed to be filled. Consequently, this meant stepping out of my comfort zone and accepting the challenge to meet the team's needs. I have played singles all my life, which meant that I had the entire court space to myself. I love the feeling of assuming your own responsibilities and not having to rely on someone else to attain the victory. Simultaneously, I can only blame myself for my own mistakes since I am the only one on the hardwood floor. Exploiting the opponent's weaknesses and directing your shots to the alleys are typical strategies used in badminton. All of this abruptly changed when my coach pulled me aside and informed me that I was to play mixed doubles for the upcoming season. Not only was there going to be another player I have to share the court with, but also I felt I had no control over the game's destiny. I was not going to let the team down and was motivated to execute wins throughout the season.

Before this season, I had never met my partner before and I was expected to perform at the varsity level where opponents were much older. I knew that many hours of practice would be required to complete the task at hand. I was driven and focused on perfecting our rotation and style of play. Getting used to each other's shots and distinct approaches were vital. After a few practices, we discussed our weaknesses and improved upon them. Then, we constructed a game plan to take advantage of each other's strong skill sets so that our weaknesses weren't exposed. Trust is an important element in a doubles match. For instance, it is vital that we equally share our responsibilities and avoid one particular person carrying the load. The season was imminent and our first varsity game together was against Webb High School. The game commenced and all of our dedication came down to this opening match. The opponents were off to a quick start and built up a commendable lead. However, my partner and I discussed some flaws in their rotation and started executing our preseason game plan. We repeatedly aimed for the gaps and their backhands. A comeback was ensuing, and we capped off our first official match with a win. We continued the season successfully and remained undefeated. However, a tough challenge would be inevitable.

Our local rival, Wilson High School, were the strongest opponents in our league. They also trained diligently and achieving a single point from them was never easily done. We met them at the San Antonio League Finals and were scheduled to play their mixed doubles team in the finals. Through all of the drills and additional practice sessions, my partner and I knew we were prepared to face any team and were not going to give up. Despite our loss of the first set, we were determined to fight back. We ultimately won the second set and a third deciding set would be needed to determine the winner. We knew this game was close and decided on some techniques that would give us easy, manageable points. Even though we challenged every single shot aimed at us, we ultimately lost the match. I am not disappointed with our loss, however. We persevered and endured all season long. We silenced the doubters and made strides that no one thought would be possible.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Oct 28, 2009   #2
This is well-written! Great job. Like all writing, it can be improved if you revise for conciseness. You can take out unnecessary words and sentences. Challenge yourself to take one weak sentence out of each of these three paragraphs.

...be another player I would have to share...

Use a comma here:
We ultimately won the second set, and a third deciding set would be...

Congratulations! Great story, great way to respond to the prompt. As you work with it some more, you might want to focus more on the ways in which the things you did required persistence.

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