Growing up I always had the opportunity to be placed in a good sport’s team. Where the talent and competitiveness were beyond mine, forcing me to push myself to become a better athlete. I always looked up to those players who gave the best of themselves in the field and would not rest until the last minute. They were players that would put all the responsibility on their shoulders and pull through the toughest situations. It was like this for most of my life until I got to my junior year.
Most of my friends who were my role models for several years finally graduated and moved on to chase their careers. When the season started we realized how many people had left the team and we had no choice, but play the full entire ninety minutes without substitutions. Nonetheless, we were still determined to continue the legacy and be the best team in the whole league. It was our time to demonstrate that we could win games without our star players. We were not going to leave the league without a fight. During our training, we pushed ourselves mentally and physically doing exercises that we thought were not possible. We felt like we had a chance, a possibility to reach the playoffs. All we had was confidence, stamina, and a motive and soon enough that was taken from us. Our dreams were crushed when we tragically lost to the league’s champions 6-1.
The rest of the season did not go well, and as the team’s captain, it was sad to see my teammates abandon the team. I felt like a failure because all the spotlight was on me. I was supposed to carry the team’s legacy and bring another victory back to the school. When the season ended I was deciding whether I should stay in the team or just leave. I realized that being a leader is much more than just me, I was an example for others and I was the one who set the mark of how far we could achieve. I was in a place where I could influence others to make positive choices. After a long decision, I decided to stay as the team’s captain and guide my teammates towards a new beginning. We had much less talent than last year and the pre-season was not looking good. Even though the team looked worse than last years, there was something different. They had more motivation than ever and were hungry for a win. I talked to the coach about their enthusiasm to see if we could make some changes that could make us even better. Instead of two practices per week, we had five and instead of those practices being 1 hour and a half they changed it to 2 hours and a half. We were tired and exhausted, but we enjoyed every bit of sweat we dropped.
Last year we did not feel pain, but we did this year meaning we were making a change. As the season went to an end we were not satisfied. We entered the playoffs and placed third in the league. From being the last place to the third-best team in the league meant a lot. This made me realize how different is being a leader in times of success, rather than when going through adversity. Those times are when real leaders are called upon no matter how difficult and ugly the situation gets.
This experience helped me realized what type of leader I am. I am able to remain calm when nobody else can, and I will be there when nobody else steps forward. Situations like this helped me with my personal growth and put to test every trait and talent that I have. This lesson taught me that I had to forget about my own statistics and focus more on the team. Being able to make a change in a community does not happen if only one person is committed to sacrifice everything; it happens if everyone is willing to give all they got for that change. By being a leader, I am able to influence others to make that change happen. And I am committed to sacrifice everything I have for what I believe is right.
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