More than just an athlete

By  Nicholas Carafa, Catholic Register Special
  • January 23, 2009
Behind every serve, every free-throw, there is an athlete performing at his or her full potential to represent their team as best as they can. To everyone around them, they are just another volleyball or basketball player, however there is much more to that athlete than the jersey he or she wears.

Throughout my years of playing high school sports, one thing I have learned is that the dedication and responsibility to maintain high-quality grades and show up to every practice, which may sometimes last until 5:30 p.m., every night are not easy.

Time management is definitely a skill I have had to establish, and I am forever grateful that I developed this because I know it will help me in the future. Whether it is with a career or my university studies, I know I’ll be prepared.

Playing various sports has taught me never to give up, even when you feel like everything is going wrong. Hard work and the passion to succeed both on the playing field and in life does not come at an easy price. Success is not prejudiced; it does not select one person over another. However, the ability rests on the shoulders of the individual to passionately triumph over adversity or live passively and allow failure to prevent them from moving on in their life.

Learning to work alongside different personalities with different perspectives and attitudes has also benefited me. It has helped me to accept criticism and take the best advice from various people so I can live my life the best way possible.

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned through my team experiences is hard work; it may be the most significant component of living life. Whether I am practising a bump for volleyball or studying for that impossible math exam, the results are closely intertwined with my own efforts. “Practice makes perfect” is a cliché that I truly set my standards by because there is no better way to succeed in anything than by working hard at what you do best. In the end, the results will be rewarding.

Participating in sports and being an athlete contributes to success inside the classroom. Discipline, focus and drive for accomplishment must be taught in an environment that any student finds comfortable. When a student contributes to something they are passionate about it makes the learning experience much easier.

Nothing in life comes easy, and the problem may be that people may be ignorant of this concept. I was not always aware of this and I had others guide me and teach me.

I believe it is now my turn to inform others and pass the knowledge others gave to me so that they also may work towards achieving success. Accomplishment and triumph are available to anyone who wants them, however, it is up the individual to go take hold of it because the finished product is infinitely valuable.

I believe that my faith in God has helped me along the way. In tough situations I know He will always be by my side and guide me in the right direction when my way is unclear.

(Carafa, 17, is a Grade 12 student at Toronto’s St. Basil-the Great College School.)

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