One day in the fall of my tenth grade year I was in a bad mood that felt like it was one of those days when nothing was going right. After school I joined my club baseball team for a game in Downey, 45 minutes from my home. In the first inning I made a throwing error that cost my team two runs.
At the beginning of the second inning I returned to the field disgruntled while everyone else could see that I wasn’t the player that I needed to be. During warm ups Coach Will took me out the game and said, “ YOU’RE DONE PLAYING.” Confused and disappointed, I left the game and sat in the dugout, not feeling that my errors should have caused me to be sidelined. After the game Coach Will and I got in the car for the drive home. I was mad at myself but I was even more mad at him. We had lost the game but I didn’t think it was my fault. That day I learned that while Coach Will really didn’t mind losing, he still loved winning, and even more he loved developing his players into better people.
He proceeded to tell me that my attitude showed I hadn’t wanted to be there. Then he said because that is what you showed me and the scout who was in the stands. When I heard him say “scout in the stands,” my heart dropped. He then told me that in life you have to go one hundred and ten percent no matter how you are feeling.
That lesson has stuck with me since that day. In school, math not being my strongest subject, I learned to go to my teachers for extra help so I can understand the material more and put the best forward so I can get a good grade. In baseball, when I started to love the game more and more everyday, I wanted to put out the best I could give. I started to go the gym every morning before school so I could be the best athlete on the field all the time even If I’m not feeling the best. At home I have to go a hundred and ten percent to be able to help out my mom. She is a single mother and working hard to provide for me and my two brothers and two sisters, so I do the laundry for everyone in the house and it takes a lot of time. I can say I put my best self forward to help my family.
When Coach Will asked me to be on his travel team five years ago, I didn’t know I was going to learn about more than baseball. Coach Will probably knew that I needed some guidance and that is why he came into my life and has influenced me so much. Sure I learned how to throw a baseball with pinpoint accuracy, read a pitcher to be able to steal a base, and how to hit homeruns. But I also learned something more important: to be strong not only for yourself but for everyone who is around you. That is an attitude that I want to take with me for the rest of my life.