Tap. Tap. Tap. You can feel the divots of the ball rub against your stick as you dribble down the field. You hold the stick tightly in your hands as you pull past defenders, one at a time. Seeing each opponent as an obstacle on the way to your goal, success is within your reach. An elbow jabs into your side. Cold sweat causes your and your opponent’s skin to stick together for a slight moment as they meet with force. The weight of the player next to you leaves you unbalanced and you fall. You can feel the rough turf cut through the skin on your knee. Your skin burns as you pick yourself up. You reach for the stick that flew out of your hand. Wait for the whistle to signify the restart of the game.
Once again, the ball is on your stick, as if the two are meant to meet. You enter the attacking circle, bring your stick back and swing through the ball. It slams into the backboard like the sound of cracking thunder. The game is over, and your team is once again victorious, remaining number one in the country. The team gathers together to celebrate another victory and jogs toward the fans in appreciation for their endless support.
Although this moment makes you feel as if you’re on top of the world, in order to remain on top you must first remember the work that was put in months before this moment. You must keep yourself and your team grounded, do not let get the excitement of what may be ahead cause you all to lose sight of the now. Keeping in your mind that before success and glory comes grit and work.
What is success?
When asking someone what it is they want out of life most times you will get one of the following responses: love, happiness, success. In many cases the three of these intertwine and depend on the other to be truly fulfilled. Anyone starting a journey longs to be successful – this journey can be sports, school, a new job, or life in general. Success is something that many want but not all are willing to work for it. The end is so much sweeter knowing the work that has gone into it.
Being a student-athlete here at West Chester University I am accustomed to busy schedules and expectations being placed upon me that can seem daunting. The expectations placed upon someone can either weigh her down or propel her forward into triumph. We do the hard “stuff” for right to say “we did it”, and the glory in our achievements. Yes, we do this in to have the bragging rights, however; I dare to say that no success or achievement can be considered such without the work that was put into the project – without the sweat, frustration, and set backs…. What was the point?
Coach often compares our team to a ladder, each person having a rung on the ladder, working their way up each game, each practice, each lace up of a cleat.
Taylor Bracale a senior on the West Chester field hockey team comments “Each and every day at practice we compete against each other, trying to get one step higher on the ladder. When everyone gives their very best, not only does it make us better individually but the entire team as a whole.”
Success in life can also be compared to a ladder, the top being the goal and the bottom being where you start. Looking from the bottom up to the top it can seem impossible, but climbing one bar at a time, the impossible seems to be just that much more possible – each hard practice before competition preparing you for the next; each long night of studying preparing you for your future dreams… with each failure remember the feeling of success and each success, remember the sting of failure.
What Makes Success Desired?
My challenge to athletes is to enjoy the hard practice and the yelling of the coach; college students to thrive on the all nighters full of work and lots of coffee; artists to be thankful of each rejection, and dreamers to appreciate each morning. Rewire your brain to enjoy the work just as much as the end result… be as excited for each long practice as you are the dog pile at the end of a winning game. The success is made in the practice.