Practice Makes Perfect | Teen Ink

Practice Makes Perfect

November 8, 2007
By Anonymous

Last year when the swim season began I started swimming at the bottom of my age group. I was 11 and I would have to swim against 12 year olds who are much faster them me. I wasn’t very confident because I was not placing in the top ten or sometimes even 15th. My parents would keep on telling me that if I practiced more and didn’t goof off all the time I would be a lot better. So I started to swim four times a week and swimming one to two meets every weekend.
Practice was getting tougher as the New York State YMCA Swimming Championships came closer. I had already qualified, but going by last year results I figured that I would only place somewhere around 20th and that would not satisfy me. So I kept up what I was doing and I started to improve a lot. My times were getting better every meet and I was extremely happy. The more confident I got the more I wanted to swim so I could get better.
During the middle of the season I hit a brick wall. I was doing everything the same, practicing the same, and working just as hard. I started to get frustrated with the fact that I wasn’t going anywhere except downhill. My slump lasted about a month. That’s when I decided I was going to practice everyday and work my hardest. Eventually it paid off at my upcoming meets. I brought two of my times down and won all my events. I was really excited and was ready to swim my hardest everytime I got in the pool.
When it came time for the New York State YMCA Swimming Championships, I was so psyched. As I sat on the bench waiting to be seeded for my race, I was thinking to myself that I needed to win this event. I got up and headed for the bulkhead. As I waited on the block, I thought of all my hard work through the season and I was ready to win. The gun went off, I dove in, and swam my hardest thinking that all I wanted to do was win. I didn’t breathe since I had to swim as fast as I could to get to the wall. I came to the wall and slammed my hand as hard as I could against the pad as if I were smacking someone. I looked up at the results board and I saw that I took two seconds off my time. I made finals!! Now I was pumped… so pumped. I was seeded 14th. I knew that was last place and that was not where I wanted to finish.
That night when I went back to the hotel room I rested and thought about my upcoming race. When it came time to swim I was ready to win. I knew that I wouldn’t place first but that wouldn’t stop me from trying my hardest. The gun went off and I flew off the block. I swam my hardest through the water. I finished and looked up at the board. I placed 10th. I actually did it!
I did not finish first but I definitely accomplished my goal. You don’t have to finish first to be a winner. All you have to do is try your hardest and if you do your absolute best then you are a true winner.

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