Tuesday, March 20, 2007

This I Believe

To many, a sport is just a game. It is just a bunch of men and women throwing, kicking, hitting, kicking, or catching some type of ball around and scoring points. What many do not see is the hard work that these athletes put in. They don’t understand the competition, the pride, the leadership, the struggles and the success that comes from these games. To athletes this is more then a game. They acquire many skills and concepts that they will use in their personal life and in their careers. The one concept that I got most from sports and will carry on into my career is that of community.
Community: “a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists.” In sports you create a new community with your team. You come together with a common goal of winning the championship as well as creating goals that will help you reach your ultimate goal. Many see this sports community as just the team, but there is much more then just the players. There are parents, coaches, fellow students, alumni, team doctors, and in some cases even you opponents.
I was able to really get an understanding for this concept of community through sports and specifically with one particular memory. In 2001 I got the opportunity to be on a football team that reached its goal of playing for a championship. I was a member of the Ventura High School football team and we had to travel to Arroyo Grande High School to play for the Southern Section CIF division four championship. As usually we had our normal fans attend the game but what we didn’t expect was that most of the town of Ventura decided to take the three hour drive and join our normal crowd. Many of which were previous opponents whom we had beat. They all came to cheer us on to victory. They wanted us to bring the title to Ventura County. We would go on to win the game 34-14 to give Ventura High School its first and only championship to date. After the game most of the fans rushed the field to show their excitement for our victory, they were just as excited as we were. The next day our local paper was filled with headlines and stories about our game. I wore my championship shirt that day and while walking around town I was congratulated about the championship and my personal performance.
I looked at our team as a community. We fit the definition of community. We had the support of our larger community and I feel that without this larger community we would have never achieved our goal. Our team started with a goal and it then became the goal of our parents as well as our school community and then our town. By the larger community giving us their support we felt like we should give something back in return.
The goal for my career is to become a physical therapist. My ultimate goal would be a physical therapist for a sports team. I can take what I learned from my football experience and use it toward my career. The people in the community that I help will be looking at me to get them back to their community or team. I feel like I will then become part of their community. I will not only have a self sense of satisfaction, I will also earn the trust of members of that community and therefore cause my business to grow and create a community of my own. I never felt like a game could bring a town together and I got to experience this first hand. I realized that having the trust and support of your community can lead to such good things. It is for these reasons for why I believe in community.

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