The Terminator

Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?


Dear Corie,

Four years ago I was demoted from the "A" team to the "B" team, but today I wear a "C" on my jersey. Yes, "The Terminator" was recently named captain of her high school soccer team, and I thought you should be the first to know.

"A" had always been my letter. "A" was for Annie, for straight A's on every report card, and for consistently being on the "A" team during the summer soccer season. Until eighth grade, when I was placed on the "B" team that you coached. If "A" stood for all of the amazingly good things that seemed to come naturally, "B" stood for broken and battered, for the opportunities I had apparently bungled. "B" meant failure.

I could have quit soccer following my relegation. A good friend facing the same situation turned in her cleats for a lacrosse stick. But I loved the sport and decided to stick with it. I'm glad I did.

Before I met you, soccer was about foot skills, heading the ball properly, and knowing how to play my position. As my new coach, you made it clear that on-the-field skills were important, but you also emphasized that no matter how talented we might be, success would ultimately be defined by our determination.

The season continued and I became inspired by your tweaks to basic...

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