Someone rip this apart please. 1st Draft

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Boilerbunch
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:01 am

Someone rip this apart please. 1st Draft

Postby Boilerbunch » Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:07 pm

First draft of my PS, something still doesn't feel totally right about it, anybody have any suggestions? I'm worried that I come across as arrogant and self-congratulatory. Feel free to tear into it. Thanks for any help guys and gals.


On February 14, 2010, I did what many told me would be impossible; I earned a roster spot as a walk on for a Division One college football team.

My background as an athlete was hardly exemplary, sure I played multiple sports but I was not very good at any of them. A four year stint warming the bench for my high school football team and as a reserve sprinter for the track and field squad wrapped up the exercise in mediocrity that was my athletic career. In my mind, athletics were no longer to be part of my life; I was content with just being a sports fan. This attitude changed when I attended my first game as a spectator my freshman year of college. During that game I was exposed to the passion of the crowd, the pride of a beloved hometown team, and the pure competitive spirit of the players on the field. While I stood in the bleachers taking in the amazing experience of a home crowd, a dream began to form. My dream was to conquer the impossible, more than anything else in the world; I wanted to become a college football player.

Unfortunately I faced a mountain of a challenge, I was undersized, I was a mediocre football player, and worst of all; I had no idea where to begin. I was incredibly out of shape and lacked any true sense of athleticism. Nobody, including myself, truly thought I had a chance. Despite all of this one thing was for certain to me, I would not be denied. I soon developed an unyielding determination; the only thing I would allow to stop me was going to be my own failure to improve. I did everything I could to increase my skills as an athlete and a football player. I joined multiple intramural teams and played with people who were stand outs in their sports in their pasts to teach me their sports so that I could gain skills from different perspectives. Every day was spent in a weight room or on a field doing whatever I could do to help push my progress. Hours were spent in study gleaning information on fitness, football, and self-improvement. For the first time in my life I felt motivated, disciplined, and goal driven.

The Day of Judgment finally came Friday, February 11th, 2010, the day of the open try-out. Around seventy- five people were competing at the try-out, each one to some degree a stand out in high school; each one vying for the limited spots on the roster. The reality of my challenge began to dawn on me. Everything I had done, every weakness I had strengthened, every moment I spent convincing myself that I would not be stopped came down to the forty-five minutes I was given to prove that I was worth a roster spot. When the air-horn signaled the beginning of the workout, everything seemed to click into place and I set myself into motion. The culmination of all my training erupted into action, every movement was fluid and sharp, my hips low and balance centered, I was running fast and agile, and I was winning every drill. With every positional I received more attention from the coaches, finally on the last drill the positional coach requested I go last, and with the eyes of every player of the group on me, I finished the try-out a victor. A week later I and three others received notification of acceptance to the team and I went on to a fulfilling but short career as a collegiate athlete.

During my career as a walk on I built on the qualities that drove me to gain my position on the team. For a walk on every day is a constant struggle against the odds, odds that I learned never to intimidate me. My drive and tenacity led me to my goals; I made sure never to forget those lessons. When I accepted a job after graduation as an assistant coach for a St. Louis area high school I did everything I could to impart those qualities and understanding that nothing was ever out of reach for them. The greatest result of my goal to become a college football player wasn't reaching my goal; it was the knowledge that even I, who didn't have a chance, could reach my dreams.

I believe that the determination and unyielding attitude that drove me to fulfill my dream despite the difficulties it posed will help me succeed in my studies of law. It is no secret that legal education is tough, rigorous, and competitive. While my skills as an athlete will most likely never come to my aid during my studies, I feel the attitude that pushed me on my uphill college sports journey can translate to mountain climb that is a legal career.

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AntipodeanPhil
Posts: 1300
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:02 pm

Re: Someone rip this apart please. 1st Draft

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:43 am

This isn't a bad first draft -- certainly better than most here. Some comments:

1. The second paragraph ("My background as an athlete...") seems a bit contrived. It's hard to believe the first game you watched at college was so revelatory. You'd never seen a college game before, or an NFL game, or something similar as a fan? More generally, your writing style seems a bit overly-dramatic. It's an interesting story - you don't need to force it.

2. I general, I didn't think it sounded too arrogant or self-congratulatory, although maybe you could tone this section down a bit: "every movement was fluid and sharp, my hips low and balance centered, I was running fast and agile, and I was winning every drill. With every positional I received more attention from the coaches, finally on the last drill the positional coach requested I go last, and with the eyes of every player of the group on me, I finished the try-out a victor." Maybe make it seem as if you were at least a little surprised to get the notification.

3. You need to work on your use of punctuation. You use far too many semi-colons -- often when another type of punctuation would be more appropriate.

There are some other more minor issues.

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Tyr
Posts: 247
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:15 pm

Re: Someone rip this apart please. 1st Draft

Postby Tyr » Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:02 am

One thing I'd be careful with is using "the Day of Judgement." I say that because it just seems either forced or clichéd, but that's just a flavor thing for me so maybe it's not that big. As the post above me said, also be careful for punctuation. It seems there are a lot of inappropriately used punctuation marks.

Boilerbunch
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:01 am

Re: Someone rip this apart please. 1st Draft

Postby Boilerbunch » Thu Nov 28, 2013 4:44 am

AntipodeanPhil - Thanks alot! Yeah you're right about those points, especially punctuation, it was always a weak part of my writing.

Tyr - I agree, I wasn't to big on using it in there but I wasn't sure how else to go about describing it.



I'll begin working on improving it right asap.

Boilerbunch
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:01 am

Re: Someone rip this apart please. 1st Draft

Postby Boilerbunch » Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:56 am

Here's the newest draft, anyone want to comment?


On February 14, 2010, I did what many told me would be impossible, I earned a roster spot as a walk on for a Division One college football team.

My experience in sports was hardly exemplary, I played a few sports in high school but I was not very good at any of them. A four year stint warming the bench for my high school football team and as a reserve sprinter for the track and field squad wrapped up the exercise in mediocrity that was my athletic career. In my mind, athletics were no longer going to be part of my life. I was content with just being a casual sports fan. This attitude changed when I attended my first game as a spectator my freshman year of college. It was my first football game as a member of the audience, besides viewing games on television every football game I had watched was from a participant’s point of view. As I experienced the emotions and passions of the players on the field, I started to remember how much I loved the game, how much I missed it. Realizing how badly I wanted to be able to play again, my mission began to form. More than anything else, I wanted to become a college football player.

Unfortunately I faced a mountain of a challenge, I was undersized, I was a mediocre football player, and worst of all I had no idea where to begin. I was incredibly out of shape and lacked any true sense of athleticism. To add to all of that I was at a division one college in a high profile conference, so my competition was going to be very qualified. Nobody, including myself, truly thought I had a chance. I was essentially trying to be the next Rudy. Despite all of this one thing was for certain to me, I would not be denied. I did everything I could to increase my abilities as an athlete from developing knowledge of fitness and nutrition to gaining perspectives from varying sports. I joined multiple intramural teams and played with people who were stand outs in their sports and convinced a few to teach me talents specific to their success. Every day was spent in a weight room or on a field doing whatever I could do to help advance my progress. Hours were spent in study gleaning information on fitness, football, and self-improvement. For the first time in my life I felt motivated, disciplined, and goal driven.

The trial of my training came Friday, February 11th, 2010, the day of the open try-out. Around seventy- five people were competing at the try-out, each one to some degree a stand out in high school, each one vying for one of the limited roster openings. As I met the other contenders the absurdity of my situation began to dawn on me and the reality of the challenge became real. When the air-horn signaled the beginning of the tryout every ounce of nervousness I felt amplified and my heart began to race. To start it off we were paced through a series of warm up drills. To my immense frustration I started my tryout horribly, by falling during a warm up. Recoiling from my trip up immediately I couldn’t help but be humiliated, all of this training only to fall in front of everyone on the first drill. After the warm ups we were split up into position groups where we were made to compete directly with the people competing for the same spot. Finally my training decided to kick in and I performed as well as I possibly could have. Fifteen minutes later the tryout came to a close and while I felt like I did well in the positional group the embarrassment of my error at the beginning still weighing down my hopes. A week later the final decisions were posted, walking up I saw four short lines of text, none that looked like my name. As I got closer my heart began racing and I could not stop a joyous yelp from coming out of me. In standard black ink was my name. I jumped up and down with the biggest goofy grin on my face while a coach walked by shaking his head with a knowing smile.

During my career as a walk on I built on the qualities that drove me to gain my position on the team. When I accepted a job after graduation as an assistant coach for a small St. Louis area high school I did everything I could to impart the understanding that nothing was ever out of reach for them, but that nothing worth doing was going to be easy. The greatest result of my goal to become a college football player wasn’t reaching my goal; it was the knowledge that even I, who didn’t have a chance, could reach my dreams.

I believe that the determination and unyielding attitude that drove me to fulfill my dream despite the difficulties it posed will help me succeed in my studies of law. It is no secret that legal education is tough, rigorous, and competitive. While my skills as an athlete will most likely never come to my aid during my studies, I feel the attitude that pushed me on my uphill college sports journey can translate to mountain climb that is a legal career.




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