The Growth and Dedication of Teen Athletes

As Rocky Balboa once said, “Every champion was once a contender that refused to give up.”

Repeated time and time again throughout sports is the theme of the grand importance that motivation, perseverance, and dedication holds. Danielle Garcia (23’), Edwin Zarate (23’), and Norwalk High alumni Angelica Charles share their experiences.

As with most athletes, individual practice includes heavy training. 

Garcia, who is running her second year of cross country, said, “Outside of mandatory practice I ran laps in my neighborhood making sure I got comfortable with all kinds of terrain, and aside from this I began lifting weights.” 

Drastic improvement is one thing many athletes, especially Garcia, Zarate, and Charles, pride themselves on. 

Charles, who has played tennis for her entire Norwalk High career, said, “I started freshman year not even knowing how to properly hold the racquet and ended the senior year as captain so I could say I improved a lot over the years. Even now I’m constantly learning and improving.”

As expected from every athlete, they take immense pride in their dedicated sport as it brings them an incomparable amount of joy. When asked why they chose the particular sport they, sure enough, responded enthusiastically at the long way they have come. 

Zarate, who plans to try out for the basketball team next year, said, “Aside from it being exciting to watch I’ve really always loved basketball, and for this, I’ve stuck out in my family since the majority of them are diehard soccer fans. I remember the reason I started playing was that in 8th grade my friends played basketball in an afterschool program so I would join them too… I thought to myself why not get better for the next time we play.” 

Athletes all share such admirable qualities. Determination and clear growth are some of the most respectable. To the athletes reading never forget the endless inspiring quotes of the professional athletes that were once in your shoes. As Mike Ditka put it simply, “You’re never a loser until you quit trying.”