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The LEAP Student Blog

"It's Good" by Israel Reyna, Mount Vernon HS
 4/26/2021 12:00:00 AM

Israel Reyna
Mount Vernon High School, Class of 2022

To this day, some of the greatest lessons I have learned have been through sports. The lesson I will be focusing on today is how I overcame the fear of failure. As I was entering my freshman year of high school I was interested in trying new things. I found out that the football season had started not too long ago and there was still time to join and I thought to myself why not. At that moment I decided I wanted to be a kicker. After a few practices I got the hang of kicking pretty quick which led me to be the starting kicker for the freshman team and swing for JV and Varsity as well.

As I mentioned before I had joined the season a little late so the first game was approaching rather quickly. In my first game both of our teams were undefeated so it was bound to be a good game. It was finally game time and I had my very first PAT. I was pretty nervous but I just gave the ball a little tap and saw the referee raise his hands and say “it’s good”. That game I had 3 PATs and had scored all 3 but the score was tied and the game was coming to an end. We were at about the 43 yard line, a distance where I have made kicks many times in practice. With one minute left the coach decided to let me go for the game winning field goal and kick it. At that moment all I was thinking was “ what if I miss? ” but when it was time to kick I just let it rip. The kick had the distance but was wide left and was no good. I remember feeling so disappointed in myself, a feeling I was not used to. My teammates were mad at me but I was mad at myself the most. We ended up winning the game in overtime but I still couldn't stop thinking about the missed field goal and at one point I was even thinking about quitting. But instead of just letting this moment bring me down I decided to train harder than everyone else. I never wanted to feel that same disappointment again.

Fast forward to my Junior year, my goal was to make every kick I took. A quote that really impacted me was, “ fear of failure prevents most of us from succeeding than any other opponent ” it really helped change my mindset and made me more confident. When I looked back to the day I missed that field goal I knew I had the skill to make it and was just lacking the confidence in myself to achieve it. This year due to COVID-19 we had a shorter season and we only had 5 games so I had to make every single one of them count. My favorite memory of the season happened when we played our rival team Burlington Edison Tigers we call it the “Battle of the Bridge”. It also happened to be our last game of the season and our senior night so I knew I needed to step up and be ready to make a big play. It was a close game and the Burlington Tigers were in the lead for the majority of the game. There was a lot of pressure but I managed to do my job and scored some key PATs and field goals that led us to win. I finished off the season with 15/16 on PATs and 4/4 on field goals.

Overcoming obstacles can be very challenging and scary and most of the time our biggest weaknesses are ourselves and our mindsets. Most people have the skill and talent to achieve great things and most of the time our fears are the only thing stopping us from success.

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April 2021

4/26/2021 "It's Good" by Israel Reyna, Mount Vernon HS

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