How to Be Successful in Your Sport, According to 7th Graders

How to Be Successful in Your Sport, According to 7th Graders

Ayomide Ajakaiye, Reporter

     Passion starts off as a quiet seed, unexplored and full of potential. Then, it is grown and matured by determination, cultivated by a hard-working individual.

     Two JBS students are similarly enthusiastic about their avocations, much like said planter.  Jacquelyn Hu (‘25), swimmer for the Clayton Shaw Park Swimming (CSP) group, developed her passion for the sport simply when one of her friends convinced her to try it out.  And Aiden Davis’ (‘25) passion for soccer as a member of the Lou Fusz soccer club began with a desire to play soccer like his mom and sister. 

     But such fervor for their sports was not always present. Being committed to anything can be difficult, and staying motivated in a sport can be very challenging while dealing with school work, for example.

     “I was super nervous when I got into Burroughs because I knew the homework was going to be pretty tough,” Hu said. Through this, she reported to have learned to balance her time with work and practice. 

     Davis has also undertaken this process in efforts to improve his game-day performances. “Sometimes, it’s just not your day at the pitch,” he explained. “I [try to] recognize what I struggled with in the game, learn from that, and then try not to do that the next game.”

     But winning a game after a lot of hard work and challenges can make all of the struggling worth it. Davis would have never guessed that his first goal ever would pave the way for his team to win in a Kansas City tournament. In that match, it was his goal that made the final tally read 1-0. Both teams had a strong desire to win this match, and Aiden recalls it not being easy. “Both teams really wanted it bad…and it was just nice to see all of the hard work pay off,” he said.

     Likewise, Hu’s journey to getting an AAA, a time classification for swimmers, was not an easy feat to achieve. However, after consistent hard work, Hu was able to overcome it, allowing her to finally be able to compete in Zones, “zonal” championship meets for swimmers in her age group. “[Before] I got super close to it…and in the next few meets, I was adding time instead of dropping time,” she noted. “It was really frustrating…[but] I finally got it after months of trying.” 

     It is clear that these sports have left lasting impacts on each of them. Being a swimmer has made Hu “not just physically stronger, but mentally stronger.” She now knows how to handle failure and has learned that criticism can be a good thing. “At the first event of your meet you could do really bad, but you still have to put yourself together and swim the rest of the meet,” she concluded. Likewise, soccer has taught Davis many lessons and has set him in pursuit of his dreams. He remarked, “soccer gave me an objective in life. I want to get better every day…I don’t want to be sitting at home doing nothing…I want to have a purpose and try to get better at something.”

     This year, Hu hopes to get an AAAA classification, and Davis hopes to one day be able to play pro soccer and go outside of the country to pursue this goal. As athletes, these two work every day to achieve their goals. This drive for greatness is what reveals their passion and sets them apart. Hu and Davis are not only working hard because they need to, but also because they want to.