A coach once told me that no team, no coach, and no number of family members can determine how good I could be. He told me "you will only ever be as good as you want to be". Sure anyone can want to be successful, but do you want it enough to work for it. These words have been pasted on the inside of my brain.
If I wanted something I had to make it happen. I had to be responsible for where I wanted to go and how I got there. Of course I had support from coaches and family, but I was the only one who could really make it happen. Ever since I had heard this from a coach I worked harder and put everything I could into the goals I had.
At times, it was not easy. I was sore, tired, ready to stop and give myself some rest, but I knew that if I wanted to reach my goals, I had to keep going. Over the next couple years I played for 3 different water polo teams at the same time that were all in varying levels of difficulty. I played for my high school team, the northeast national team and a junior Olympic team. My goals were to go to the junior Olympics, not just one time but 3 times and also to start for the northeast national team. To get there I had to keep reminding myself that "I will only be as good as I want to be".
Not only did I reach my goals, but we placed 2nd at the national tournament and we did very well in our bracket at junior Olympics. I had earned the respect of my coaches and my teammates. Many of these teammates I continued to play against once we all got to college and were playing for various college teams.
Still to this day I follow what my coach told me, "you will only ever be as good as you want to be".