My Am merica: Findin T-E-A-M In Competi ng M itionIt was the final round of the Virg e d ginia High Sc chool Leagu state deba ue ate.My being here was a culmination of three ye preparin and two years particip g n ears ng pating asteam mcaptain o the speech and debate team in high school. of h hAs our te advance into the final round of the 2010-20 state tou eam ed f 011 urnament, I wwould have t todecide on whether or not to run f Presiding Officer. In debate, the p n r for g presiding of fficer is acompetitor from one of the sever participat ral ting teams w is elected to be in ch who d harge ofcontrollin and enfor ng rcing the rule of the deb while st being jud es bate till dged as a com mpetitor.On the la day of the tournamen my teamm ast e nt, mates and I stood anxiously in the lob of Liber bby rtyUniversit where the event was h waiting for the judg to post w would ad ty e held ges who dvance to the efinal roun nd.My coach happroached me and ask me for m thoughts on the final round. He a explaine if I d ked my also edwere to m make it to the final round I should at e d, ttempt atrunnning for presiding office as this wo er ouldgreatly help our team members p m placement in the state.Fear grab nking about his advice. I had little ex bbed hold of me just thin f xperience ac cting as presi idingofficer an was resig nd gned to lettin him know that I could do it. ng w dn’tWhen the list of final e lists was rele eased, it bec came apparen that nearly all of our c nt y competitors h hadadvanced making the final round very crowd d e d ded.
It was at that moment I realized, as team captain, my duty was to give my teammates the bestchance for them at success I possibly could. Despite my understanding of this, I still couldn’t callmyself to run for presiding officer- I just didn’t have confidence that I could do it properly.Prior to the start of the final round, everyone had two hours to prepare. And it was during thistime thatI was feeling especially awful about the presiding dilemma.Then something happened that day I will never forget.A competitor from a rival school noticed my pacing and made a point to stop by and check onme. He asked if I was okay.I revealed to him in detail what was playing through my head.After patiently listening to me, he calmly explained that the tournament was about teamwork,leadership, and trust.It was not about winning.He proceeded to sit down next to me and shared with me everything I needed to know aboutpresiding. For the next two hours, we went over every last detail I needed to learn and perfectedwhat I was going to do.Once the final round had rolled around, I decided to run for presiding officer and was successfulin being elected by a majority of my peers.After a long session of careful control, planning, and ultimately, confidence, I emerged winningsecond place in the state of Virginia. Along with my second place finish, two other teammatesfrom my school had placed in the top ten.The first thing I did after I received my award was find the guy who helped me and hug him.When I found him, we talked.“I don’t deserve this,” I said,“you do. If you had presided you would have won.”He responded, “That’s not what I wanted to do when I decided to come to this tournament.“I wanted to help somebody who cared enough about their team to reach their goal.“Your teammates are all that matter.“You deserved to do as well as you did, because you did it for your team.”Author: AnonymousLocation: USARead more short stories:http://www.shortstoriescorner.com
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