Waiting for Your Chance

Don was a non-scholarship player on his home state’s only high level football team. He could have been a starter at smaller schools but Don wanted to pursue a degree in engineering, which smaller schools did not offer.

As a senior, Don’s football career was coming to an end. He never started a game but was a letter winner for his special teams play. With a change in head coaches, Don was given a scholarship but that didn’t change his playing status. What did change was the coaching staff’s respect for Don. The previous staff was upset that Don’s major didn’t allow him to attend all practices due to late afternoon lab requirements. They hinted that he needed to change majors, but for Don a degree in engineering was why he was in college.

Don didn’t have the athletic ability that the other players had. He was the slowest defensive back on the team. While he was strong, he was not a weight room fanatic like others. But in spite of his athletic ability, he was often the first player to get downfield on a kicking play. His tackles often generated crunching sounds you could hear over the roar of the crowd.

The last game Don would play in was a bowl game his senior year. His team was a vast underdog, and the head coach decided to change the defensive alignment from what they had used all season. Don was asked to start as an extra defensive back. The new defense was a shock to the other team, and Don’s team won in what was the biggest upset of the bowl season. Even more shocking was the fact that Don led his team in tackles and was selected as the Most Valuable Player in the only game he would ever start during his football career.

Don’s story was widely told and job offers started pouring in. What really impressed companies was that Don never gave up on his chance to make a difference. Hoping for a chance to materialize is a rare trait today as people tend to move to other opportunities rather than let a first opportunity come to fruition. Paying your dues is a long forgotten quality. When a person maintains hope that a chance will open up, it says a lot about them: determination, loyalty and faith.

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“Patience is not simply the ability to want – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.”
– Joyce Meyer (Author)

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