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Trying Out for The Team (Original School Yard Fiction 2)

Updated on May 5, 2017

Dedication and effort

Sports people often have to try again and again to achieve what they want!

They lose as well as win.

It is important they focus on doing their best rather than getting the trophy.

In the following short story, a little boy learns this important lesson from his coach...

Trying Out for The Team

It was a hot sticky day in early February, and Jonah waved his hand at a fly as he stood on the athletics field. Jonah knew he was a fast runner, and he had always wanted to represent his school at sport, but there were many bigger, stronger kids. This year, though, he was a year four and he was determined to make it into the team.

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The qualifying race begins

The Coach called his name, and Jonah skipped across to the starting line to join three other boys. There were two spare places in the team, and four boys were trying out. The maths was not good – two boys would get into the team, and two others would be left out! Some of the big kids had won events last year, and others excelled at special things like hurdles and long jumps, or discus throwing. Those kids were guaranteed their places in this year’s team.

Coach blew a whistle and dropped his hand at the same time. Jonah knew this was the signal to begin to run. Jonah ran hard down the track and around the oval. He knew that this was a distance event - the eight hundred meters - and he should pace himself, but he could not help it. He wanted to be out in the front of the runners. Around and around the runners went. Jonah kept his place in the lead, but he could feel the other runners thumping the grass behind him. One of them was about to get past and take the lead, and Jonah pushed himself into a dizzying spurt of speed.

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The stumble

It was then that it happened. A tree root, which Coach would later dig out of the grass, caught Jonah by the toe and tripped him. Jonah fell onto the grass, scaping his leg and bumping his nose. Jonah was frightened and hurt, but he would not let himself give up the race. He put his hands on the ground in front of him, braced himself and sprang into the air. His feet hit the ground already running. Two other boys were ahead of him and he chased their backs.

Jonah caught and over-took one boy. He was thrilled, and it helped him know he was going fast enough, but the finish line was too close, and no-matter how hard Jonah tried, he could not get past the other boy in time. He finished second. It was enough to get him on the team, but it wasn’t what he had wanted. After trying so hard, he had wanted to show everybody that he could win.

He proved his worth

Coach was pleased, however. The tall man clapped and handed Jonah a sheet full of results. “You did not finish first Jonah,” Coach said, “but you did your very best. I will be proud to have you on the team this year!”

Then Jonah went to see the School Nurse to have some antiseptic and a band-aid put on his scratch. Now that he was not puffing so hard, he too knew he had done well. Not many other people could fall over during a race and still earn a place in the team!

Cecelia Hopkins

I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

— Michael Jordan

Exercise is healthy.

  • It strengthens the immune system, promotes healthy function of the circulatory and respiratory system and promotes the development of healthy bones.
  • Sports are a huge part of school life. They are a great way to mix and make friends. Games also allow for personal achievement and self expression.
  • Children who enjoy sports may also enjoy reading about them, thus linking their physical, mental and social development.

Climbing equipment - Photo by Allan
Climbing equipment - Photo by Allan


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