Daniel PinzonUniversity of Maryland, College ParkApplication EssayJanuary 12, 2018 Never Giving In Ever since I was four years old, the sport of football (soccer) has always been a big part of my life and has impacted my mindset for the rest of it. I first started playing the greatest game in the world when I was six years old. At that age is where my mind retains some of the greatest and earliest memories I have of the game. I remember my coaches and teammates choosing the name that I suggested for the team which gave me a sense of fulfillment in myself and joy. Football made me realize that one should work for what he wants and not expect it to fall out of the sky.Football helped me use my emotions and feelings, good or bad, in a way that would help me become a better player and person. Whenever I would feel emotions of anger towards someone who says “I can’t do this” or “I can’t do that” I would use those emotions as motivation to work hard and train to try and prove to them that I am capable of what I put my mind to. When I entered high school, one of the first things I thought of was the football team. I remember on the first day of practice I did not play well and recall thinking to myself “what could I have done better?” Throughout my whole high school soccer career I have struggled to play at the level that I know I am capable of, which led me to moments of hopelessness and being highly dis-motivated but no matter what happened, I never gave up. For each practice or game that I did not play up to my high standard, I would go home and practice anywhere from 3 minutes, to 3 hours. I would look up articles, videos, or anything that can give me tips on what to eat in general, what to eat the night before a game, what to eat for lunch for a mid-afternoon game, what to eat for breakfast for a mid-afternoon game. If I lacked in a specific part of my game, I would go home and practice it for hours and not just practice with a ball, but exercising the exact body part or muscle required to improve a certain part of my game that I desired to ameliorate. I would also eat the foods that coordinate with the body parts that I needed to improve to provide them with the nutrition that benefits them the most. The sole reason that I wanted to win a scholarship that allowed me to study in Belgium was that I knew that going to a country where football is a culture and way of life would help me vastly develop my game. Winning that scholarship was one of my primary purposes my junior year, not only for bettering myself, but more importantly helping my team progress and grow as much as we possibly could. Overall, football has impacted my life in almost every sense of the word. Thanks to football, I was able to improve my mindset and go into the world knowing that it is not always easy and that giving up is never an option.