HarperCollins Publishers, 2012
"Believe was our motto. We had to believe that we would play well and win. There was power in the conviction of things not yet seen."
Eric is an energetic boy who loves playing sports. While his home life may not the best, as his single mother works all day to try to provide money for his sports, he loves life and makes the best of every situation. Him and his mother get along very well, but sometimes Eric's rambunctious behavior gets the best of him. For example, he has friends over one day, and when his mother asks him to get out of the pool, he says no and continues swimming. Sometimes, he has to have things go his way, and he often bothers his mother by calling her at work, asking if he can go out and play with his friends. She wants what is best for him, and while she won't let her son do everything he wants, she is still a caring and loving mother. Eric is very gifted in sports, and he learns this at a very young age, as he is much bigger and stronger than everyone else. He stars in three sports: baseball, basketball, and football. Football is by far his favorite, and when he gets to high school, he quits other sports so he can turn his focus to his true passion. Eric loves the adrenaline rush he gets when he is about to make a big tackle. No other sport comes close to comparing to that rush. Although he knows he is good, he doesn't know he is THAT good until he starts getting letters from colleges. All it does is make him want to work harder, so he can keep playing after high school. His mother also loves this, as she thought education was most important, and her son's abilities in football would give him a full ride scholarship. The first school that offers him a scholarship is Rutgers. He lives in New York, so it is right in his backyard. This makes it extremely easy for him to come home and for family to come to his games. Eric decides Rutgers is the best place for him, even though many other top-notch schools are interested. In high school, the football team's motto is "Believe." If the team believes they can win, they will win. This applies to me in many ways. If I am studying for a test, and I just assume I'm going to fail it, then there is a decent chance that I will. Having the mindset of failure in my head will destroy me. If I am confident in my abilities and am willing to work hard for everything, then I know I will succeed.
The plot of the book is Eric growing up and his experiences in playing sports until college. At the halfway point, he has just begun playing for Rutgers. Another point this book emphasizes is hard work. Eric works very hard for everything. In fact, his SAT score was below the minimum that would get him into college. This would have ruined a lot of peoples' confidence, and they would have failed to work as hard as they should. Eric, on the other hand, makes it a goal to get past the minimum. I also have many goals in life. I know that I will have to work very hard to achieve them, just like Eric did. Family plays a huge part in Eric's life. While he could go a school hundreds of miles away, he wants to stay close so he will be able to stay with his family. I am also doing this by going to Iowa State. Family is very important to me and I want to stay in close touch.
So far, it is a very good book. I prefer sports books, so it is right up my alley. This book is about sports, but it teaches a lot more than that. It teaches that if I believe in myself, I can do anything. It teaches that I should value family over anything else. Another value it teaches is that I should follow my dreams, no matter how big or small. No one thought it was possible for Eric to be playing collegiate sports, yet he made it. If I have a dream, I should chase it and not let anything stop me.