Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

Originally, I came into college just to play football and to get drafted into the NFL, however that would change. My sophomore year at Northwestern Oklahoma State University I tore my ACL for the 2nd consecutive year. This incident happened the night before our very first practice of the season while playing a pick-up game of basketball. This meant that I had to sit out the whole football season again. This chapter of my life was a very depressing and dark time. At the time I believed that football was my identity and not being able to play lead to an identity crisis and confusion. The pain felt emotionally out weighted the physical pain from my injury. I knew my physical body would eventually heal but the pain I felt in my mental needed my attention and help the most. During this time, I found out how strongly emotions and mental stress impact our daily lives. This epiphany would catapult me headfirst into the field of psychology.
I finally got fed up with feeling depressed and I slowly began to change my thoughts about my situation and as a result, my behaviors changed. I attacked my daily rehab exercises with sheer focus and determination, and I passed the conditioning test which allowed me to be cleared to play football again. I came back to my hometown of Edmond to attend the University of Central Oklahoma to prove to myself that I could still play football. I didn’t make the tryouts for the team the first year, but I continued to persevere, and I ended up making the team the very next year to play my last season of college football. Although I never achieved my dream of making it to the NFL, I consider my last year of college football a success. Football taught me several valuable lessons in life such as responsibility, teamwork, perseverance, and resilience. As an aspiring Sports Psychologist, I am driven to become the person I needed at the time when I dealt with my injuries. I desire to help athletes deal with barriers impacting their athletic performance!

Zachary from Oklahoma
John F Kennedy University