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Assignment for Sports Writing

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The Assignment is what in sports impacted you and how did it effect you?

Q:  What in sports impacted my life?

Bass Fishing means the world to me, what am I saying, bass fishing is my world. I spend all my time trying to learn as much as I can from my own trial and error, from friends, and from looking up to those who have persevered and pushed themselves to the top. Gerald Swindle stands out to me because of his long journey. He started fishing professionally in 1995, won Angler of the Year (kind of like Driver of the year in Nascar) in 2004, has countless top 10 finishes but, he only has one win which just came recently on Lake Toho in Florida.. This may not seem as a huge accomplishment but in actuality this is a hard feat to accomplish.

     There is anywhere between 8 to 15 tournaments a year per circuit, 95 to 160 in a pro Circuit, and estimated 95 anglers per tournament. In B.A.S.S. Elite series tournament an angler only has a 9% chance of winning. Compared to football and basketball, where there is 50/50 chance of winning each game, it makes it very hard to make a living. These anglers fish to make money to feed their families. They don't have a set amount of money they make each year. Also fishing isn't cheap because no one is financing the anglers fully. An angler can spend anywhere around 200K a year where only a few make more than that. I'm saying this to put in perspective how hard this sport is.

     Gerald Swindle, even though it took him this long, finally got his first win because he never let up. He used pure skill and determination to accomplish something 15 years in the making. How does this relate to me you wonder? The list above should be something that would turn anyone away but, why doesn't it? It makes me want to achieve greater things because of how hard it is to accomplish. Gerald Swindle gives me a prime example that it can be done and to give up would waste everything that I had done to even start. When I'm told to either slow down or give up all this does is makes me go harder than I already was. I want to someday make it to where these top pros are today and I know it will be a long, hard, and miserable road to follow but all it will do is make me stronger and hungrier for more.

Let me know how it is. I want feedback on this so don't be afraid to say it's crap or not.

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You don't stay on topic.

You change thoughts in the middle of paragraphs.

Grammar/sentence structure is poor.

Punctuation issues.

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You need to stay on topic.

Focus on the question you are asked to answer. You started out ok but try elaborating more on the question. Correct punctuation and grammar is important.

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Honestly, that's a rather broad question.

What in sports impacted your life?

Well that could be many things, an underdog story, personal achievement, something you witnessed, the list goes on. Seems like a poorly-worded question.

On a side note, my AP Language and Composition class is hands-down the most difficult class I've ever taken, but I've learned many lessons and am a way better writer because of it. My dad is a sports writer and my mom is the Director of PR for VCU (basically an editor/Univ. image controller/situation handler) so writing is in my blood. I'm a d**n good writer, but the AP class has humbled me. A lot.

But it still really sucks.  ;D

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Thanks for the feedback. Yea the question is very broad but that's what my teacher is asking for.

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Yea punctuation is killing me.

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I think a lot of what you wrote is good stuff, it just needs to be put into a better order so that the paper flows smoother.  I'm far from the perfect teacher on this subject, but how about the following:

1st Para. - Start out by asking the question so that you can lay the groundwork for what comes as an answer.  Maybe it could sound something like this:

The assignment today was to describe what in sports impacted my life.  I am extremely interested in the sport of competitive bass fishing, so my answer is going to deal with individual effort. 

2nd Para. - Explain to the reader how the sport actually works, what it takes to be competitive, and the effort required to succeed at it.  You are writing this as if your teacher or any reader doesn't know the first thing about the subject.

The sport of competitive bass fishing is an individual sport much like golf or bowling.  Much of a tournament fisherman's success is due to his abilities to locate and catch the best limit of fish against both the other competitors.  Like golf, the angler also has to adjust his fishing to match weather conditions that effect where the fish may be located and what they bite on.  How well he does will be strictly based on his knowledge and skill.

3rd Para. - Now that you have asked the question, and answered it with a detailed explanation, this would be the time to list why Gerald Swindle is the person that you wish to use as the source of your inspiration.  There should be at least three parts to this.  Give a brief introduction to who he is, list some of his accomplishments, and then how what he has accomplished inspired you.

Hey, you've got the words already, just pick and choose, and put them in order!

4th Para. - Give a closing statement.  Explain again, in a somewhat different way, (in other words don't repeat) how this sport has impacted you.  Explain how the lessons you have learned will help you both in the future of fishing tournaments and also your non-fishing life.

If any of this makes sense, get back to work on re-working your paper, and post the new one so we can all see it.  Make sure that you run spell and grammar check!  Don't copy/paste anything I've put up here, teachers have and use utilities that can find this thread......  ;)

By the way, what did you decide about that BPS interview?

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Lund Explorer: Thanks for the help. About the BPS interview, I think I'm going to go and just tell them my limitation and hope to work something out.

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Lund Explorer: Thanks for the help. About the BPS interview, I think I'm going to go and just tell them my limitation and hope to work something out.

You're welcome, and good luck on the interview.

Now go do your homework!   ;D

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Do what the Sports Illustrated writers do, combine the first and last paragraphs.

Paragraphs are too wordy and hard on the eyes to read. Use more white space.

Try spell check.

Good luck.  :)

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Fat-G, was Adrian in your class????  ;D   ;D   ;D

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Here's a redo and what I turned in. Probably still sucks

Q: What in sports impacted my life?

In high school, most students associate themselves with some type of extracurricular activity be it art, music, or sports and these students usually have a role-model or figure they look up to. I put myself in the sports category and the sport I associate myself mainly with is bass fishing. This has been an activity I have been participating in since I could remember. Most my friends when they were younger either had a football or a basketball in their hands; I always had a rod and reel. On the weekends when my friends are still in bed asleep I am out there on the water trying to teach myself new techniques, experimenting with different baits, and working on reading lakes. The person that I see as someone I look up to; you may wonder, is no other than Gerald Swindle B.A.S.S. Elite Series angler.

Gerald Swindle stands out to me because of his long journey to the top. He started fishing professionally in 1995, won Angler of the Year (kind of like Driver of the Year in Nascar) in 2004 and he has countless top 10 finishes but, he only has one win which just came recently on Lake Toho in Florida. How could a person not have given up by then? This is what makes Gerald Swindle (the G-Man some people call him) one the strongest competitors on the circuit. To put in perspective here are a few statistics from the sport. There is anywhere between 8 to 15 tournaments a year per circuit, 95 to 160 in a pro Circuit, and estimated 95 anglers per tournament. In B.A.S.S. Elite series tournament an angler only has a 9% chance of winning. Compared to football and basketball, where there is 50/50 chance of winning each game, it makes it very hard to make a living. These anglers fish to make money to feed their families. They don't have a set amount of money they make each year. Also fishing isn't cheap because no one is financing the anglers fully. An angler can spend anywhere around 200K a year where only a few make more than that. I'm saying this to put in perspective how hard this sport is.

     Again, how does Gerald Swindle's victory on Lake Toho affect me? It shows if you want something bad enough it will come sooner or later. I have been told by too many people to give up now before I am deeper in the hole and that I will never make it but, doesn't G-Man's victory prove that if you continue and never give up you will reach the goal you want to achieve? It will be a long and hard journey but, I don't want it any other way.

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It's getting better.

If you have time before this needs to be turned in, leave it alone until morning, and then slowly read each part back to yourself.  I think you'll find a couple of extra words need to be inserted here and there.  As you are reading this again, pause each time you have put in a coma.  Now think if moving any of those pauses would make it flow better.

Like I said, it is improving.  Probably passable now, but shoot for the moon with those few tweaks!

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