On Commitment and Perseverance

The following speech was delivered by Natan Connor Ong Tan (6A) last 6 August 2015 during the Grade School General Assembly.

Good morning, everyone!

March 23, 2014 — MSSA league, Xavier ’04 vs. Marist – my first taste of the championship as a Xavier varsity player.

March 7, 2015 — PAYA league, Xavier ’04 vs. La Salle Greenhills – my first taste of defeat as a Xavier varsity player.

December 14, 2014 — when I went with my family to Cebu to support my teammates in the SBP championship game. It was Xavier School’s first SBP championship in more than 15 years. I am glad I was there to witness it and support my teammates.

June 3, 2015 — Got Skills summer league, Xavier ’05 vs. RP Youth – our first ever championship as an ’05 team.

These are just some of the most memorable experiences I have had as a Xavier School athlete.

As an only child, I have always wanted to have a brother, but being part of the varsity team gave me a sense of brotherhood…my teammates ARE my brothers. We spend time together on and off the court: we are together during recess and lunch time, we share our food when the others forget to bring money, we have playdates during weekends and sometimes watch movies together and best of all we have sleepovers – these times spent together have bonded us as friends. Basically, we know that we have each other’s back in good and in bad times. This kind of relationship built on trust and respect translates on the court as well. Errors and turnovers are minimized since we know each other’s moves already. Basketball is a game won by team effort and not by a single player alone. Just look at Stephen Curry vs. Lebron James; in the end, it’s the team that played well together that won the championships.

Being a Xavier School athlete is a source of pride and joy for me because one has to go through the eye of a needle to be able to be accepted into an elite group like a varsity team. Being able to pass the try-outs is one thing, but being able to maintain your status as a varsity player is another. It takes COMMITMENT and PERSEVERANCE to become a good athlete, as you have to practice literally every day to hone your skills. I have my dad to thank for what I have achieved so far. As a child I would sometimes prefer to play Xbox or Minecraft. In fact, if it were up to me, I’d play Clash of Clans the whole day, but he would tell me to change into my basketball outfit and we would start training. At first, it was because of his guidance and encouragement that I persevered to train hard and train every day. Eventually, the motivation came from within me. Commitment, self-discipline, and perseverance, I have learned, are virtues that are essential to achieve my goals and succeed in life.

To my fellow Xaverians, whatever you want to achieve in your life, whether in academics or in sports or even in the field of music and arts — there are no short cuts. Think of what you want to do – after that, commit to it through discipline and perseverance. Remember this: Excellence is not an act but a habit – do your best today because it puts you in the best position to face tomorrow.

Thank you and Luceat Lux!

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