In my English class, we have been watching movies that our teacher says that we can benefit and learn something from. This past week, we watched Sylvester Stallone’s film, Rocky.

In case you haven’t ever seen the Academy Award-winning movie from 1976, it focuses on an unknown, average boxer named Rocky Balboa who spars in small clubs. When it seems like Rocky’s life is in a slump, he receives an opportunity like no other; to fight against the world heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed. Given this challenge, the “Italian Stallion” (Rocky’s nickname) trains hard. The night before the big match, however, Rocky tells his girlfriend that he doesn’t think he will win. Instead, Rocky sets a goal for himself to “go the distance” against Apollo Creed–something that has never been done before–and lasts all fifteen rounds in the ring.  After putting up a good blood-filled, nose-and-rib breaking fight, the showdown ends with Apollo Creed winning by a split decision.

Rocky didn’t win the match, however, he won something much more valuable: he won respect,  reached his goals, went the distance, and he won the heart of a girl he truly loves. To me, I much rather win these things rather than a title; a title is just a name, but respect and love are things that are much more valuable to earn.

The premise of the movie reminds me of my high school water polo team; we are pretty much the underdogs of our league, but we never give up. We are slowly, but surely, building up our program. We set and reach goals as a team every season, whether they be big or small. And no matter what, we always support one another; even if we lose by twenty points, as long as we try our best and make some good plays, I’m happy.


Even though I’m not a boxer, I still feel that, being an athlete, I can relate to the overall message of this movie. It’s okay to not always come out on top, because that is what motivates us to do better next time. Improvement should be an athlete’s main goal. I’m not saying winning is bad or that you shouldn’t try to win, but I believe you can easily win a game or match without gaining anything new from it. If you always win, what will motivate you to keep going, to get up and try again, to increasingly get better and better each time? Something I like to tell my fellow teammates is “More games means more experience.”

At first, Rocky didn’t seem like the usual cookie-cutter boxer. But many people tell me that they can’t see me playing such a rough sport like water polo. But the love for one’s passion and hobby over rules society’s opinion.

Overall, I really enjoyed watching Rocky. I would recommend for all athletes to watch it and learn from its powerful theme.



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