Life Lessons In Basketball (Self-Reflection)

Basketball taught a number of things that I still apply to life today. Basketball isn’t just a game. It reveals what you’re truly like as a person and what type of character you have. (Photo Used by Permission of Derrick Houze)

January 19 marked the end of my JV basketball season. After blowing Wake Forest out by twenty points, we ended the season on a good note. Due to my teammate’s hard work during games and their competitive drive, the women’s JV basketball team ended the season 11-3.

I didn’t try-out freshman year, but I did try-out sophomore year (this year). A lot of people tend to ask me why I didn’t tryout last year. In response, I’d usually say that I was focusing on my academics or explain I injured myself prior to the season (true statement), but in all honesty, my heart just wasn’t in it. During freshman year I was going through different phases of my life, and at that time, I started to discover who I really am as a person.

As I made all these new self-discoveries about myself, I started to lose the passion and love I always had for the game of basketball. Those of you reading this might not think it was a big deal but, at the time, it was and still is for me. In fourth grade I started playing basketball, and since then, basketball was the love of my life. So for me, to all of a sudden lose the passion I once felt was a foreign, and unsettling, feeling.

To say the least, people were shocked when I decided not to try out for the team my freshman year. My parents were especially surprised, and even saddened, at the fact that I decided not to try out, because they knew how much the sport meant to me. My dad was extremely disappointed with the entire situation at that time, and I knew the reason was because I lost the passion every player is known to have for their sport.

However, I did understand where he was coming from. My dad and I have always had a close relationship, and basketball was the bond we shared that strengthened. When I decided to take a year off, and not play my freshman year, he couldn’t understand and was frustrated with me because “why would I just stop playing after so many years of going to camps, training sessions, and games.”

I didn’t try out because I didn’t want to play basketball while I still had a dull numb feeling for the sport. Did I want to play? Absolutely. Did I still love the game of basketball? Eh, somewhat. I felt that it would be unfair to myself, the coach, and the players if I participated in a game in which I felt no love for.

From the very beginning, I promised myself not to do something I didn’t have a love for and I stuck to that promise.

The first year was tough for me. I wanted to try new things and “see what was out there” when I really had all I wanted right in front of me. I didn’t realize that until the summer after freshman year. Once school ended, the feelings I once had for basketball started to reemerge. However, I didn’t want to say anything about returning to playing the game until I was completely certain. I wanted to think about what I was feeling and make sure it wasn’t just a one time thing. Once I had gotten myself together and my priorities straight I got back into playing basketball. Sure, I was a little rusty but it was only a short time before I was back into the swing of things. I can honestly say that I didn’t know how much I truly missed playing basketball, being on a team, and just having a close relationship with my teammates.

By the time the basketball season came back around sophomore year, I was ready. I did the best I could in tryouts, and I made it onto the junior varsity team. I didn’t care that I was on junior varsity because I’d have a greater chance a playing. I was just happy…no, I was giddy that I made the team period.

As the basketball season progressed and started to come to a close, I thought about everything I learned since freshman year. My basketball experience showed me how independent I can be and really taught how to admit when I’m in the wrong. Thanks to what I went through in freshman year, I now know how to handle difficult situations and solve my own problems. I learned that there is a life lesson in everything. The game of basketball just so happens to have taught me that.


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