The Journey Begins: The Chronicles of a 7th Grade Girl
A part of me just wants to quit. It seems like the better I get, the less I get to play. I just started training once a week with a local skills coach and I thought, ‘surely I’ll get to play more. I’m working harder now.’ Yet I’m stunned. Coach only gave me three minutes tonight…I can’t believe it. Then when I brought the ball up the court he was furious. Furious! “What are you doing? I told you to give the ball to Shannon,” he screamed, as his face was turning red, veins sticking out of his neck. I don’t understand I’ve been practicing on my ball handling, retreat dribbles, protecting the ball with my body, eyes locked on the rim to see the whole court and more. I’ve even been working on staying calm under pressure. Not to mention shooting. My skills coach also took me through a shooting routine that showed me how to warm up my shot through form shooting, how to develop shooting consistency, build range, and shoot at game speed. It’s changing everything!
But I only get three minutes? Is he kidding me? Three minutes? As if that wasn’t enough, I get yelled at for bringing the ball up? I’m so hurt. To make matters worse, one girl got to play most of the game and she is not even as good as me. She doesn’t even practice. What’s the point of working hard on my game only to have my minutes given away? They don’t deserve them. I just want to quit. Walk right up to the coach and say “This isn’t fair. I’ve been practicing more and you don’t care. I’m one of the best players on the team but you pick favorites. So I’m done. I quit.” Then I’ll throw my jersey in his face, knock over a chair, and walk out. I’m done! Except there is one problem
I love basketball. I love it. Its all I think about. When I wake up, it’s the first thing I think about. When I’m on the bus to school, I daydream about hitting the game winning shot! When I’m eating lunch, I’m thinking about the next game. When I get out of school, I run to the garage to get my ball and immediately go through the entire workout my skills coach gave me. I’m improving, I know it! The ball is starting to stick in my hand. My shot is falling more and more. I know I just started training fundamentals and learning to train, but I really think I could have a future with basketball. I’m seeing it in my dreams. No, I’m not going to give up. If coach wont give me more than three minutes, fine.
I’m going to work on my ball handling. For every time he yells at me for dribbling, I’m gonna work twice as hard at home. Stationary dribbling. Dribbling on the move. My signature moves. Two ball dribbling. Sprinting with the ball. Everything. No ones gonna take the ball from me. And my shooting. I’m gonna practice until I’m the best shooter on the team. When we scrimmage, I’m gonna take out all my anger on his favorites and shut them down on defense. 3 minutes or 30. Whether I get playing time or not. Nothing can stop me from getting better. Nothing. I can do this. I believe.