The Magic of Encouragement

I look out the window glaring at all the fall trees, orange, red, green, and brown. The smell of autumn filled the air. While I’m waiting nervously to arrive at my basketball game. It was a fall day as my dad and I head out to one of my basketball games

“I’m nervous.” I say briefly.

“You have NOTHING to worry about,” my dad replied.

All of a sudden I started to become stressed once again and I had all these thoughts bouncing around in my head. Am I going to do bad? Make a mistake? Disappoint my dad?!

Shortly after we pulled up and my heart pounding. When I walked into the building I glanced over to the right and spot our competition.

“Jeez,” I thought.

Nothing was going right.

To help get my head off the basketball topic to calm me down, I started to look around. I spotted all the other basketball players running around and chasing the ball. All the colors of the jerseys lit up the gym and made me have a better vibe about playing basketball here. (This court is right next to some haunted churches in Newtown.) The wonderful smell of candy was washed away from all the body odor that surround the gym. There were many sounds coming from the gym mainly the players yelling out plays and the fans cheering seeing their team score points.

As my team and I started on the court (still a little nervous) I played through the half playing timid and scared when we huddled at the end of the half. I could feel the disappointment hanging over me like a dark storm cloud. I felt the disappointment from my coach, teammates, me, except for my dad.

I turn around preparing myself with a heartless shake of the head and cross of the arms. I think back about 1 year ago when my dad knew I wasn’t trying my hardest and was disappointed with me because he just wants me to play aggressive and confident. But instead of the sadness during the present game, he gave me a thumbs up and a smile!

At that moment I realized there really was nothing to be afraid of. They might be taller and stronger, but if we tried our hardest that’s all that matters.

I get passed to at the 3-point line, snagging the Spalding basketball. I notice there’s a huge gap from me and the defender. Big enough to fit and outstretched snake! So I shoot. “Swish!” I ball zooms through the net like a rocket. Everyone cheered.

I was so happy.

“Woohoo, great job!” my father yelled from the stands.

Throughout the rest of the half I played so much better than the 1st. And it was all because of the energetic encouragement of my dad and the perseverance of me.

“You did great!” He yelled as he patted my back.  

“We lost though.” I respond hanging my head down.

“That doesn’t matter. You tried your hardest.” he said sympathetically.

That day I learned to just push through any of your problems and don’t give up not matter what. Also, not too care about what anyone else says, as long as you can accept yourself. That’s what truly matters.


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