The ref blows his whistle; our coach had called a timeout. We jog back to the bench with our heads down, were losing by 3. It’s the fourth quarter and there’s 13 seconds left against Hinsdale Central. We all grab a seat on the sweaty bench and prepare to be scolded at by our coach. At this point we don’t really believe in ourselves, let alone believe that we can win this game. Coach brings out the dry erase board and began drawing the “game-winning play.” As he drew each line, our confidence went up. We started to believe we could do this and get the job done. Coach finished explaining and we shot off the bench. We put our hands in a circle and yelled, “Win” to break the huddle. We ran to our designated spots on the court and waited. I was exhausted and faced many tough opponents throughout the game. But this didn’t matter now. We had 13 seconds, and we each depended on each other to do their part in the final play. I suddenly snapped out of it when the ref handed the ball to my teammate. He slapped the ball to put the play into motion. A defender ran toward and I threw my body in front of him, setting a pick. Our guy was wide open and the player throwing the ball him tossed it to him. He shot and the ball left his fingertips before the buzzer….no good. He missed the shot and we lost the game.
I believe that sports build character. They require heart, perseverance, physical and mental strength, and trust. And if you lack any of these, practicing will develop them. You gain a special bond with your teammates, with wins and especially losses. After a loss you practice harder and concentrate more on perfecting your game. When someone plays with aggression and go all-out you look up to them. There are many situations in athletics where you have to make a quick and important decision and the consequences of that decision will affect the whole team. It is very important for teammates to trust each other. The best teams have many players working toward the same goal as one solid unit. In sports, you can be the underdog or the top dog. Either way you try to be the best you can be and beat your opponent.
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