The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The bench perspective: An athlete learns lessons from not playing the game she loves
Graphic by James Fife ([email protected])

The summer of 2018, after I graduated from high school, I was electrified to begin my college athletic career. I began my first season at City College ready to redeem my high school senior season—a season I lost because of an ACL tear I sustained during a club basketball practice.

While I did lose time on the court and in the weight room that year, I was able to gain so much more that helped me become a more seasoned player.

From sitting on the bench, I gained a whole level of knowledge and appreciation for the game. As I began to see basketball differently, I took note of what was important—giving maximum effort during every play, making every moment of what you do on the court your best. I also took note of how every play during a game has the potential for something to go wrong, but it’s crucial to play through the mistakes to try to score. Mistakes are just the nature of the game.

Off the court I was able to be a leader to my teammates in a way that was new for me. As I sat on the bench I took the opportunity to take what I learned from there and share it with my teammates. I tried to help them see their habits I had observed on the court that could’ve been improved, as well as seeing the game a little differently. I’d look for a second or third option of a play instead of just the first. Or I’d suggest that they study a specific player on the offensive or defensive side to better their game.

I saw from the bench how to improve my skills, too, and I gained more knowledge of the game I loved. However, I found myself saying, “If only I were in the game, I would do this,” or “Put me in, coach.” Not playing humbled me, and I began to feel guilty about every previous play or assignment my coach had given me that I didn’t complete during a game. Of course, none of us are perfect, but we always want to show effort. That doesn’t require talent or training, just heart.

Fast forward to my first college basketball pre-season at City College in the summer of 2018. I worked hard to redeem the time I’d lost. Of course, I couldn’t backtrack, but I took steps every day to prepare myself. Through therapy, discipline and the gradual strengthening of my mental state, I was ready to conquer my freshman season with a coach and a group of women I’d planned to play with since my senior season in high school.

During the end of our preseason we played in a tournament at College of the Sequoias. In the last game of the last tournament, I tore my ACL again—this time on my left knee instead of my right.

So many emotions ran through my head after the athletic trainer on site helped me off the floor to go to the back room for a light examination of my knee during halftime. I was scared, angry, sad, disappointed. I couldn’t believe that the only major injury I’d ever had playing basketball would come around a second time to teach me a few more things about myself and the game I love—once again from the bench perspective.

After my second consecutive season sitting on the bench, I had an emotional growth spurt. These manufactures are known as generic manufacturers.Generic medications of generic cialis for women such as Kamagra, Kamagra oral jelly, Silagra, Forzest etc. It is necessary to watch for flaccidness of the male organ in normal condition and flaccid state immediately cialis no prescription after the ejaculation. purchase cheap levitra As men age, parts of their body can slow down or sometimes completely stall your internet access temporarily. It is one of the best herbal remedies for tadalafil generic cialis nightfall. I changed the way I approached basketball and every aspect of it. The new theme on my journey to getting healthy was learning that the little things matter. Every rep, every encouraging word, every little win along a big journey, everything I ate mattered. Basketball champions are champions because they pay attention to the little things. I learned to do just that.

But as I healed and looked forward to playing again, City College women’s basketball coach Julia Allender announced at the end of the season that she was leaving. Our team was confused, sad and worried about what was going to happen. Would we be able to play the next season? Who would recruit new players so we could possibly have a season? Sitting on the bench twice was bad enough, but not having enough players for the next season was a whole different level of disappointment. Whatever happened to the third time’s the charm?

When our new coach, Glenn Mayol, announced in the fall semester of 2019, that we would not have a season due to not having enough players, we went straight to work. He started recruiting for our season coming up in 2021, and we players started to sharpen our game so we will be ready to compete when the time comes. Our season is still pending because of the pandemic, but we have continued to remain hopeful. To keep a bond because we can’to see each other in person, we have had Zoom calls to talk and play games with the new players. We even created a group chat through text to check in on each other from time to time.

The last three years have been challenging and painful, but I’ve learned some valuable lessons that have helped me to develop into the person I am today. Lessons that will carry me for a lifetime—for example, that a strong mentality is important to carry myself through the hard times. I need to remember to live in the moment and pay attention to the details that reside there because time flies, and to appreciate those in my circle who carry me through the good and bad moments. I think the things that have happened to me that I didn’t understand will set me up for other opportunities and help me embrace the really important aspects of life, ones that I rarely paid attention to.

I’m keeping the faith through this pandemic that we will have some sort of basketball season in 2021. It’s my last year before I transfer to a four-year college—not an exit season I would wish upon anyone. I have weighed my options after I transfer, and I’m still undecided about whether or not I want to play basketball at the next level. I know I can walk on to a team, but I’m taking advantage of this time to see if it’s really a passion of mine to keep pursuing.

Still, I’ll carry the lessons I’ve learned from my bench time with me for the rest of my life: to live and learn in circumstances both good and bad in my life journey, work hard, and take advantage of every opportunity to become greater because I now know that it could be my last.

What I have been able to absorb so far in life has given me a greater wisdom and confidence to execute what life will next bring my way. I hope to share the lessons I learned from these experiences and the many to come with others to empower them and spark a bit of confidence within.

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