Part of a Team | Teen Ink

Part of a Team MAG

By Anonymous

     The buzzer sounds, the whistle blows, the crowd roars. I sit on the bench. My teammates rejoice over their well-deserved victory. I sit on the bench. The coach congratulates them for their hard work and determination throughout the game. I sit on the bench. He informs all of us that it is time to shake our opponents' hands. I finally leave the bench.

After recognizing the efforts of the other team, our coach suggests a huddle. I did not want to glory in a victory to which I did not contribute. I wanted to escape to the safety of the parking lot, far from the court. To me, this huddle seemed yet another reminder of my absence from the court. I considered the circle to be an exclusive place where only the best and most active players received compliments. Finally, I joined the group, listened to the coach, and upon dismissal, dashed for the exit. My parents met me at the door and congratulated me on the team's victory, but their words had little meaning. I was not allowed to play, and nothing could alter my negative attitude.

The ride home was quiet until my father started talking about the game. I was disgusted. How dare he bring this up when I was obviously engrossed in self-pity? My father, however, had my feelings and my future in mind. He and my mother gave me advice that now, four years later, I continue to follow. My father explained that physically participating is as important as being supportive of teammates. Without team camaraderie, none of the players, including the stars, would perform to the best of their abilities. My mother added that without a full team, no one could prepare game strategies. Their advice was clear although I did not truly appreciate it until later. When my parents decided that no matter what I thought of my status on the team, they would always be proud of my courage to try out for the advanced basketball league and my effort at my practices. Such honesty allowed me to understand their message.

Like the first level of a house of cards, I was the foundation of the team. Without a strong base, a team cannot succeed since there is no way to build individual or group skills. With a full deck of prepared cards, a team can stack their players to create the perfect, victorious house. My perseverance and patience finally paid off and during the championship game, I stepped onto the court and scored a basket. Smiling, I looked up in the stands to see my parents, who had allowed me to reach the top, beaming with pride.

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