I Quit Because The Sport I Loved Became The Sport I Dreaded

I Quit Because The Sport I Loved Became The Sport I Dreaded

Basketball used to be "my sport," but quitting gave me time to cultivate new interests.
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Humans are dynamic. Rather than remain static, we change and adapt to the conditions under which we are placed. This applies to many circumstances: academic interests, hobbies, sports, etc. We change in small degrees over time, our interests changing along with them.

Due to this, the things we once loved can just as easily become the things we dread. Although this does not often occur completely on its own, a simple catalyst can cause this reaction to occur, altering the way we look upon once-beloved interests.

Ever since I began playing basketball in second grade, it was "my sport." When tryouts for the travel team came around, I jumped at the chance. The team quickly became a safe and positive environment where I could further my love of the game, and my basketball career continued. In sixth grade, I made the decision to try out for an AAU basketball team as well, in which we played tournaments almost every weekend and practiced at a neighboring high school throughout the week.

That first year went extremely well. Although the coaching atmosphere was certainly harsher than what I had experienced in the past, it wasn't anything I couldn't handle. The other girls on the team were incredible, both personally and on the court, and in some of them I found some of my best friends.

The next year was not as great as the first. However, it was not terrible either. I quickly found that the coaching style this particular coach employed was not compatible with my style of playing. His harsh words and judgements made me lose confidence in my game rather than incite me to improve it. No matter how hard I worked on my shot, his words would flash across my mind, causing me to retreat away from the sport I once loved. I do not blame my coach for this change, but rather myself for no longer having the tough skin to shrug off his words. Rather than ricochet as they had in the past, each word was a dagger in my carefully-crafted armor.

The third year, I rarely saw playing time. At the beginning of each game, I would lace up my sneakers, not knowing if I would even step foot on the court. Getting less than one minute of playing time per game became the new normal. As I watched my friends flourish and improve around me, despite our coaches cutting remarks, I sat there as a glorified water girl at the end of the bench.

Yet, I couldn't bring myself to quit. Wasn't this the game I once loved? Weren't these the people I loved playing it with?

Eventually, it came time to play basketball for my school team once again, and I reluctantly decided to remain on the team. Although I had no problem with the atmosphere in which I was playing, I no longer loved basketball as I once did. I came to dread each time I stepped on the court, and stopped practicing in my free time as well.

The following year I did not return to the team.

I'm not telling you this to complain about my coach. This change occurred within myself - his words were simply a catalyst. Instead, I tell you this because it's okay to change what you love! Had I quit when I had first wanted to, I would've discovered my other interests much sooner. When what you love becomes toxic, you are the only one who can make the decision to remove yourself from the situation.

Basketball was a sport I once loved to play and still love to watch (Go Wildcats!!!). However, quitting was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I, in no way, endorse quitting. However, I don't endorse doing things that make you unhappy either. The sport I loved became the sport I dreaded, and quitting gave time to cultivate new loves and new interests in its place.

Cover Image Credit: Disney Wiki

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Do What's Best For You, Even If It Hurts

Be selfish and put your happiness first.
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Doing what is best for yourself is never easy because usually it hurts someone along the way.

Yes, I know this from experience and it sucks to say the least.

Past relationships have taught me that your happiness comes first, whether it be a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, a friendship, or even a relationship with a family member. Sometimes it’s good to not be selfish and sacrifice your own happiness for someone else but how can you make someone else happy when you’re not happy?

I’ve watched it happen MANY times, not to mention I’m talking from experience.

What’s best for you is what needs to be done, if you’re in a toxic relationship with someone who claims to “love you” then letting go of that relationship to grow as a person is what’s best, if they truly love you and if it’s truly meant to be, the universe will see it through.

The saying about setting something free and if it comes back to you then it was truly yours and if it doesn’t it was never yours to begin with is true here. Don’t let another human tell you how to live your life, do what YOU want. Realistically speaking it isn’t fair if you’re unhappy but the other person is happy. That isn’t healthy. Don’t waste your time on someone who doesn’t want the best for you or doesn’t push you to be the best version of yourself.

Friendships can be tricky, sometimes you have those manipulative friends who want to see you fail. Sometimes you have those friends who are too immature to be in a healthy friendship and only want you to be their friend. I’ve not been close to anyone like this, but I have seen it happen. These are the people you need to distance yourself from, they’re toxic and will only cause conflict in your life.

Family who doesn’t want the best for you is a hard topic to tackle. They’re your family and they’re always supposed to love you right? This is true, but it can definitely make things difficult when what you want out of life is different from what your family wants for you out of life.

Disappointment is a big fear in life, but you have to do what you know is best for you even if that means letting your loved ones down. Because success doesn’t come easy and it isn’t cheap, in the end your family will understand your decisions.

My biggest family dispute was my decision on college, only one family member supported my decision to go away for college, everyone else was against it. But now that I’m here, doing well, everyone is proud of me and happy for me, I couldn’t let them cloud my judgment when making one of the biggest decisions of my life.

The moral of the story is to do what is best for you, no matter if it hurts or upsets someone. If you’re not happy at the end of the day, then you’re doing something wrong. Be selfish for once in your life. Don’t let someone cloud your judgment because they think they know what is best, only you know what’s best for you.

But why? Why is it that other people expect you to put their happiness first? I will never understand this way of thinking and I refuse to break my back to comprehend the ignorance, but I do encourage everyone to sit back and look at how others influence their lives and if it’s a positive or a negative influence.

Be your own person, the only people you have to answer to is yourself and god. Be strong and move forward because the world won’t wait on you and everyone who negatively affects your life will eventually leave too. So be you.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Fun Activities For Children

7 Unique Pastimes for Kids
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Since I was a little girl I dreamed of the day I could call myself a babysitter. There is few things I love more than playing with kids and having them look up for me. I have had the privilege to watch over many children and witness them growing up into such special little human beings! Anyone with any experience with children can understand the struggle in entertaining them, I have compiled a list of fun activities to engage with children of all ages if you are running out of activities to do with your favorite little ones!

1. Drawing & Painting

This is my "go to" activity when the ideas first start running out. Not only do I love drawing and painting but you most likely will end up with a new painting to put on your wall! Kids often will ask "well what do I draw?" with this I tell them anything from a self-portrait, favorite animal, nature etc. Sometimes they need a little push to get started!

2. Take them to the Library

Alright so this may not work every time because children associate the library with school, but on rainy days this is a free option that I try to suggest. Not only can the kiddos find books to read, but the library often as many activities and games to entertain them.

3. Kids Baking Challenge or Chopped Junior

This has been one of my greatest ideas yet in my babysitting career. I often watch Kids Chopped with the little girl I babysit in the summer (love you Kendalyn) and when all else fails I set a timer for 15 minutes in the kitchen and host a competition between her and her friends. I have seen some of the most creative dishes that would put Gordan Ramsey to shame... some definitely tastier than others!

4. Lemonade Stand

On a warm summer day there is no better way to get children excited and working with one another than a good old fashion lemonade stand. This activity is perfect for a full day of fun because a lot of planning goes into it! From making signs to riding bikes down the street screaming "Get your Lemonade!" this event will be very entertaining for everyone involved.

5. Scrap Booking

I usually do this at the end of the summer with Kendalyn, but printing off funny pictures and reminiscing on different memories is always fun and memorable. I recommend Walmart for a small cheap photo book option and lots of tape!

6. Making Bracelets

I love making bracelets so this is always an activity I bring up when there needs to be some entertainment. All you need is some elastic and beads! I usually bring fun letter so you can spell words out and gift them to each other.

7. Making Super Hero Masks

I stole this idea from my sister but for an option more directed towards little boys, making masks out of cardboard is perfect for a group of rowdy boys! They can have fun creating the masks and play with them afterwards.

I hope this provides some fun for you and the wonderful children in your life. I am so very lucky for the kiddos in my life that continue to bring me so much joy and happiness!

Cover Image Credit: Mary Beth Flores

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