14 Things That Basketball Taught Me

14 Things That Basketball Taught Me

Ball is life.
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Any sport played at any age is a huge part of your life. It teaches a lot about yourself and life. For me, it was basketball. I played basketball my whole life, and it is an experience that I would not trade for the world. Like everything you have your up and downs, but through the good and bad times, it was something that gave me some great stories and life lessons. Nothing teaches you more than playing a high-intensity sport surrounded by your best friends. So, here are some things that I learned while I played basketball.

1. Hard work.

Like most things hard work is the most important aspect. If you don't give it your all, don't do it at all. Whether you give it that extra push in practice or going after a loose ball, it will make you that much better. The work ethic that basketball gives you follows you throughout your whole life. If you are a hard worker on the court, you will be a hard worker off the court.

2. Teamwork.

Basketball shows you how to work well with others. Being in a team sport, you can't rely only on yourself. You have to trust others and pick them up when they are down and vice versa. If you can work well in a team, you can work well with coworkers and relationships in general.

3. Never give up.

As cliche as this sounds, it is true. You can never give up on the game or yourself. It doesn't matter if you are losing by one point or twenty, you can't give up. You can never give up on yourself either. Being 5'1, it was never easy for me. I could have given up when the odds were against me. Giving up was never an option and it never will be.

4. There are people that care for you.

There are teammates, coaches and family always rooting for you. There will also be people in your life who try to knock you down. Trust the people who will be there for you and cheer you on through the good and the bad.

5. Memories.

Cherish them. Cherish the memories and the time you have while playing. One day your body won't let you play anymore or one day you won't be able to play the game that you love. Treasure the friendships that you have and the memories you make with them. They are experiences that you will have for the rest of your life.

6. Size doesn't matter.

Like I said before, I am 5'1 and playing basketball wasn't easy for me. I was playing girls twice even triple my size. I never let it stopped me. Yes, it was limiting at times and what I would give for a few more inches. However, your size should never stop you. With that being said your gender, your experience, your size should never restrain you. Go after for what you love.

7. Leadership.

When I was little, I was a quiet and shy person. Playing basketball gave me more confidence. In no time, I was elbowing the boys and wrestling for the ball. I found my voice on the court which gave me a voice off the court. I got the honor to be team captain all four years in High School and it gave me a leadership role that I will never forget.

8. "Short term memory."

A short term memory means that if you make a mistake, move on to the next play and don't dwell on the past. This helped me not only in basketball but day to day life. It taught me not to worry so much about the past, but to focus on the future to improve myself and my game.

9. Communication.

If you don't have communication during the game, the team will fall apart. It teaches you, again, how to work well with others. It helps with relationships outside of basketball as well.

10. Having a passion is important.

Having something you love and something you care about makes your life so much better. If there is something that you are passionate about or interested in, do it. It helps cope with the stress of day to day life. Find that passion whether it is a sport, a hobby, a job. Having something so important is healthy and rewarding.

11. Competition is healthy.

A little competition never hurt anybody.

12. Commitment.

You spend endless hours at the gym. You get bruises, jammed fingers, sprained ankles, torn, ACL injuries, you name it we got it. Players dedicate their life to the game. It is a commitment whether you play four years or forty years. You give that game your heart and soul. Commitment is such a valuable thing to learn.

13. More than just a game.

Obviously, the game teaches you so much more than how to pick and roll. It gives you memories, lessons, people and experiences that will last you a lifetime.

14. Ball is life.

I mean, there's nothing else more to say than, "Ball is Life."

Cover Image Credit: Briana Marquez

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Gracie Golds Return To Competitive Figure Skating Reveals A Darker Side To The Skating World

After months of recovery, Gold's new program turned the heads of many.

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Former Olympian and United States figure skater, Gracie Gold, made her return to international competitive figure skating in Moscow during the Grand Prix. After a series of disappointing competitive seasons and missing out on the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, Gracie Gold revealed to the public and respective global media that her mental and physical health has been in a diminishing road of decline. These intimate issues included depression, an eating disorder, and anxiety.

Gracie Gold comeback performance in the Rostelecom Cup competition in Moscow resulted in a disappointing short program with an overall 10th place position. Despite a coaching change and different approach to competitive training, Gold missed out on several jumping passes that were significant in the scoring system. Subsequently, Gold announced that she will be withdrawing from the competition before the long program division in order to focus on her mental health and developing circumstances.

"The expectation wasn't to come here and set the world on fire. I just needed to compete," the United States figure skater said. "On-brand for my personality is to go to one of the hardest Grands Prix in Moscow to do it, not at some tiny competition. The goal was just to show up and try to be brave."

Gracie Gold's attempt to come back to competitive figure skating at a senior level is complex and quite difficult. Although Gold depicted efforts of recovery, she had a support team that potentially placed pressure on Gold to compete. The figure skating world is quickly evolving, with young female teenagers completing quadruple jumping passes. Gold's performance in Rostelecom Cup investigates the topic of figure skating trumping the significance of mental health.

Several former competitors in various international circumstances have faced retirement due to the psychological and physical requirements that the sport needs for success and respective achievement. If Gracie Gold decides to continue her competitive career, I hope she will approach the sport in a gradual method that takes care of her psychological well-being.

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A Love Letter To My High School Sweetheart

Throughout the rollercoaster of growing together, my heart will always be yours.

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To him,

As this is an open letter I need to give some background information, I first started dating my boyfriend my freshman year of high school. We met during marching band, and from there our friendship grew. At the time, I was an awkward 14 year old unsure of anything boy related. Throughout middle school I had always been overlooked, and when he and I began to talk I thought nothing of it.

With acne all over my face and braces, I had always been the best girl friend and nothing more. I had a crush on him, but in my mind there was no possible way he could like me back. As the marching band season progressed, we became close friends and when our season was over he asked me out (or I asked him out.. this is still up for debate). The following night he had a performance, and I being the awkward person I am, gave him a chocolate turkey. The most romantic gesture ever, right?

As our relationship has progressed over the years it is entertaining to look back on it. Pretty much when either of us bring up our first year dating we both simultaneously cringe, but we were so sweet and young. The awkward first kiss, hand holding, and puppy dog phase is far funnier when you remember how acne riddled we both were.

Neither of us had a relationship (well serious ones) besides each other, and everything was new to us. Addressing each other as boyfriend or girlfriend, HAVING to rearrange schedules so we could hold hands in the hall in between classes, and adopting him as my person were all new things. We obviously overlooked somethings, such as the simply exchanging phone numbers (we were 15, and primarily used Snapchat it was a low point ), but it didn't matter because we were both so happy to be together.

High school is a time many people become their own people, and one thing that happened with our relationship that doesn't always happen was we grew together. We each became our own people and changed over the years, but we still worked. The awkward preteens evolved into young adults in almost a blink of an eye. Before we knew it, he was off to college and I was starting my senior year of high school. One thing that is never fully recognized is how reliant you are on a person until they aren't at your beck and call. It took a while for me to come to terms that Facetime calls wouldn't be a nightly thing anymore and that my 7-5 schedule wouldn't always line up to his college schedule. These challenges were overcome and made seeing his smile even more worth it.

Fast forward a year and now we're both college students, lining up our schedules to see each other. One of the hardest things I found when coming to college was the lack of reliance on me. I had a mental breakdown with all of that, and didn't know what to do. I lost myself, and it took me longer than it should have to realize how to come back together.

My family had always deeply relied on me, and now that I was here it was as though they didn't need me anymore. I was convinced from this I needed to be independent, and I could handle myself. I mistreated it completely, and I needed to fall apart to realize what I had. You are the best thing I have ever had, have, and will ever have. I have grown with you the past four years, and cannot wait to continue growing with you.


Thank you for being my rock, my best friend, and my heart.

Yours forever,

Pipes

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