14 Things That Basketball Taught Me

14 Things That Basketball Taught Me

Ball is life.

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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18 Relatable Emotions All AP Students Will Go Through This Time Of Year, As Told By 'The Office'

AP season brings on a bout of stress like you've never experienced before.

It's that time of year again. Teachers piling on endless work, and students poring through thick copies of Princeton Review. In other words, AP exam season. If you're an AP student, these 18 feelings are guaranteed to describe your last few months of second semester.

1. Stress

We have all been stressed before. But AP season brings on a bout of stress like you've never experienced before.

2. Procrastination

"Eh, I'll just study tomorrow."

3. Apathy

"What would happen if I just failed all my exams? Or just didn't study at all?"

4. Panic

All my remaining brain cells are in panic mode.

5. Pessimism

"I think – no, I'm certain that I'm going to get the lowest score possible on all my exams."

6. Overwhelmment

Is overwhelmment even a word?

7. Frustration

"Dang it, why can't I remember when the Civil War started?"

8. Dread

Admittedly, the feeling of dread really hits in after you've taken the AP exams as you're reflecting on how horrendous you did.

9. Shock

Me looking down at the exam: "Wow! When did we ever learn this?"

10. Confusion

When you circle one answer but then second guess yourself. At the end of the exam, your answer sheet is just a mess of smears and erase marks.

SEE ALSO: This Age Of Academic Competition Twists The True Meaning Of AP Classes

11. Gratitude

That moment when you are confident with your answer, and you simply have an overwhelming sense of gratitude towards your teacher for all the DBQs and Elizabethan texts he made you read. Then you move on to the next question, and you're back to where you started.

12. Helplessness

..because we all know when you're playing that last jeopardy review game, nothing makes sense anymore.

13. Exclusion

The feeling when you've been invited to get ice cream with your friends on a nice Saturday afternoon, but you can't go because you have to study.

14. Success

On the rarest occasion, you're on a roll and you just happen to dig up a string of correct answers. Shots fired.

15. Lunacy

When you've been studying the same subject for long that everything becomes an extension of that topic. At that point, congrats; you've reached stage three: insanity.

16. Irritability

"Leave me alone."

17. Jealousy

To those who don't study but still manage to ace every test: why are you the way that you are?

18. Relief

And finally, it's all over, and you show up to school the next day like....

Best of luck to all AP students out there!

Cover Image Credit: Facebook / The Office

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The Secret To Fulfillment Isn't Doing More, It's Taking Pride In What You've Already Done

"Wow, if only I could be as amazing and successful as that person!"

I can still vividly recall the burst of excitement that I felt when March SAT scores were released last month.

Upon finding out my score, I tripped down the dark stairs through blurry tears (my parents are very conservative when it comes to light energy) to the brilliantly illuminated kitchen, where an aroma of freshly baked bread had wrapped itself around my mom.

"Mom!" I screeched like a siren, jumping up and down frantically, "Mom, I didn't fail my SAT!"

I told her my score. It wasn't anything worth bragging about on a Chinese parenting level, but I was proud of it, mostly because I was impressed that I didn't manage to score 500 points lower than I did on my first time taking it.

"Oh," she said as she continued mixing a new batch of bread batter, "Oh. Okay."

Then in the same breath: "Your friend *Kenny got a perfect score."


And then another blow. "James also took the SAT this month," she hummed cheerfully as she reached for the flour. "Do you want to know what he got?"

"No," I said all smiley, while my tears of happiness turned into tears of anguish as I pierced myself clutching onto the remaining shards of my shattered self-esteem. "No, not really."

Freaking Kenny. Why couldn't he just miss one? JUST ONE. My self-esteem wailed as it struggled to hold onto its withering life.

SEE ALSO: To The Kid From My SAT Class Who Kicked My Dumb A*S, You're My Hero

I spent about three hours on PrepScholar that night trying to find out just how good my SAT score really was. "Retake it if you didn't get a 1570," the words on my phone screen chirped.

1570, huh?

I remember not too many months ago when a friend of mine (we'll call her Arya for now) was ranting to me about doing worse her second time taking the SAT than she did the first time she took the test. Understanding why she felt upset, I tried my best to comfort her, but after hearing what her second score actually was, I tried my best to not slam her on the head with a chair.

"YOU CALL A 1500 A BAD SCORE!?" I had raged as steam churned from my nostrils. "I'D KILL YOU FOR THAT SCORE."

And figuratively, I meant it. As a person who struggled to reach a 1300 on numerous practice tests, all I ever wanted was to score above a 1500.

And now, I finally did.

So why do I still feel so unsatisfied with myself?

"We just want you to take it easy," my dad would always say, "That's why we never try to compare you to other people. It puts too much pressure on you." But within two minutes, he'd find away to bring up a conversation about another guy named Kenny, the son of one of his soccer buddies who was the valedictorian of his school and had just gotten into Harvard.

There's nothing wrong with comparing ourselves to others, but what tends to happen is that we end up comparing our flaws to other people's strengths.

Back when I was applying for my school's National Honor Society, one of the sections on the form was for filling out the "awards" that you've won during your time as a high school student, and when I noticed how blank that section on my form was compared to the forms of some of my friends who had won numerous piano competitions or competed on a national level for clubs like HOSA or FBLA, I panicked.

But what I failed to notice at the time was how beautiful and voluminous some of the other sections of my form were, such as my community service section that had been overflowing with activities logged for 10, 20 and even 150 hours.

I was so blinded by the strengths of others that I couldn't even see my own.

Why is it that only the achievements of others stand out to us?

When we look at someone who had accomplished something incredible, we say to ourselves "Wow, if only I could be as amazing and successful as that person!" But when we, too, achieve that incredible something, we don't find it to be so amazing anymore.

My freshman self looked up to the section leaders in marching band as a position that I could only dream of fulfilling, but when I was awarded the position myself last season, my pride lasted about three days before it fizzled and faded away.

It's not that I didn't love every moment of serving the position, it's just that it didn't feel like such a great and mighty achievement anymore. I didn't suddenly see myself as a glowing marching goddess that all the freshies bowed down to like my predecessors before me; I was still just the same sunburned loser who tripped over her own two feet.

When Arya was telling me about her 1500, I put that score on a shiny gold pedestal and worshiped it with my body and soul. But when I managed to score above a 1500 myself, why did that score suddenly appear as only a golden calf?

And what's on that pedestal now? A 1570? A 1600? Do those scores only glitter too?

It's natural for people to be constantly looking for more and better, and that goes for not only material goods but achievements too.

And I'm not saying that it's bad to be ambitious, but it's when we start devaluing our own achievements to drive that ambition is when we start to feel particularly low in self-efficacy. Start recognizing your strengths and paying more attention to your own successes. Don't belittle a goal you've scored just because there are other goal posts scattered around you.

Chances are, we all have Kennys in our lives, and those Kennys will have their own Kennys who will also have their own Kennys. But someone out there sees you as their Kenny too. Maybe not for every little aspect of you, but they'll notice those goals that you score and respect you.

And maybe that someone is a person who's actually a Kenny to you, a Kenny whose achievements seem so much better than your own. But their achievements aren't necessarily better or worse. They're just different.

So even if it doesn't seem like much to you, take pride in what you've accomplished. Don't let yourself get caught up in what others are doing and devalue your achievements like that.

I'm sure you've done some really great things.

*All names have been changed to protect the identity of these individuals.

Cover Image Credit: Annie Lin

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