"How did we lose?"
"This isn't fair"
"What am I lacking?"
"Why can't I win?"
"Am I not talented?"
After losing the Colorado High School Basketball Championship, a tournament that she worked so hard for, Amy, the team's captain, from Boulder High School started asking herself these questions daily. A crushing defeat by the favorites of the basketball tournament, Denver High School, made her rethink why she competes anyway. She thought she competed for the love of the sport, however, she competed looking for glory and fame. The star player of the favorites of the tournament, Arya, showcased flawless basketball play. Her play was so breathtakingly exceptional that Amy started to dislike Arya not because she won against her but because Arya is what Amy is not.
Amy started playing basketball influenced by her father who is an avid basketball fan. She wanted to become great at playing basketball so she put in countless hours to become better and better in basketball but she could only get good enough to compete versus her peers. This has made her furious knowing that she wasn't improving faster than her peers while devoting all of this time, Amy blames destiny and god for her shortcomings. Arya on the other hand is from a family of professional athletes, both of her parents once competed professionally and know how to build champions. Amy knew this about Arya's background and is extremely envious of Arya. Striving to become better Amy approached her coach, Darrel, asking for help;
Amy: "Coach, why do we keep losing to the same team, I've tried my best to win but we still haven't won not even once. Arya is so annoying especially the way she plays."
Coach Darrel: "You tried to become better individually and that is not enough. Arya is annoying you because you realize that she is playing in way that wins her titles. You know for a fact that she is talented at what she does and what she does isn't easy to mimic. Returning to your main question, you guys are losing not because you guys lack skill but you lack someone that is able to make all of the players on the court reach their peak, a supportive element."
Amy: "but... Why am i not able to do what Arya does, I spoke to her team mates before the tournament once, we practice the same amount. SO WHY? WHY AM I NOT AS GOOD AS HER. AS TALENTED AS HER. ALSO, WHAT DO YOU MEAN WE NEED A SUPPORTIVE ELEMENT, WE ALL PRACTICE EXTREMELY HARD SO WHY CAN'T WE PLAY OUR GAME ON THE COURT."
Coach Darrel: "Amy.... You, especially you know more than anyone how talented Arya is. You know how she started, you know that she was a prodigy growing up. What Arya does, the way she plays is the best way FOR HER to utilize her talent to the extreme. You have your own way to reach your peak and it doesn't have to be the same way Arya does it. I mentioned a supportive element because I believe that role would allow you to reach your peak skill. Your fiery passion is contagious, becoming a supportive player will make your team mates reach levels that no one expects from you guys. Arya.. If you truly want to become a better version of yourself and for your team to be better then follow my advice."
After this conversation, Amy's mind started to think of many things.... A Shift in her mentality happened.
A new sunny day, A new mentality and a new attitude. The first day of practice since the conversation between Amy and Coach Darrel starts today. As the captain of her team, Amy told them about the role changes. The team found it weird that Amy is now trying a supportive a role, they all saw Amy trying to her to become a hard carry star player for team in the past. The sudden change in roles felt weird for the team but they accepted it quickly and started practicing with no the no delays. Amy's huge presence in the court is still felt by her team mates, however, this time it is making her team mates on edge and extremely focused. After a few weeks of practicing with these roles, the team became comfortable with the changes and are performing better.
In Denver High School, Arya and her team started practicing for international tournaments. Arya's dream is to become a professional basketball player in the WNBA so she keeps herself in check both physically and mentally. Arya is known for dedication, she watches and analyze professional basketball matches to make her play as flawless as she possibly can. The coach, Coach Brinda, in Denver High School is well known for her talent development. Coach Brinda built the team around Arya in order to get the most of Arya's talent, the whole team was created to make Arya as good as possible. Before flying to England for their first international tournament, the Denver High School team wants to play one last local tournament in Colorado as a warm up.
Although Denver High School considers the up coming tournament a "warm up", the Boulder High School team was preparing for it the whole time. The two teams were in the opposite side of the bracket so if they wanted to meet in bracket they need to meet each other in the final. Both teams won their side of the bracket dominantly and met in the final. Knowing the history between these two teams, the audience was excited for the match. Almost all of the audience were cheering for the underdogs of the match who were Boulder High School. The tension was high, the roar of the crowd filled the stadium. The match started after Arya and Amy jumped to reach the ball. Arya's team were caught off guard with Amy's team new play style and roles. Their normal game plan where they try to neutralize Amy's effectiveness on the court didn't work. The scoreline is close, the lead is continuously changing between both teams. The coaches of both teams called a timeout, in the timeout Arya said "Girls let's focus on our game and finish this game, we have a flight to catch" and in Amy's team the were discussing different strategies to do. In the end of the game something happened it was like if Arya flipped a switch, Arya suddenly played her heart out, she showed everyone on the field why people consider her the most talented in the region. The rest of the game was won by Denver High School with ease.
Amy and her team were left devastated after the game. This was the closest they have even gotten to winning against Arya's team. After a few days, both Amy and team were started to feel better. They are proud of how they grew as a team. Amy now accepts that she is not as talented as Arya and wants to keep working on becoming the best support player, a support player that will allow her team mates to reach levels that are above and beyond their peaks. She now understands that losing will only give her valuable lessons.
[Everyone is told that there is something that they are talented in or naturally good at, however, finding the thing you are talented in is a struggle in itself. Pursuing something that you are not talented in is extremely difficult, this is especially emphasized in sports and competition in general.]
"How did we lose?"