Sports play a significant role in the culture of the United States. Whether it’s hitting a homerun on a hot summer day or getting tackled while trying to catch a football, young athletes never forget their early memories of learning how to play a sport. While learning how to play a sport can come natural and be pleasant to many children, the moment I learned how to play basketball was much different. It all started during the beginning of eighth grade. I had just made friends with Nikola, a classmate who is now one of my best friends. Every day we would go to the library during homeroom so we could finish our homework together.
One day we finished our home work early, so we began to talk about a poster on the library wall next to the desktops. The poster said in big bold letters “Open Gym” with a picture of our school’s basketball team from last year. While I had never played a minute of basketball in my life, my friend Nikola, on the other hand, was a starter on the basketball team last year. Nikola was explaining how he thought that this year the basketball team was planning to do the same as the year past, and he wanted me to go to open gym to practice with him.
I told Nikola I was not the best at basketball and that I really did not want to go, but he persisted and in the end Nikola convinced me to go. The same day I decided to go to open gym to practice basketball with Nikola, I remember asking my mother to purchase me brand new basketball shoes. When the weekend finally rolled along I felt great about playing basketball during open gym, I had a new pair of Nike basketball shoes and one of the team’s best players on my side.
I recall walking into the gym and seeing many students I did not know. Each one of the students was bigger and taller than myself, still I was feeling hopeful. Then the first game of the open gym initiated, and then I realized I was not good at all at playing basketball. I was uninterested and did not want to try and learn any more. A month and a half had gone by, and I went to every open gym with Nikola. Tryouts were to begin the next week, and I had told Nikola I was not going to try out for the basketball team.
Nikola then went on to try to convince me to try out, and he explained to me that was not the same person who entered the gym on day one. Again my friend Nikola, was able to convince me, and I found myself trying out for a sport I did not even have interest for. The day of tryouts had finally arrived, and a group of students including me were split into two teams. We were to play and show why we wanted to be on the team until the time was up. I remember it was all or nothing for me, and I was trying my best while sweating up and down the basketball court.
The two teams stopped anxiously when we heard the buzzer. As I walked back to the bleachers thinking I did not do badly I saw a large group laughing at me, but it was not only the group laughing at me, the coach had a smirk on his face and was also laughing! Then I realized I did not do well at all. Sweaty and embarrassed I sat next to Nikola unable to understand what was wrong. He then explained to me that I had a horrible double dribble problem and I did not have a point let alone an assist.
When tryouts were over and the results were posted I was upset for the rest of the day, and I was embarrassed at the fact the coach himself would laugh at me. My first experience of trying out for a sport did not come out as planned. I was pressured into going to open gym and then decided I would not try to learn how to play when I had the opportunity, which hurt me in the end when I was being laughed at. While I am much better at basketball than I was in eighth grade, I will never forget the moment I tried out for the school basketball team.