September 27, 2010

Let's Jump...

“Champions aren't made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them -- a desire, a dream, a vision.” - Muhammad Ali

First of all, since I still haven’t figured out how to comment on my own blog yet…thank you, everyone, for all of your support and encouraging words these past few days. It’s amazing how much extra strength I can conjure up from my support network.

As a few of you know, our first game did not go well. I really don’t want to go into details, but let’s just say there was an article written calling our team “little girls” in comparison to the team we played against. When your first game is a devastating loss you always have to wonder how you and your teammates are going to bounce back from such a brutal wake-up call. I was impressed tonight when I received a chain of emails from my teammates and coach firing one another up and demanding that we come ready to practice hard all week. As my TCNJ Final Four team will confirm, the beginning of a season is just that, a starting point. A basketball season is a journey in and of itself, and a long one at that. Our Final Four team started the season 3-3 before figuring out we were tired of losing, changed up our defense, and started dominating.

TCNJ's Final Four Centers
I know she didn’t have the same experience, but during our team’s transformation stage I would get so frustrated with the other Center on our team for beating me up all practice that I used to want to ‘throw intentional 'bows’ at her (which I never did of course :P). By making practice so hard for me she inevitably prepared me for the other Centers in our league and the NCAA, and made me a better player. Naturally, she was the first person I found and jumped on after we’d made it to the Sweet Sixteen. As a player, you can never underestimate the fact that basketball is a team sport, and that much of your success comes from embracing how hard your teammates make you work. I owe so much to my teammates, past and present.
Before I came overseas, one of my trainers was talking to me and a few other players about what ‘The Greats’ say makes a champion. Some say it’s about conditioning, some say it’s about preparation. Really I think it comes down to heart. Reading my teammates email responses to the article (after typing them into google translator of course) opened my eyes to the desire my teammates have to improve. We have a lot of work to do, a ton in fact, but I am anxiously waiting to see what kind of heart my teammates have as we prepare for our upcoming game this Sunday.  Although I don’t think any of my current teammates can hold me, I’m dying to jump into someone’s arms after a victory…

1 comment:

  1. I <3 you hillary!! You are such an incredible person! I would give anything to battle with you again in practice xo