Our sixth game of the season to Obras Sanitarias was our first win and by the end of it, I was drained. It was more from the concentration than the physical exertion. At the very beginning of the game, Cate had reminded us about the importance of our separate energies coming together and functioning as a team:
“Working together as a team means supporting each other through the mistakes and losses.”
I reminded myself of this throughout the game, especially when I was on the bench. I wasn’t the only one; during the game everyone on the bench was completely focused on the game. We all cheered after every point and tried to stay positive through the errors.
I noticed a bit of nervousness sitting in my stomach when I stepped on for the third quarter, but it quickly vanished after scoring a backboard point. When I returned to the bench, Silvina turned to me with a big smile:
“Cinthia, I think it might help you to drink a whisky before the game. Or maybe some sex.”
“How about both?” I replied.
We both broke out in laughter and I was grateful for her sense of humour. She might have been right; I definitely get tense during games. I also get sensitive to the other players around me.
After the game, Diana said a couple of things on the bus ride that helped me:
“You can’t let criticism from some of the players get to you. They say those things out of frustration.”
“I know, but I can’t help but want to listen to everyone’s suggestions. And it affects me when they yell at me during the game, telling me what to do.”
Diana nodded, her eyes consoling me, but also showing no discouragement to counteract my whining:
“But they also smile and congratulate you when you do do something right. You can’t let those negative comments taint your game. You have to keep to your concentration…”
This is one of the reasons I get along with Diana: we are able to discuss our opinions on the team without getting emotional. Her words shifted my perspective on the fiery players that seem to have this need to let out their anger. During this game, I noticed that these players were putting more effort in containing their tempers. I was particular impressed with Julie, and how she never once showed a negative face during the game.
“Many look up to those players, and the moment they put on a caradeorto*, it influences everyone. I talked to Julie about it, and I think she got it.”
I agreed with Diana and also found it interesting how certain players’ energies have such a strong impact on the team.
“Everyone plays different roles on the team.”
Diana and I talked for the whole bus ride about the game and it was obvious to me that throughout this particular game, the collective team presence was stronger, in comparison to other games. We both could name off certain player numbers from the opposite team and discuss whether they played well or not. Our recollections were fresh in our minds and we could easily talk the specifics of the game
After the initial overwhelmed exhaustion wore off, I felt the satisfaction of winning. I’m still working on not focusing so much on the mistakes I made, and instead letting the final score of 36-33 speak for itself.
The buena onda# definitely was the necessary ingredient for our team’s win.
* direct translation: ass face. Like frown or scowl.
# ‘good vibe’, positive energy