Shortly after I started playing on an all-women’s team at El Talar, I began to visualize teams as families: a group of people who come together because of aligned passions, not to mention the ability and tendency to get under each others skins. They are moments when families fight, and other moments where they celebrate, but the most important is that they are there to support each other. I’ve been thinking about this last point…however taking breaks from family every once in awhile is also very necessary.
Last week, I decided not to go to Tuesday night’s practise. This is probably the second time I haven’t gone to practise in a year. I was trying to be sensitive to my particular down-mood and there seemed to be many ‘shoulds’ revolving around my head. After about 30 minutes of indecision, I tried to just let it go, figuring that it was probably better not to go to practise with a heavy negativity. I decided to take a step back and get in touch with my motivation. And even though that night I ended up budding up with a quarter kilo of dulce de leche/vanilla/dark chocolate with almonds ice-cream, many question surfaced, revolving around my dedication to my team.
What does it mean to me to be on an all-women’s team? I have come a long way in terms of basketball and my progress is clear ever since I’ve joined the team: absorbing more of the fundamentals of basketball; being more confident and relaxed on the court; and identifying personalities that might be positive or negative. Especially coming from playing with all men and pick up ball, it is quite a contrast being on a team where you see the same faces constantly. You begin to rely on those faces to be there during practise, those voices to yell or praise you, those hands to pat your back and butt.
Being on a team is a sacrifice, but having that connection with people really does make you feel special at times, even if you don’t feel it with everyone on the team. I’ve felt a connection with certain women on my team that inspire me and I try to focus on that. However, I do believe that the ‘difficult’ relationships are just as useful and are probably more helpful with growth at a personal level.
The day after I skipped practise (Wednesday), I sent Carla a text message, confirming that night’s practise. Her reply was: “22:00. Stop spending time with your boy and come to practise! Hehe”. It made me smile and that family energy came through to me. It inspired me to go to practise and exercise putting my heart out on the court again and again. I guess we all like (and maybe need) that feeling of being part of a community, where you feel loved and needed.