Role Model

This post is dedicated to my friend C. Nothing more needs to be said.

Men's soccer tournament in Pilar.

Headbutt.

We all look for people in our life to lead us. Sometimes we catch just a glimpse of someone and it sparks something inside that isn’t easy to forget. When a player’s movements on the court makes me smile, I begin to observe that person more closely, to see how they make their magic.

Currently, there are two players on my team at America del Sud that really amaze me. Through their game, they teach me the simplicity of basketball.

At our last win against Harrod’s, one of the teammates I watch closely made a mistake: she got confused with the starting direction of the tip off and began running in the wrong direction. Despite this slightly embarrassing mistake, she continued playing and didn’t allow this false start to hinder her performance. I struggle with letting go of mistakes on the court and greatly respect her for this move. Near the end of the game, this same team member did something else I’d never seen before: standing at the 3-point line, facing our net and with just few seconds left on the clock, she turned her whole upper torso around to look at the big clock on the other wall. I’d never seen a player actually hold the ball and turn away from the game.

“It is the point guard’s job to keep track of the time,” Oso commented later on. But in my mind I was impacted by the calmness that player held on the court. It reminded me of something that I heard during the World Cup about the Argentine soccer player Javier Pastore: “He plays like he’s in his own backyard.”

I think that state of relaxation is admirable and only enhances your ability to think clearly and play effectively on the court.

As a team, I think we are still getting to know each other and are learning to read our court movements. I am just beginning to see each of my teammates’ own unique style of playing that defines their basketball. I love one of the girl’s windmill like layup or another’s fantastically accurate 3-point shot.

Off the court, I have found another type of role model; the type that sternly pep talks you at 11pm on a Monday night when you are feeling down and lost: “Don’t let other people drop opinions on your dreams!”

Rising above expectations put on by others and yourself is difficult. But through others’ example, I’ve learnt to ignore discouraging energy and focus on my own intention for the game.

Scampering Diego.

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