For the last month I have been asking my coach to bring me the papers to fill out and get my basketball federation license. On Monday, he still hadn’t brought them to me. This dragged out event has created a bit of a disconnect between us.
The worst were rumours circulating that maybe he didn’t want me on the team.
“Last week he told us that he had given the papers to you,” whispered one of my teammates while we were warming up. The suspicion of a lie stung me and I felt unwanted. I’ve been going to practise and to games, but I’ve been struggling a bit to integrate myself into the team. Nonetheless, focusing on my progress and the energy of the challenge has been motivating. Many of the girls have inspired me in new ways and I look to them more than to my coach. But it seems that there hasn’t been enough positive energy recently to feed my encouragement.
My frustration and anger turned into tears in the locker room. The humidity because of the showers was comforting, but I felt like a fool. Doubts filled my mind and I felt fear.
It seemed I was struggling with communicating to my coach the passion I have to play basketball on this team. After letting out my angst with various people, I knew that I had to face (what I imagined would be) an awkward conversation with my coach. I had to just tell him what I wanted. That I wanted to play. I wanted to feel valued as a player. I needed hear this from him. If not, I had two options: 1) stay as a permanent bench player or 2) find another team. But I realized that letting the lethal combination of my sensitivity and over thinking turn into a powerful negative potion of emotions was not the answer. It wasn’t going to get me any closer to clarity.
Today, Friday, I had been thinking all day about what I would say to my coach. I was getting mentally prepared for what he would say to me as well but when I got to practise I was saved the hassle: before I could even say hello he dug a hand into his knapsack and said: “Before I forget…” He pulled out four papers and handed them to me.
“These are for the federation. Bring them tomorrow.” He met my gaze a moment longer than normal and I didn’t say a word.
“Okay, now hurry, HURRY! You have four minutes to warm up!”
This team is teaching me not to assume other’s intentions taken from external perceptions and turned into internal opinions. They are teaching me to believe in myself first before expecting others to do so. I’m learning how to speak up and show myself, which is more difficult than it seems.
In two weeks, I will have my Asociacion Femenino Metropolitana de Basquetbol credentials.