Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Heart of Courage

Babygirls's basketball team played their 10th game last night. Their record is 2 - 8. Not that they are a terrible team; they've just lost some very close games.

Last night they only had 5 girls to "fight the battle" on the court. This meant that no one on the team got a chance to rest; except for typical timeouts and time between quarters. The girls stepped out bravely and faced their opponent with courage and strength.

We took the lead in the first few minutes of the game and all of the girls were giving their best. (You have to remember... this is the first season these girls have played together, and for some of them, it is their first time playing basketball period!) It has been quite enjoyable watching these girls morph from lanky, scared, apprehensive players into brave, strong, courageous warriors. They are learning the meaning of team effort; to celebrate one another's successes and to share defeat.

Babygirl has been one of those shy apprehensive players. She has given her all on defense, but has been timid on offense. Many times, in games past, she has been given the ball and has immediately passed it to another player or has tried to move around without dribbling. Each time she has received encouraging instruction from her coaches, teammates and mom and dad of course. In each of those games we have prodded her to shoot the ball and try to make a shot. She has always smiled that innocent grin, shrugged her shoulders and carried on.

Last night was different. I think it had something to do with only having 5 girls and knowing that each one of them had to "step up their game" for the betterment of the team.

The stage was set and all the pieces in place. Babygirl was in her position at the top right of the key, while on offense, and opportunity came knocking. She was given the ball. She dribbled a little closer toward her goal and then it happened... she shot the ball! It hit the rim, bounced off and the rebound was picked up by the other team, but a milestone had taken place. Babygirl realized that even though she is one of the smallest girls on that court, she too can make a difference.

The next time our team took possession of the ball the girls came barreling down the court. The ball was again passed to Babygirl and this time, with determination on her face, she dribbled in and shot the ball. It made no sound except for the "swish" of the net!!! Cheers rang out throughout the gym from her family, coaches and teammates! You would have thought we had won the championship game with the sound of triumph being sung by those cheering her on! Her teammates rushed over and hugged her, before quickly heading back down the court to set up their defense and continue on in their battle for victory.

The score at the end of the game did not reflect what had happened there last night. A team had come together and small victories were won in hearts and in minds. Size does not matter! It's the determination in your heart and the support of those around you that matters at the end of the day. We left that gym with smiles from ear to ear! Proud of who our daughter is becoming, and proud of the team standing beside her!

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