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    Stay in the game

    October 26, 2007 2311 Views

    Basketball netHere's another story from one of our readers. It goes to show that success depends more on will than anything else. Just stay in the game, and the game gets better. Thanks for your story, Margie!

    My First Basketball Game

    I never knew I could learn so much about life and success from a game of basketball.

    My mother was an athlete. She was a tom-boy, and growing up she played every sport she could. This was, of course, in the 1950s, when girls didn't do such things and there wasn't a lot of opportunity.

    When I was growing up in the 70s, things had changed. There were girls leagues everywhere, and my mom enrolled me in all of them. I played softball, basketball, volleyball, and tennis. I don't know whether I ever really wanted to play, but I never said no. I suppose it was peer pressure--after all, I knew lots of other girls who were playing, too, and my mom was always the coach.

    When I got to high school, I tried out for the Freshman basketball team and made it. Before we started practicing, however, the coach gave us a talk and told us that it was going to be a lot of hard work. We would have to be at school at 5 a.m. for practices. He would be hard on us, and he expected us not to be quitters. If that was going to be our attitude, he said, we might as well quit now. So guess what? I quit. I decided it was too much effort. I was not my mom. I really didn't want to be a jock. I was more interested in "girly" things like music and theatre. Trying out for Freshman basketball was the last time I ever played. That was 1982!

    Whatever possessed me to join a team now, I'm not sure I will ever know. I got an email that they were starting up a church league and looking for players. Something in me just told me to join. So I did. Let me repeat: I don't know why.

    As time passed and our first game started to become a reality (there were no practices, by the way--just games every Saturday), I started panicking a little bit. It had been 25 years--did I even remember the rules? Could I shoot a basket? What the heck was I doing????

    Alas, our first game day did arrive, and I headed to the church. There I met the other women on my team--all of them at least 10 years younger than I. Half of them were clearly real athletes and played all the time. More panic set in.

    There were only six on our team that first day, so one person got to sit out. I was hoping to be the first, but someone else called it, so there I was, totally unsure of myself, thrown in the middle of a real game!

    About two minutes into the first quarter, I was dying! It had been YEARS since I had run so much! My heart was racing, and I literally wanted to throw up. I tried to sub out but couldn't, because I didn't know the rules. Finally our captain told me I could go out, and so I sat on the sidelines for awhile to catch my breath and collect myself.

    Again I wondered what the heck I was doing. What was to stop me from just leaving? I was too old. I wasn't in shape. I didn't even know the rules!

    But I didn't go home. I stayed. And when it was time to play again, I played as best I could. I didn't make any baskets, but I passed the ball to team members who did, and I prevented the other team from making some! I sat out a lot, but I got back in when I was needed. And you know what? We won! And I knew deep down that each week, if I kept playing and kept practicing, I would get better. Running would be easier. I would understand more. And who knows? I might even score one for the team.

    In the end, that's exactly what happened. I built up the stamina to play an entire game without sitting out, and you know what what? By season's end, I had even scored 6 points for the team.

    Yes, I learned a lot about basketball that first day, but I learned more about the principles of success.

    I learned that the most important thing is to STAY IN THE GAME! Maybe things aren't going as well as you'd hoped. Maybe you feel like you're floundering and don't know the rules. Maybe you need to sit out for a minute and catch your breath. Just stay in the game! If you keep playing and keep practicing, you will get better. It will get easier. You will understand more, and you will win.

    Copyright 2007, Margie Remmers

    Margie Remmers is the author of the famous inspirational story, Parable of the Clothes. She is a business owner and entrepreneur, a mom, and, now, a basketball player. She can be reached at

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