January 11

Turning the Game Around

Last Thursday, the West Ridge basketball team faced off with our rivals: Hill Country.

My team had won by a lot last time, and although we tried not to be, I am sad to say that we were probably at least a little overconfident.
That was a mistake…

We were down, 8 to nothing, and our confidence had already been dampened. Things were looking bleak. Very bleak indeed.

That’s when coach called a timeout. She told us we needed to get our heads in the game and focus. We needed to score some points.
We all wanted to win this game. We wanted it bad. We didn’t want to humiliate ourselves- after all, we had been so sure of a win.

And that’s why I wanted to talk about turning the game around.

We won against Hill Country because we could turn the game around. We came back from losing and prevailed.

You have to turn the game around. Not just in sports, but in life.

If you have a grade in a class that you aren’t happy with, turn the game around. Go in for tutoring, study hard, get help. Turn the game around and get a grade you are happy with.

Turning the game around is always possible, even when you think you don’t have the ability or the power to do so. We didn’t beat Hill Country without believing that we could. And when you believe you can, you can.

So even when the game isn’t going your way, believe that you can turn the game around. Then do it. Because you can. Because you believe you can.

My challenge to you is this: if there is something in your life that you want to change, turn the game around.

All you have to do is


November 3

Basketball Tryouts: Surviving Day Two

I know I didn’t write a post about surviving day one of tryouts, but that’s because I barely did. Just kidding. I’m fine. Still, it was hard.

On day one, we stretched. Then we ran a lot. Then we did normal basketball stuff like lay ups, short jump shots, ball handling. Then we ran some more. And some more. And some more…… Get the picture? Good.(I hope you got the picture…)

For day two, we stretched and ran again, and this time I had a lovely early-morning asthma attack. It was great (once again, I’m kidding, don’t think I like barely being able to breath? ). Because of that, I had to go take my inhaler, and when I got back, we were doing dribbling lines. The only thing was, there were no basketballs left, but luckily Coach Gammil found an extra one for me.

After that we did some drills where we had thirty seconds to make as many baskets as we could while doing a different drill. The first was one where we started under the basket, and we had to make a kind of lay up on either side of the basket. For the next drill, we were just closer than the free throw line, and we had to run around the arc from the elbow to the elbow (for those that don’t know, the elbows are the parts of the court where the free throw line meets the lane line.) We had to make as many jump shots as possible in thirty seconds. The next drill was one where we had to grab the ball from either of the block (there is a block on either side of under the basket) and do a drop step to make a a basket. Then we did speed lay ups. That one is kind of self-explanatory.

After all the drills we finally got to scrimmage! My team was pretty awesome, we perfomed well. Day one of tryouts I didn’t get to scrimmage, so I was glad I got to do it this time.

At the end of the tryouts, Coach Floyd said we weren’t going to be done until someone made a free throw. Then she asked for volunteers. I raised my hand because my private coach for basketball told me to always volunteer to shoot free throws so that I could practice shooting under pressure.

The following minute was a lot like the poem Mrs. Kriese showed us about shooting free throws, with tension filling every second.

Coach Floyd picked me.

I jogged to the free throw line.

She passed me the ball.

I dribbled.



Three times.

Spun the ball in my hands, sweaty with nervousness.

Grab the ball, line up with the basket.

The ball floats out of my hands,





The ball hits the rim.





And rolls in.

That was an amazing moment for me, I thought the ball was going to miss the basket by a mile. And then who knows how much running we would have had to do…

Overall, day two of tryouts went pretty well, and now all that stands in my way of the basketball team is day three.

I guess we’ll see how that goes………..