Strength, courage and perseverance are three words that can describe times of triumph and defeat. Through adversity, one relies on strength to lift them. Courage is sought to face and overcome losses, while perseverance shows one’s ability to move forward each and every game.
As a first year student-athlete on the Mount Holyoke basketball team, I have relied on these three words to become a better player and teammate through good times and bad. Whether the scoreboard was in our favor or not, we lifted each other each game, using strength, courage and perseverance to learn and grow.
Our season began with a small squad of 11 unique women. Some were newer to the game than others, but in the end, we worked together to become a unit. While our season did not unfold as expected, we ended it stronger with a deeper love of the game.
Strength is not always easy to find, but we always did find it even in the hardest times. Pumping each other up before every game, decorating lockers and dancing spontaneously led to a lot of fun. Every time we touched the court we gave it 110%, never letting our attitudes and presence falter in representing our team.
Courage came into play every day. Be it against opponents that were taller or had a better record, it didn’t matter as we needed to call upon the courage to stand tall and face each game as a team. While it’s always an easy option to hang one’s head when an opponent pulls ahead or comes out with the win, our courage kept us fighting till the final buzzer.
Perseverance is what we showed each practice, game, and road trip. No matter what the outcome of the contest, we supported one another on and off the court, picking up one another when we fell. We honed and personified that “never-give-up” spirit.
One thing we know to be true after our 2015-16 season is that we love this game. While losses were a factor, our ability to find the strength to move forward, courage to face and overcome the defeats, and persevere to get better as a team and a family was what counted the most.
No matter the record, our team won. Executing a new play and making good shots, we won. Bonding and enjoying our moments playing our favorite sport, we won. We continued to play for the enjoyment of the game each day and that intense feeling of running down the court with our team cheering.
Through all the adversity our team faced, we learned to win the way the game was created to be won. Through joy and hard work we surpassed our own limits, learning more than we could have ever expected. Strength, courage and perseverance laid the foundation for a learning season and good things to come.