New Story Contest: A New Beginning - Larry Z. - 08/06/21

Contest: Winners

New Story Contest: A New Beginning

Submitted by: Larry Z., age 13, Blue Bell, PA

A New Beginning

Looking through the car window, I stared at the packed parking lot for the basketball tryout. Suddenly, my stomach was turning, my palms were sweating, and my heart was pounding. I really wanted to make the team. Many thoughts ran through my mind.

My family and I had just moved to Philadelphia from Minnesota. Soon after we moved here, my dad found a basketball club for me to join. Previously, I’d tried out for some club teams, but never made it. Although I hustled, fought for my team, and pushed myself to the limit, coaches never thought I did well during the scrimmages. Thus, I was never picked for a team; I always got rejected.

Just hearing the word “rejected” made me feel like I was being stabbed. Once, a coach told me, “Your confidence is lacking.”

So, if I was going to make a new beginning for my basketball journey, I’d have to show confidence during scrimmages.  I thought of what I needed to do as I sauntered up to the door. Be aggressive, be bold, be confident. I took a deep breath and entered the gym.

The rest was a blur: dribbling and shooting drills, running tests, one-versus-one competitions. Everything happened so quickly.

Some players left the gym after making mistakes or losing to other players. Will I be the next one to leave? That thought flashed through my mind before I devoted my attention to the court. I flawlessly did the drills, ran like the wind, and annihilated my defenders during the one-versus-ones. I stayed.

Soon, only fifteen players were remaining on the court, five to be eliminated. It was time for the scrimmage. A shiver ran through my body. This was where I’d always fallen short in my performance. Be aggressive, be bold, be confident, I reminded myself. The coach called my name, and I ran onto the court.

One week later, I opened my email, and at the top of the inbox there was an unread message. I paused, then clicked the message. It read: “You have been accepted . . .”

Smiling, I thought, A new beginning.

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