File:As the youngest sibling of three boys.docx

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 Leland Chung – 301144350
IAT 313 – D200
Self Expectation
As the youngest sibling of three boys, I have always attempted to emulate my brothers. Every achievement my brothers earned and any feat they accomplished would always become extra motivation towards my own success. I wanted to out perform them and reach levels of triumph that they could not previously attain. While my admiration came in many forms, I particularly idolized their abilities in the game of basketball. Every weekend, I would watch both my brothers play on their respective teams and be captivated by the sport. Whether it was the level of competition or the aspect of camaraderie, basketball was destined to be my main passion. While past experiences, school, family, and friends have been influential in shaping me into the man that I am, basketball has been the most significant teacher. Constantly asking my parents to sign up for basketball camps and team clubs, I relished every opportunity to participate in the sport. My eagerness to be submerged by basketball and my will to be better than my brothers resulted in many hours on the court. Forms of success eventually emerged; I was awarded with various honours and became the starting point guard on the Varsity basketball team in the tenth grade. It seemed like my enjoyment for the game would never end.
In my junior year, pressures amplified immensely on the basketball court. I was expected to consistently perform at a higher level in order to not only satisfy myself, but also to please others. Slowly, the origin of my love for the game of basketball began to deteriorate. No longer was I playing for the enjoyment, but instead I was playing for results. The pinnacle of my disinterest occurred after I missed two potentially game winning free throws in the first round of our season’s playoffs, which essentially ended our season. I questioned why I played the game, and avoided basketball for the following two weeks.

March 13th 2012 was the date for the first round of the British Columbia Provincial Championships. The game was against White Rock Christian Academy, a powerhouse in British Columbia high school basketball. The morning of game day, my coach Guy Dasilva gave me a text saying, “Get ready young fella it’s time to shine”. Family, friends, and mentors gave me motivational quotes, many which were cliché; I appreciated the support but didn’t respond. Before leaving for school I had breakfast with my parents and brothers. It was quiet morning, my second oldest brother made a witty comment “you better not lose or you’re not getting dinner tonight”. Knowing it was a joke and that he had no control over my meal, I responded with a vulgar response that my brother and I are routine to. Although my parent would tell me I could not let them down, my natural tendency to feel pressure on myself was present.

64 to 65 with 1 minute left in the game, we were up 1. Coach Dasilva had just called a timeout. “Two minutes left fellas! We got to get the next stop on defense!” Coming out of the timeout, White Rock’s captain quickly scored a easy layup due to lack of communication on defense by my team. 66 to 65, 30 seconds left in the game. Coach drew up a play to get an easy score inside. I had the ball, I was looking for a teammate that I felt had a mismatch allowing him to get an easy basket. The defense swarmed around him and denied him the ball not giving me a chance to feed it to him. Time was running out and I had to make a quick decision. I saw an opening so I attacked the basket. With five seconds left I missed the shot but was fouled, giving me two chances at the free throw line. I had to make one to tie the game or two to win it. I missed my first shot. The second shot felt like an eternity. I felt the pressure everywhere in my body, if I make this shot we go to the next round, if I miss it our season is over. I miss it.
The buzzer went off. I looked at my senior teammate; that was now the last game of his high school career. Falling to the ground he broke down in tears. I quickly then followed and broke down myself. I had no feeling in my legs and arms.

During this time of bewilderment, I was depressed and unmotivated, as it felt like I lost my purpose in life. My brothers, sensing my misery, forcibly took me to the basketball court where we started to compete, reminiscent of when we were younger. Although hesitant at first, it was apparent that basketball filled a void. As I gripped the leather ball with my hands and heard the swishing sound of the mesh nets, my excitement for basketball was resurrected. My brothers ratified my self-worth and affirmed their admiration for my dedication to the sport. Today, I realize that basketball is truly more than a game. The lessons I’ve learned from the sport have been invaluable; my character has evolved just by being associated with this game. In times of chaos, depression, or when I just want to clear my mind, basketball has acted as a sanctuary, for I can permanently rely on the sport. Through basketball, I’ve experienced first-hand the importance of mental toughness, resilience, and consistency. While the benefits of physical toughness are apparent, mental toughness is what separates the good from the great. In order to be where I want to be, I must be able to thrive under pressure and deal with criticism. John Wooden, a legendary basketball coach, said “a true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching,” and the ability to be internally resilient is imperative. Also, basketball has taught me the importance of consistency. Success does not come after one day of hard work, but rather it comes after repetition, and years of practice. Basketball has provided me with positive effects in the future, and has allowed me to pursue multiple opportunities.
While I hope for basketball to be part of my life forever, my view of the game today is far different than it was when I was younger. I realize that my favorite childhood game has metamorphosed into a platform for lessons of strength, love, growth and awareness. Undoubtedly, I realize my basketball career will end one day, however, the effect basketball has had on me will last forever. Whether I am watching, playing, or coaching, I will always be captivated by the game.

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