Waiting Your Turn: Positivity
I’ve played basketball all my life. It has been the one constant in my life since I was merely six years old. After returning from a successful sophomore year on my high school basketball team — making the varsity team and becoming a starter — I was looking forward to my junior year. I was expecting more points and higher statistics. What I didn’t expect was that I would be replaced.
I felt defeated before my coach even announced the official starters for the season. I noticed I was always placed on a different team in scrimmages than the other starters from last year and in my place instead was my friend. I lost motivation as I felt like my hardwork in the offseason was being overlooked.
During one of the practice scrimmages, I remember my assistant coach took our team outside in the hallway for a talk.
“Look,” he started, “Clearly, Coach did not choose you guys to be a starter this year. But you shouldn’t give up. You should keep wanting that spot. Your time will come.”
He repeated it once more. Slowly.
“Your time will come.”
I became more motivated to keep working, and I started putting in extra hours after practice. . Rather than sulking on the sidelines, I worked even harder. Eventually, losing my starter spot bothered me less and less as I told myself I would get it back, and I would prove I deserved it.
In our first regular season game, I sat on the bench as I watched the other starters run out.
I cheered them on. Despite my own internal conflict, they were still my teammates, and we were playing with the same objective in mind.
As two minutes ticked down the game clock, my coach looked at me.
“Christie, go in,” she said. “Play smart.”
I sank two threes and two free throws by the first half. That night, I found my name in an online local news publication. And for the rest of the season, I started every game. My assistant coach was right. My time had come.
In more ways than one, I was glad I had lost my starter spot. Had I remained a starter, I would not have put in extra hours before and after practice. I would have been complacent and unmotivated to improve. Thankfully, I chose a positive attitude. If I hadn’t, I would have remained on the bench for sure. Patience is not patience without positivity. I waited for my time to come. I waited for my turn to play the role that I wanted to play. But I wasn’t focused on how long I had to wait. I focused on how I waited my turn.
I’ll admit that it’s not easy finding motivation in the midst of discouragement. However, the mindset you hold determines your success.
You probably won’t find yourself in a high school basketball gym. But you’ll find yourself in the workplace. And one day you will be waiting for your turn. The question is, how do you want to wait your turn?