New year, new me? New year, new team? These phrases float around everywhere on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, the news headlines and many other social networks. I would bet money that the community gyms will be packed during January yet slowly empty out as the year progresses. Nobody miraculously changes into a new individual or group of individuals. It is a new year, and new goals have been set, but they’ve been set by the same people. Goal setting is important, and a large part of how people live out unique lives and pursue careers, ambitions and aspirations. But writing down or speaking about what you want is the easy part. With big goals and dreams come commitment and motivation, which are undeniably the more difficult parts of the system.
New year. Same people. New goals. So what catalyzes change? I can tell you that one gym on campus will not be quiet by the end of the school year; in fact, hopes are that it will get much louder.
Basketball is one of those sports where any team really can beat any other team on any given day. The best teams in the country can play poorly, and the worst teams can play outstanding. There are days where a behind the back, ‘Hail Mary’ layup will go in and days where a regular layup won’t. To me, this is where sport becomes interesting, and this is where I lead into my theme for the upcoming year – what makes sport what it is, aside from the physical portion. At the top, there’s not a massive difference in athleticism or even skill level. With that said, what makes teams great? Is it the luck of shots falling or not falling? Is it being in the right place at the right time to take that charge? Or is it something else? It all starts with the word itself: team.
Teams are great if they are a team, which may sound redundant, but it may be the truest statement I’ve ever come across. Over the Christmas break, there were no classes, which meant a majority of our time went into basketball. However, what I felt first hand from my 13 teammates didn’t involve the orange rubber or hoop. Our record at the time was 6-6. We weren’t playing well, even despite our tough pre-season schedule. Yet, if anyone were to sit in on our lives outside of practice, they would never know. And that is how I know that we are going to be alright.
We were in the gym together for five hours of the day. You would think that we’d be sick of each other afterward, yet we went to dinner together, went to movies and went bowling. We were together in our hotel rooms, spent New Years together and did Secret Santa. We were together, every day. We admire and respect each other, every day. Talent doesn’t win. The team does.
Together, Every day, for each other, we Admire one another. It would be crazy to doubt us now, because we’re Motivated by these things, even as simple as they are.
Contact Mikaela Brewer at mbrewer8 ‘at’ stanford.edu.