CDA Student Ryan Vosburg shares his story of how he kept working hard at a young age and quickly saw the effects of his practice. His motivation to improve helped him to become successful in a sport he loves.
I have always played basketball. I remember the days when I could barely hit the net on a regulation hoop. At this time, I was playing in a kindergarten church league-and I hated basketball. Since I couldn't even manage the strength to hit the rim, my dad would wake me up in the morning and put up a cardboard target on our garage. I would attempt over and over again to even reach the cardboard square. As I kept working, I quickly saw the effects of this practice and became more successful shooting the basketball.
As I kept improving in and understanding the sport of basketball, I grew to love it. My target of a cardboard square in kindergarten evolved into early morning shooting in the gym as I went throughout middle school and prepared for high school. There was never any question that I wanted to play high school basketball.
During my freshman year on the CDA high school basketball team, I was able to make varsity and be a part of a successful season. Although this varsity team’s oldest players were sophomores, we had a solid district record and made a playoff run. While I was not a huge contributor to the team that year, I learned many valuable lessons over the course of the season.
Even if it seemed frustrating not being able to play at times, I realized that I was just a freshman and could be using this time to get better by looking to the older players. I was able to see the leadership and skill of the sophomores and strove to be better like them. I would go to the gym even after games because of how bad I wanted to play. At the end of the season, the opportunity to be a part of a playoff game was a surreal experience at the time. This event set the stage for what I want to accomplish my senior season in making it back to the playoffs.
My sophomore year, I reached one of my lifelong goals of starting in a varsity basketball game. Although I had waited for this many years, I was nervous to go out in front of a huge crowd and be expected to perform well. This nervousness led me to Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” I soon realized that there was nothing to be nervous about. The countless workouts, practices, and scrimmages had led me up to this point. Looking back on all the hours of preparation, there was nothing to be scared of anymore.
While high school sports and playing in front of a crowd may seem intimidating, it doesn't have to be. If you give it your all in practice, work hard on your own, and remember to focus on God, you are prepared for anything that may happen in a sporting event and in life.
Last year, I was able to witness even more of the effects of hard work. After losing 7 of my varsity teammates from the past year, the season seemed discouraging, but the players who stayed formed a unique bond. While this team might not have as much depth or athletic ability as previous years, we were a completely different team with a completely different mindset. We maintained an implicit understanding of everything we had gone through and the importance of working hard each game. I learned to not take anything for granted.
Every win was celebrated throughout CDA Basketball’s 3rd most successful season ever. Winning the Ovilla Tournament Championship with the deserving seniors has been one of the highlights of my high school career.
I love how basketball relies on individual practice, but is also an extremely team-oriented sport. While I've worked alone for many hours shooting in the gym, one of the most satisfying feelings in sports occurs when the underdog team works together and somehow finds a way to win. I have been a part of many underdog teams, but I have learned that fundamental team basketball can win games over almost anyone. I have played on teams of short, unathletic-looking players who have beaten cocky college-bound players because of our team chemistry and ability to work together.
The lifelong lessons basketball has taught me demonstrate the impact of participating in athletics. Basketball has provided me with many opportunities throughout high school. Traveling with my teammates to compete in different games and tournaments provide competition and memories that have made the high school experience exponentially better.
While I strive to be a leader my senior year of basketball, I encourage everyone to play a high school sport. No matter your experience or age, amazing lessons and memories are gained throughout every season. In high school as well as in life, you reap what you sow. Based on my experiences with high school basketball, I strongly encourage you to commit yourself to hard work in a sport. You will reap lifelong memories.