Natalie Valvo

Everybody sitting in this room right now is a failure

What is a failure? Well it’s basically a mistake and I know for a fact everybody has made mistakes in their life some greater or smaller than others. Here’s the thing the size of the mistake truly depends on the person. For example, a simple mistake like mispronouncing someone’s name could be miner to one but, greater to another. I’ve defiantly made mistakes, in basketball, at school, at home, in my social life, basically everywhere. Something that I’ve struggled with for a long time was that my mistakes were what defined me. When in reality it’s how you overcome and grow from them. A series of mistakes led me to one of the best moments of my life. On March 22nd the Rolling Hills Prep girls varsity team headed off for Sacramento to play in the D4 State Championship game against Woodside Priory at the Golden1Center on March 23rd at 10 am. It was the afternoon the day before the state game. The whole team was shooting around at practice when my coach, Coach Masson called me over. He looked at me with his angered blue eyes and said I haven’t been impressed with your playing lately. The past couple of practices we had have been very disappointing. You haven’t showed me any leadership quality that I’ve been looking for this whole season and you haven’t showed me any skill that’s worth playing. My heart sunk. I’m not sure if you are going to be able to see the court tomorrow but, if you do I need you to step it up! I jogged back to my court where I was shooting tears filling my eyes and my jaw clenching tight. I was embarrassed with myself because not only had I failed the team but I failed myself. All I ever wanted to be was a good leader, teammate, and ball player. I knew I was capable of all those things I just never believed in myself enough to let it shine.

On the bus ride back to our hotel I explained to my teammates what coach had told me and the thing I needed most then was their support and they gave it to me. I couldn’t have been more grateful. The rest of the night was filled with laughter and team bonding. We all went to bed that night with one plan in mind and that was to take care of some unfinished business. In the back of my mind coaches words echoed.

The next morning we loaded the bus with winner mentality we had been waiting all year for this moment. The game began at 10:00 am and Clarice got the tip off as per usual. We were playing a good and our game too, but it wasn’t easy the score kept going back and forth, it was a true nail bitter. It was the start of the fourth quarter and what coach had told me the day before was seeming to be true, I hadn’t step foot on the court. This was it possibly my only chance to be back at the Golden1Center fighting for a state title and I wasn’t even going to be able to play. Until, NATALIE, get a sub, I sprinted over to the table and waited till I got called in by the refs. Woodside Priory had the ball, Macy was guarding their best player a senior number 32. I was in the corner guarding my man when 32 drove past Macy I stepped into the paint held my ground and got mowed over. The minute my body hit the ground I looked over at the ref as he called it a charge. Macy, Clarice, Naya , and Hannah helped me up and we were all high fiving and cheering. I had just fouled out their best player with 7 minutes left in the game. The adrenaline rushed through us all and we pulled through with the win 57-53.

 See, failure is just the right step on the way to being successful. Failure can make or break you. It can teach you how to dig deep down and find a way to believe in yourself and prove to others what you are worth. It can give you courage to keep persevering. Or it could absolutely crush you and make nothing of you. If you keep overcoming mistakes you will make a difference in this world big or small. Don’t fear failure embrace it, because once you have succeeded it will be all worth it. So, now you see why all of us are failures at something and with the support of your friends you can fail together.