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"We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.” – Marie Curie.

Confidence is one of the most powerful virtues in life. Without confidence, you will not have the willpower to make decisions. Without decisions, you can't pave the path of your life. And without a clear path of life, there isn't a clear meaning or a clear purpose.

If you play basketball, you will understand how vital confidence is to your game. If you don't, do you think NBA players aren't nervous when they step on the court? Maybe the reason they don't appear so is because they try to be confident at the same time, to overcome their fears and worries. Thus follows a story of how confidence changed one of my games, and what an important virtue it is.

After 5 fruitless minutes of playing against HoopRight, my team, TM Warriors, was down 10-0. We weren't confident that we could win, because everyone knew that HoopRight is a very good team. There was only one confident person on the team at this point: Jayden. The coach quickly subbed him on as a point guard, and we all grimly headed back on the court.

Shot after shot, make after make, and miss after miss, we were falling behind even more: 0-14. For the 7th or 8th time, we inbounded in low spirits, not expecting anything good to happen. However, Jayden still retained enough confidence to take a three. With our now pessimistic spirits, we assumed we would miss, even airball, nevertheless we heard a resounding SWISH! as the ball sailed through the net! Although 3-14 wasn't much progress, our team still got some confidence back.

Surprisingly, in an effort to make a comeback, Roy hit two threes, Jayden hit another three, Lucas hit one mid-range jumper, and Jerry hit one mid-range, while the other team only hit one three and one two, to send the score to 16-19 at halftime.

As we all stepped off the court, the coach said encouragingly, “You're all doing very well. Keep it up!” Our spirits rose once again - because of confidence.

After 2 minutes, we all stepped back on to the court. FWEE! The shrill whistle of the referee blew, and the game started once again. HoopRight started with the ball. The inbounded it. “Hot!", the coach called, saying the code word for press. As three other teammates and I advanced up the court, my other teammate stayed back. Suddenly, the ball was flying through the air to a HoopRight player who had managed to slip to the other end of the court without anyone noticing. I swore under my breath as the ball went in. The score was now 16-21.

After getting beat like that, our team was more eager to beat HoopRight back than ever. We inbounded as quickly as we could, not wanting to waste time backcourt. As a fast runner, I ran down the court so that my teammates could quickly advance the ball. FWOOSH! No one seemed to notice as the ball sailed toward me. I quickly drove toward the basket, and when the HoopRight players finally saw me, they were too late. I released the ball with one hand. The ball rolled and rolled and rolled around the rim. It was on the verge of rolling out, yet somehow managed to keep on rolling each time. In or not?, I thought nervously. In or not? Finally, after around 5 rounds around the rim, the ball gave in and rolled in. WAHOO!, I thought to myself, as the score went up to 18-21. Remembering how they had done the same thing to us, I also thought giddily, Get a taste of your own medicine, HoopRight!

It was HoopRight's turn to inbound again. However this time, we weren't slack. We were giving it our all, determined to turn the game against them. Not expecting us to be so fierce, the ball was quickly turned over. As Jayden reset the ball, Lucas quickly ran to the wing. FWOOSH! The ball flew through the air to Lucas. He quickly put it up, but... no money!  Without hesitating, I jumped up, grabbed the rebound, and put it back up. 21-21! We weren't down, for the first time in the game, thanks to me! My hopes soared high as the game progressed.

Again, HoopRight inbounded. This time, they managed to push it past halfcourt, because they, too, were now trying their hardest to regain their lead. But,  apparently we were trying even harder to win, because soon, my teammate Roy had stolen the ball. I sprinted down the court again. FWOOSH! The ball came to me once again. PAT, PAT! I dribbled to the basket once again. FWIP! I released the ball once again. And...SWISH! The ball went in again!, making the score 23–21. I got us the lead! I GOT US THE LEAD!

After that, we quickly got a 9 point lead, making the score 30-21. Unfortunately, Jayden was very tired, so the coach subbed him off. As we went back to play, we found that without his skill and confidence as a point guard, our shots weren't going in, our passes were sloppy, and we probably just got the record for most turnovers in one minute. And if that weren't enough, HoopRight took this setback as an opportunity to regain their lead. Slowly but steadily, they battled their way back. 30–23. 30–25. 30-27. Then, they hit the three we were dreading. 30-30. In the last ten seconds, there was nothing we could do except despair as the game proceeded to overtime.

The coach, seeing the obvious solution, subbed Jayden back on. We need all the confidence we can get, I thought. The ball was tipped, and Jerry, who is five foot three, won. Jayden got the ball, and he charged fearlessly, with confidence, towards the basket. SWISH! With a hook shot, the ball went in. WOOHOO!, I thought enthusiastically. Three cheers for Jayden!


HoopRight inbound the ball, determined to win the game. But when the basketball was about to pass halfcourt, Jayden got the steal. He charged towards the basket again. The opponent, determined to stop him, knocked him a bit. Nevertheless, Jayden put up a flawless hook shot that bounced off the backboard and went in with a SWISH! This time in the last ten seconds, all HoopRight could do was in despair as they were crushed 34-30. When the game ended, I shouted, “Let's go, TM Warriors!" ... with confidence.

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