As a sophomore, Kate Benz chronicled her experiences with the Cougar basketball team during the 2004-05 season. In 2005-06, the junior forward from Portland, Ore. continues her accounts of life as a Cougar. Please visit wsucougars.com for future thoughts from Kate throughout the year.
November 14, 2005
Maturity is about growing and changing within your surroundings.
If this were an easy thing to do, we would all be wise beyond our years. Yet, even though maturity is a gradual process, some people are able to grasp the concept at a young age and model it throughout their lives.
If there is one word I could use to describe my new teammates, it would be mature.
From personal experience - I know as a freshman - I was incredibly nervous and unsure of my role on the team. I strived for perfection, which led me to frustration because I was often unable to physically and mentally accomplish basketball-related tasks.
Entering my third year, you would think I would know the ropes; that I would have mastered the challenges collegiate basketball presents. Well, think again. Not only do I continue to frustrate myself when I am unable to perform up to par, I wear my emotions on my sleeve and am incapable of always putting my personal frustrations on the back burner.
It's not like I am oblivious to the fact that I can't hide my feelings. I know it's probably my number one downfall and one of my obstacles to resolve.
When I look at the freshmen; however, selflessness and sensibleness are two qualities that radiate from them. Our point guard, Katie Appleton, is a prime example.
Coach Murrell openly admits she is hardest on her point guards, and she demands perfection. This means she rides Katie and has something to say about anything she does on the court.
The other day I told Katie I don't know if I could take it if I were her. She is a perfectionist herself, so I can only imagine the frustration she feels when Coach corrects her. Katie, however, keeps her emotions in check. She's tough. She's mature. She knows she stepped into a demanding role, and she's taken the reigns. It's reassuring and motivating to have someone like Katie step into our program.
Ebonee, Amanda, Heather, and Sabrina have also felt the growing pains of the learning curve that accompanies the transition from high school to college basketball. The difference between these athletes and many other freshmen is that they know they aren't just filling a slot on our roster. They are going to be key to our improvement. They're fearless.
As an underclassman, I never understood the necessity for maturity like I do now. Like life in general, I guess it's true what they say - if I would have known then what I know now…. It's never too late to make a change, and that's a theme I'll continue to develop on my personal journey to maturity. In the meantime, I hope the whole team can recognize and emulate the maturity of our freshmen.
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