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Overcoming Crushed Dreams

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Overcoming Crushed         Dreams

Bailey Schartz

Kansas State University

Live Event:

The end of my junior year of high school was coming to an end. My coaches and parents were blowing up my phone, continuously asking me if I was in the gym or in the weight room. I was tired of answering them so it eventually turned into me ignoring them by not replying. If I would of known then what I know now, I would of never done such a thing. The summer came to approach and nothing had changed. Yes, I was in the gym and weight room here and there but definitely not as often as I should have been. Everyone wanted me working out so much because they knew I could take something I love to the next level and be successful at it. Playing basketball was a ritual for my family. Growing up attending my older sisters basketball tournaments then eventually my own, was something I lived for. I wanted the weeks to fly in the summertime because I knew the weekends meant we were going to be on the road somewhere playing ball. However, it was the summer before my senior year. I knew I only had one more year with my classmates, best friends and teammates. I wanted to make the most of it and spend all the time I had making memories with them and wasn’t focused on my future at all. This disappointed a lot more people than I could ever imagine. I would wonder why my parents treated me like they were ashamed in me. Finally, one night after a workout, I hung out in the gym for a while after and finally realized what I wanted out of life.

I knew I had to make changes to fulfill my dreams so I didn’t hangout with my friends as often and was in the gym 5 days a week and lifted weights 4 times a week. After doing this all June and July I saw a change in my body. I could tell I was getting stronger and quicker. I continued these workouts until November when basketball practice started. Coaches saw a huge improvement from me and told me after the first week of practice that scouts were already looking at me. I was shocked, how did I catch college coach’s attention so fast. I averaged 15 points per game and 6 assists throughout the whole season. We made it to the championship round of our sub-state. This was the game I lived for, knowing if we are going to represent our school name at the state tournament or not. It was a close the whole game and we were tied going into the fourth quarter. I remember the exact play and exact time on the board when I went down. 6:29 was the last second of basketball that I ever played. I was driving into the paint to lead by 2, but the next thing I remember is lying on the floor in pain. My basketball career flashed before my eyes. Lying in the hospital getting x-rays and waiting to here news seemed like a lifetime. After getting the results back from my MRI, everything anyone said to me went in one ear and out the other. I tuned out anything anybody said to me. I asked myself on a daily how come it had to be me. I finally figured out what I wanted to lead my future with and all of the sudden it was like someone took my dreams away from me. I had plans to sign with a school a week after state basketball, but the only thing that was holding me back was which school I wanted to represent, Washburn University or Missouri Southern. After the coaches from those two schools heard about my injury they called me on the daily. I didn’t pick up that often, but then they started contacting my parents to get ahold of me. I didn’t want to talk to anybody, hearing that I blew out my knee and there was only a 20% chance of it healing correctly so I could exercise again shattered my heart. Washburn still was interested in me being a manager, but I thought it would kill me too much to watch those girls that could have been my teammates play ball. I had no other choice than to decide on a new future. This is what eventually brought me to k-state. I wanted a new dream and it was a place I always loved so I decided to attend school here.

Life Event Analysis:

I must admit, when I first got the news about my knee I wasn’t too talkative. I didn’t treat people with respect the way I should of. The amount of get-well cards and flowers I got was absurd. After graduation I was already looking forward for school to start because it was a new beginning. A couple weeks into summer and after my second surgery on my knee I got asked to coach the freshman girls summer ball team. My first instinct was to decline, but after they asked me a few more times I decided to do it, because if I was busy I figured my summer would go by much more faster. Being around a great group of girls all summer really made me realize that I can still have the love for the game. Although, I won’t be able to take my talent further on I can teach everything I know about playing basketball to younger kids. I can show them how to have so much passion for something you love. Basketball lead me to people that really cared for me and it is something I will always be thankful for. I felt terrible about how I treated the people after my injury that had supported me all through my basketball career. That summer I wanted to make it up to them. I decided to throw together some open gyms and small camps for anyone that wanted to attend. I didn’t charge any money, because to me it isn’t about the money, it’s about the love you have for the game. I wanted these kids to enjoy the game the way I did. The community always supported me and seemed very thankful that I showed the kids the compassion that I did. I didn’t have the exact relationships that I had with people before, because they weren’t coaching me or influencing me anymore. I felt as if they were proud and had more respect for me. They saw a side to me that nobody knew I had. Since I no longer had the chance to make a name for myself I thought I could help someone make a name for his or her self.

The first theory I am going to discuss is the Family Systems Theory. Of course my injury affected my whole family, because we all believed I was going to go play basketball somewhere and be one of the few to represent my last name. However, life got in the way and we had to come up with a new path for me. Going through this I saw a differentiation of myself. I needed to find my true self and learn how to cope to unpleasing news. I had hit an emotional cutoff; I managed my stress and frustration by cutting off contact with people. The topic of basketball was completely irrelevant to me. I think that it was a good thing that I kept to myself for as long as I did, because I needed to find out what I wanted to pursue in in my lifetime. After all my thinking was over I reached out to my family, I knew they would be there to support me through it all. All the support I received from everyone is the reason I had open gyms and through those small camps for kids. I made a decision based on my values and strengths, just like we talked about in the Family System Theory. Like I said before I regretted the way I treated the ones that supported me so much after my injury. I didn’t show them the right kind of respect so I wanted to change my commitment on our relationships and I made a difference. After making mends with my coaches and lifetime supporters it was time to make my relationship with my parents the way it was before. Being the youngest child in our family I felt as if I had let them down. As if they were disappointed that I couldn’t play anymore. Although, the injury wasn’t my fault I still put the blame on myself. However, that wasn’t the case with my parents at all. According to the Family Systems Theory it states that parental expectations are more relax with the youngest child. I find this true because my parents were my biggest supporters. They were the one that showed me that God had another plan for me and it was to teach and coach younger kids the talent and knowledge that I had on the court.



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