The View from the Bench This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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“Benchwarmer,” says the little devil on my left shoulder. “You aren't worth anything. Coach doesn't respect you … no one does. Why sit here and take this? Go ahead – just get up and leave. You don't need this humiliation.”

I find myself trying to disagree but leaning closer in his direction.

Then comes another voice, the angel on my right: “You've worked so hard. You deserve to be here, ready when needed. Those are your best friends on the court, and you are a part of this team. Stay. You are wanted here.”

It has been difficult to sit on the bench the majority of my high school basketball career. To watch my team from the sideline and wonder why I am not good enough to be on the floor. After endless hours of work and dedication, pushing myself through drill after drill, the last thing I want is to be a cheerleader. The feeling of worthlessness is sometimes overwhelming and piques my impulse to quit on the spot. I often feel as though my efforts are wasted and my time is eaten away, devoted to nothing.

It is heartbreaking to be a spectator for the game I love, knowing that no one has enough faith to give me the chance to shine. Tears well up, but I restrain them and restabilize myself. I shouldn't be so upset over something so silly.

Away from the game, it's easier to put my thoughts in perspective, rather than letting my emotions drive my reasoning. I consider why I am where I am. I have played basketball my whole life. I have a passion for the sport and always have. There is nothing like the thrill of playing: the swish of the net, the sweat rolling off my cheeks, even the bruises are battle wounds worn proudly after every game.

Even if I don't play much, I participate in every practice. I am part of a team of girls who stick together like a family. I am there for them, as they are for me.

Between the positive and the negative, it's hard to determine which side should prevail. Should I move on? Or should I stay with my team and pursue my passion just a little longer?

The decision isn't difficult when I consider the joy that being a part of a team brings me – and not just any team, but my team. I love basketball and my teammates. When I think about that, my view from the bench really isn't so bad after all.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

Emblem3 said...
Aug. 27, 2014 at 6:49 pm
Love the story make me cry
 
bugsbunny said...
Oct. 27, 2011 at 11:30 am
all i can say is amazing
 
starfighter77 said...
Mar. 21, 2011 at 9:06 am
I know how you feel. You're riding the bench either the whole game or most of the game with little to no playing time. Basketball's my favorite sport too and I played on my high school team. But oh well, that's life
 
dominga13 said...
Oct. 11, 2009 at 11:04 pm
this article is amazing! i am going thru the same thing rite now and ur writing helped me choose the rite thing to do!
thanks for sharing this and keep it up:)
 
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