This blog is for all those players out there who got their (for lack of a better word) butts beat. This blog is not for David, but for Goliath -- that giant who got knocked out with a tiny, little stone. This blog is for those teams that are on the other side of the spectrum, which quite frankly I am not used to being on. Getting beat is bad. Getting beat bad in front of all the people you love is dang near unbearable.
I am a tough cookie. Ask anyone I know: I hate to show negative emotions. I will never let my enemy see me down. But after the game, when everyone left Maples Pavilion, I let it rip! I blame my mom. Before and after every game, I talk to her. She truly lets me unwind. She never judges. She sees the beauty in all I do, despite any circumstance. Just the comforting sound of her voice was enough. Forget what all those liars say, that real women and men don't cry. Real athletes are allowed to shed a couple tears of frustration. You want to know why? Because that shows that you are passionate about what you do.
So again, this blog is for those players out there who had a night when they could not hit the broad side of a barn. Those players who believe they let someone else down. Those players who could not sleep because of the horrendous replays of the game in their mind. Those players who experienced a struggle beyond compare. For those players out there, I want you to remember one thing: We are human. We make mistakes. We are allowed a moment to sulk and maybe even shed a tear. But it is our choice, our responsibility, our necessity to pick ourselves up and become better people and players from these experiences. We fall down so that we can learn to get back up. (Unless you’re Pacquiao. Just kidding! I had to go there. Ha ha ha!)
All the way up until our game against Connecticut, I could not have scripted a better start. A lot of credit to them -- they were prepared and came to play. If they can replicate that every night, then they are the real deal. But in my mind, as a fighter, as a competitor, that might just be the best thing that could happen to me. From now on I am going to fight to NEVER feel that way again. To my teammates, "Pick yourselves up, dust yourselves off and start all over again." To our coaches, thank you for never losing faith in us when it can be so easy to do. Thank you for coming back to practice every day with the same intensity and drive to make us better. To our fans, thank you for being with us when the going got tough. They stayed to the end on Saturday -- nobody walked out on us. You still remained. That is true love.
And to myself, today is a new day. Time to make it count.
Your fellow human,