Practice Makes Perfect
It was another scorching day in July and I had just awakened from the sun shining through my bedroom window. I stretched my legs and yawned, dreading the running I would soon be doing. My dad had the same breakfast menu I had been eating all week waiting for me in the kitchen: banana, whole wheat toast, skim milk, and four ounces of water. I devoured the banana and toast, then gulped down my milk and water and scurried out of the door. As I walked to the gym I thought to myself, “This is the last day I have to get myself prepared for the tiring volleyball tryouts”. All week I had run on the treadmill and practiced on my over-hand serve. Ever since the fourth grade when I began playing for Fellowship Christian Athletes volleyball league all I had dreamt about was playing volleyball in high school. I had been to Sullivan North’s volleyball games before; in my mind I could hear the girls yell out to their teammates, “Help!” or, “I got it!” At the same time I could hear the screeching from the shoes on the shiny, golden court moving fast, not letting the ball touch the floor. The thuds from the players diving on their knees intrigued me so much. I looked up to the girls as role models because they were superior at volleyball; I only hoped that I could play volleyball as good as them one day. When I finished my workout, I decided to call my older sister Raegan to come over and play a game of volleyball against me. She willingly accepted the invitation. I rushed back to my dad’s apartment and sped through the door. I yelled to my dad, “Toss me the volleyball! I have to practice my serve before Raegan gets here!” My dad replied, “Honey, chill out. It’s just your sister, not the actual tryouts.” I shut the door and raced to the tennis court. Luckily, Raegan hadn’t arrived yet. I began to practice my serve. Over and over I hit the ball against the wall. “Let your whole palm touch the ball,” I kept telling myself. I heard someone call out, “Hey, Sis!” I turned around and there was my sister. She had played for Sullivan North’s volleyball team for one year already and didn’t seem to have any trouble making the team. “You ready to play?” she asked. We each got on opposite ends of the court. “You want to serve or me? “, Raegan hollered across the court. “I’ll go first,” I responded. As she rolled the ball to my end of the court, I reminded myself, “Let the palm of your hand touch the ball.” I picked up the ball and tossed it in the air. When the ball came down, I reared my arm back and with full force I hit the ball as hard as I could. The sound of my serve rang in my ears and I watched the ball fly over the net to my sister. The game had begun and we both bent down in “ready position”. Raegan hit the ball and it made it back to me. I dove for the ball and bumped it back to her. We passed the volleyball like that to each other for about ten minutes, scrimmaged for almost two hours, and set the ball back and forth to one another. When we finished we began to walk back to the apartment. “I’m really nervous about tryouts,” I told my sister.
My sister responded, “Look, if you stress it you’re not going to do your best, so just quit freaking out about it.” “I just don’t want my friends to make it and me not.” “You’ll be fine, Payton.”
We paced ourselves as we walked up the steps, our legs were sore from chasing the ball. I unlocked the door and grabbed two bottles of water and grapes to snack on from the kitchen. We flopped down on the cool, soft sheets of my bed in relief to be off our feet. The cold, crisp water quenched our thirsts and we sucked the bottles dry. “You ready for tomorrow?” I asked Raegan.
“Duh, I made it last year. I know I’ll make it this year.” As we finished eating our grapes, we heard a loud, but friendly honk outside my window. It was our mother who had come to pick up Raegan before it became too late. My sister hugged and kissed our dad “bye” and we walked out the door. I could see the...
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