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Letter Analysis

In: English and Literature

Submitted By tdemesa0
Words 1250
Pages 5
Tristan De Mesa
Professor Hedgecock
English 1A
27 June 2014
What You’re Missing
Dear Coach Garret’s Class,
On the court from the separating black lines I stare up at the scoreboard. The clock reads 10 seconds left. My team is down by 1 point 45 to 46. We need just one basket and we are out of time-outs. The play was set for me to shoot it. I was not confident. My teammate inbounds the ball to me as I yell for the shot. Planting my feet just between the three-point line and free-throw line I get the orange, spherical ball into my hands. Gazing at the clock for a second, time was running out. My fingertips place themselves on the grooves of the ball for the perfect shot. The only objects I see are two lengthy defenders rushing at me to block my shot. I quickly jump reaching as high as I could with the ball I raise my hands releasing it before the defenders could block it with two seconds left on the clock. The ball spinning in the air, amazingly hits it’s target swishing into the hoop, winning the game for my team.
It was my second year trying out for the basketball team at Tesoro High School. The gym had not changed, it had clean floors, the basketball hoops for pristine, the nets on the hoops we’re shiny white, and the basketballs, were brand new that when you touched the ball it had amazing grip like having rubber gloves on. We just found out we were getting a new coach for the Junior Varsity team, which I was aiming for. We honestly did not know what to expect, but the team was full of excitement and curiosity like a kid waiting to go to Six Flags for the first time the next day. All the players looked anxious to see the coach. I was scared. Filled with doubt, I assumed I would do the worst and miss every shot or lay up during practice. In Rodriguez’s essay, Aria, he said “That day, I moved very far from the disadvantaged child I had been only days earlier”(par. 14). Richard was often shy and silent towards the other children in his class. He practiced more and more English which boosted his confidence level. We did not know what the coach looks for in the players he wants for his team. There we met Coach Garrett and he was nothing like what anybody had expected. He was a young man with very short blond hair. He was tall, about 6’2, and skinny, but he seemed very confident and looked like a man who knew what he was doing. He pushed us in tryouts to show him what we could do. Tryouts were difficult, but I was very thankful I had made the team I was aiming for, Junior Varsity. That day at basketball tryouts, I learned that being in basketball in high school can help me become someone hard working and filled with confidence.
On the first day of basketball practice, we were sweating, had a heavy breath, and our hearts were pounding so loud that we could hear it. It was a hot summer day; luckily the air conditioner is always on in the gym. We started practice with running around the gym and stretching. We did many drills after like the three-man weave, layup lines, jump shots, practicing plays, and some dribbling drills, finishing off with suicides. This was always our daily routine during practices. All the things we did were difficult to constantly do for three to four hours but we pushed through it and worked hard to earn our right to play in games. The season was mostly a success and the one that pushed us to our success was Coach Garrett. Coach Garrett had built up so much confidence in his players like the confidence that someone has to do a speech in front of thousands of people. He would always say “if you do not work hard then you will not earn playing time no matter how good you are.” Our team’s motivation increased because everyone wanted to play. Everyone went out on the court for a game like warriors on a battlefield. We played hard and worked hard every game. We worked so hard that our season was truly successful ending with twelve wins, and two loses. The next season was crushing and filled with sadness as we found out the Coach Garrett was leaving the JV team to coach the Varsity team. I felt saddened, but at the same time happy because I thought to myself when I get to varsity I’ll be coached by him again.
When I started basketball, I was always the quiet and shy guy in the back. Like in Aria, Rodriguez said that he’d “move away from them all” (par. 10). In Rodriguez’s case, he knew he was not confident with his English so he tried to avoid speaking it to others in his class. When I played in my first games of basketball before high school, I was too scared too shoot, too scared to even ask for the ball because I believed that I would fail. When someone fails, they lose their confidence in the things they’re afraid to do. For example, during my first game in my tenth grade in high school I’d get passes, but I’d be too scared to shoot, and when I did shoot I had no confidence in my ability causing my to miss. Rodriguez’s father spoke “with firm Spanish [and] conveyed confidence” (par. 36). When Rodriguez’s father spoke Spanish he was confident with his speech. He has a sort of authority when he spoke in Spanish. In basketball, you have to have confidence in your own ability because if you do not have confidence everything you do is useless, your shot will be off, you’ll be too scared to dribble the ball down the court, or even touch the ball during a game. Having confidence is beneficial not in just sports, but in everyday life, and basketball has helped bring out the confidence in myself.
I can say the Coach Garrett is someone that has had a huge impact in my life. The advice he gave me to never give up and to be confident in anything I do was not only helpful on the court, but also in my daily life. If someone works hard in whatever they do, they will succeed. When you are playing against a stacked deck, compete even harder. Like in practice, Coach Garrett said, “if you work hard at practice, you will earn playing time.” In examples such as having a job, you cannot slack off and expect to get a promotion or higher pay, you have to work hard for it. “In games, you play like how you practiced,” Coach would say. By that phrase he has taught me to believe in myself and be a person with confidence. He was an amazing coach and took basketball very seriously. You could trust in him as a coach in games to guide you. He was someone that had made a part of me who I am today. Sincerely, Tristan De Mesa

Works Cited
Rodriguez, Richard. "Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood." The Writer's Presence 5. 2006. Print.
Tan, Amy. “Mother Tongue.” Olypen. 1990. Web. 27 June 2014. http://www.olypen.com/pnkdurr/as/mother_text.htm.

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