Just a bump in the road

Speed bumps. It happens to everyone.

Things don’t always go to plan, there will be failures, but that’s to be expected.

If everything was easy, then our achievements and success would not be as fulfilling. That’s my thoughts anyway.

My basketball journey has been filled with these speed bumps. From the very beginning of my junior sporting days in under 10s, I encountered failures. Cut from multiple representative sides and being a part of many games where I did not get on the court that would ultimately lead to the occasional tear in the car ride home with mum and dad.

I started to realise that things wouldn’t be given to me, but did I expect it? No, but what I did expect of myself from a young age was to be the best I could possibly be in my basketball.

Even if other people did not believe in me or see the potential of how good my best could be. I made a choice to not let these failures defeat me, but instead push me harder to achieve my goals.

This continued for quite some time, and it was not until over a decade later that things started to piece themselves together, at 19 years old I began to overtake many of my peers.

The same peers who were making representative sides ahead of me all this time. And proving the coaches that didn’t give me the chance to play in representative sides wrong.

The countless hours working out alone in my garage, in a basketball stadium, or at the gym was starting to show.

Not only was I beginning to feel and see the benefits of completing many hours dedicated to basketball that was separating me from the rest of my peers, but I was always doing the extra little things away from basketball that was just as beneficial.

Stretching, Diet, Sleep and a strong mindset. While these things did not include a basketball, they were just as beneficial to my performance in my sport.

One thing led to another… Receiving my very first best and fairest sporting trophy, getting my first taste representing the North-West Thunder, going on my first road trip with the North-West Thunder to play interstate, with guys who I had idolised as a child.

These were achievements along the way that would make me see how much the hard work is worth it.

To this day, I am still hit with failures on and off the basketball court but this constant cycle of dedication and commitment to my sport and a healthy lifestyle has been spurred on by the failures.

Therefore, I welcome the challenge of failure. Any speed bump down the road will be met with open arms as I gear up to see what can arise from overcoming it.

It was important for me to never be satisfied when overcoming challenges and achieving milestones in my sporting career.

Because it only made me closer to completing even bigger goals and achievements. What were they? That’s for next time.

- Mason Bragg is a St.LukesHealth Ambassador and North-West Thunder basketball player.

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