Sasha was sitting underneath the basket on the court next to her home. She had not been able to make a basket the whole evening.
She was sad and disappointed.
“Why can I not do it? Not even once? How can everyone else do it?” she kept beating herself up, although it was the first time she had stepped foot on the court after watching all neighbourhood teenagers play.
She packed her stuff and went home.
Her father had returned from work.
From their wide window in the living room facing the court, he had been watching Sasha try and miss and eventually give up.
As Sasha settled on the couch, her father sat next to her.
“What is troubling you?” he asked.
“You know, father. I watch these people play so well, and I, too, want to play. But when I went out to try, I could not make a single basket.”
“How about I join you on the court tomorrow?”
Sasha looked at her father.
She didn’t know he could play basketball. She had never seen him play or heard him mention himself playing.
“Can you play?” she asked, more surprised because she had only seen her father work at his furniture store.
Her father smiled.
“We will see,” he said.
The two of them walked to the court, with Sasha cradling the ball.
“Alright, so the truth is I have never played,” said her father, making her shoulders droop.
“But,” he said, “I can definitely teach you how to learn.”
He went on his knees.
“Listen, my daughter. We have to learn most of the things we want to know. If you want to learn how to play basketball, you will have to start practicing. And you must practice until you learn. If you give up, you are never going to learn.”
Sasha found it pretty simple, but she wasn’t quite sure it could work.
Yet, she began practicing.
Hours passed. She missed and missed. But then she scored, only once, and her father, standing behind her, cheered.
“This is not over yet. You will have to come back every day and practice, until you will know you have learnt it.”
Sasha followed her father’s advice, and practiced daily.
She practiced alone for months.
One evening, her father came to see her progress.
Watching her play, he understood no one in their town could play basketball better than Sasha.
He told Sasha that.