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Past articles:
  • AAU recruiting

  • A volleyball interlude

  • Revved up for recruiting

  • A new AAU season

  • Nearing season's end

  • Balancing act

  • Getting serious about the game

  • High School Hoops Blog

    'Find Your Passion,' says a mother to her teenage daughter.

    By Beth Peterson
    (Katie Peterson's mom)
    Ithaca, NY

    My daughter is 16 years old. She is 6' 2" tall and plays basketball and volleyball. Sometimes it is hard to remember that she plays team sports, and cello in the high school orchestra too! More important than how she is defined by her height, her athletic skills and her musicianship is who she is as a person. She is confident, smart, and kind.

    She has learned to be poised with her height and proud of her size. She has learned self- discipline and gained self-esteem, and is a good leader and a dedicated teammate. She is the kind of person who others would want on their team. She is not selfish or demanding. She doesn't deal with the drama. Much of this has been learned and developed through basketball – through her varsity and AAU team participation.

    Here is why I am writing this…along with her height and her participation in AAU, comes the letters from colleges. She has heard from over 40 different schools. And, while each letter strengthens her self-confidence, each letter adds a little pressure too. We know that those letters are being sent to all the girls who are 6'2".

    I watch her from the sidelines and get frustrated when she has a bad game. I want her to work harder and practice more. I want her to have "the best game of her life" every game. And, I know she wants that too, but she also knows that in reality – she won't always have the best game of her life.

    She knows that it is more important to be part of her team than to be the star. And, now that she is just finishing her junior in high school, I am beginning to realize that the most important thing about all of this is what she has gained and learned about life, and who she is as a young woman.

    Basketball has become her passion and has allowed her to find her natural strengths as a human being.

    Several years ago, on a summer vacation in a touristy town, I bought her a sign for her room that says, "Find your passion." She has found her passion and what mother wouldn't be most happy and proud about that!

    Beth Peterson is an Associate Professor of Music Education at the Ithaca College School of Music in Ithaca, New York. Beth has two children and is constantly amazed at how they became athletic since she spent her high school days in the band room. Her daughter, Katie, is the starting center on the Ithaca High School varsity basketball team and Katie's younger brother, John, currently plays baseball on several Ithaca area baseball teams. Beth's husband, Steve, takes all the credit for the children's athleticism, but he too in fact, spent his high school days in the band room!

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