ISSO was a whole new experience for me and an amazing opportunity. This was my first time playing a tournament out of Gujarat. It was so exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. International schools from all over India had come to participate. Our team had 7 members. This experience was important for a lot of us as we learnt a lot during and after the tournament.

When working with a team it is extremely important to know your strengths and weaknesses because then it helps us achieve our full potential. My coach always helped me recognize these so that I could improve my game. During the competition, we had to work strategically because this competition was all over India and all teams were tough to beat. A lot of times I had to sit as a substitute because the particular game required certain skills that somebody else from my team had. This is how we worked together keeping in mind our strengths.
All the students that came for the tournament were talented and good at basketball and looking at them we were all a little intimidated. It was only after some time we realized that we were good too and we had to focus on our game rather than being scared before we went to play. This was something challenging but we all as a team assured each other and our coach helped keep our spirits up. I remember when we thought we lost our last match, all of us were crying and especially me because I was extremely sad because I couldn’t help my team as I didn’t play this match and this was one of our last basketball tournaments together. Later we got the news that we won.
Another challenge we faced was communicating with our team, we realized after 1 or 2 games that there was something holding us back as a team and we weren’t playing at our full potential. This did give rise to a few conflicts. When we identified this problem we decided to do something about it, so one day after dinner we all sat together in our hotel room and talked. We had to discuss what we thought our strengths and weaknesses were, what others thought and we discussed some team strategies and also made sure we had a fun time to bond together. I’d say this was very helpful for us because this put everything into perspective and I am glad we took things into hands. This gave us all an opportunity to grow as players and come closer. This gave us time to reflect on our actions, be better communicators and open-minded.
One thing that is really important in competitions is following certain ethics. It is not only about cheating in the game but being true to ourselves. We had to make sure we don’t do foul play. Our last game made us realize the importance of ethical play the most as we almost lost and there were some issues with the opponent coach. That one hour was really intense for us and we observed the consequences of not being principled in a game.

Overall, I am glad we went through all this because it made us better people and helped us grow. We developed new skills and a deeper understanding of the game. If I had to do this again I wish we trained much more before our tournament and had resolved all conflicts before we went to Pune. Otherwise, there are no regrets and I would do this all over again.

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