Whenever I hear that swish sound of basketball going through the net, it takes me to my happy place. That sound gives me confidence, the more I hear it, the better I play and the more my confidence grows. I believe that confidence is important to build character and help you maximize your potential.

I started playing basketball when I was in 7th grade. My father wanted me to play some sport so before joining the basketball classes I tried numerous sports including volleyball, football, athletics, handball etc. As I grew taller, I gravitated towards basketball and volleyball. Our school had a good basketball team, that encouraged me to go for basketball.

We had basketball classes in school which was conducted 3 times a week. The scope for improvement was limited because our coach focused only on the seniors and the good players. In the 8th grade I started going to a court near my tuition for fun. It was in the end of 9th class that I became really focused about playing basketball and started practicing in a court near to my house.

It was tough in the beginning. Understanding the fundamentals of basketball is really important if you want to be good at it. I was putting in the effort, slowly but surely results came my way. I started getting better and grew more confident in class 10, after I played a couple of local and inter house tournaments. I started to be known for basketball, and that inspired me to devote myself even more towards the game. Basketball became my lifestyle. 

I’ve learned so much from basketball, from the practices and games, these lessons will stick with me for a long time. I learned that discipline is the thread of a flying kite, it will help you soar high, but the moment you cut it, that’s when you’ll stop getting better. Playing in a team taught me that you need to know your resources, your teammates, when you are the captain. Every player has their utility on the court, it’s your job to bring out the best in them. 

The pace of the game taught me a lot as well. Basketball is the second fastest sport in the world, where split second decisions can lead to victory or defeat. You have to approach life in the same way and make good decisions, decisively.
The game has also inspired me to pursue a healthy lifestyle, from running, cycling, strength training and so much more. I want to be fitter to play better. 

The game also impressed upon me the importance of history and fundamentals. You have to know where something comes from, understand it, and get better at it at a fundamental level to be good. It inspires me a lot to see how the game of basketball can contribute towards bringing a society together.

Practicing my sport makes me aware of myself. It shows me my true identity and it is a revision of all the things I have learnt from this game.

I knew I wanted to join Decathlon when I was in college as some of my seniors had joined the company and they were so happy with the work culture here. I joined Decathlon Phulnakhara on 12th July, 2019 and I was introduced to a life where I can work for my passion. Every day seems fresh with new challenges, new interactions and adapting to them. But one thing remains constant, the mindset of helping make sports accessible to the many. I went from being a basketball player to becoming a manager, organizer and representative of Decathlon Basketball in just one year. 

There’s a belief in basketball that a player is not going to stop improving till his or her mind gives up, that is 100% true. I always aspire to become better in every aspect of the game and life and to maximize my potential. We have faced a new challenge this year with the pandemic, but we are all adjusting to the new normal. It is our responsibility to see that things don’t go wrong as we start playing together.

I’m looking forward to working even harder to become better to make up for the months we had without the game.

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