Short story: “The most important year of my life.”

I don’t know how to start, this is the only time that I will tell what happened to me in these two years. I know that those two years are the reason for how much I got better at basketball, and believe me when I say that training is the last thing that comes out for personality and character development. May 2023. I’m coming from my worst basketball year; I was a dumb kid running his mouth and believed he was ‘the chosen one’ for six days a week. Saturday for me was a nightmare; I was so afraid of the game. I remember so clearly that when I was playing, my legs were shaking, and I always felt that I could pass away at any moment. Now that I’m writing this text, I’m remembering so many things, and I’m so happy that I changed. I want to make a thing very clear to all the audience: train at your best, not at your max. As a super-hyped kid, I was training six hours a day, and I’m not kidding. A normal day was: school, training, eating, training, team practice, gym, study, and bed. Can you imagine how tired I was? Fast forward, I injured myself; I rolled my calf and turned my leg into a volleyball. Summer 2023. The medic said that the recovery would be about one month; I waited nine days and some hours. Because school finished, I changed my schedule, and I want to write that down for you guys. 4:00 wake up. 4:30 10 kilometers run. 5:30 shower and nap. 7:00 breakfast. 8:00 one hour of studying the films. 10:00 to lunch shooting practice with a dear friend of mine plus some one-on-one game. Lunch. Nap. 15:30 one hour and a half of dribbling for the ball handling. 18:00 to lunch shooting practice. 21:00 stretching plus weight training. 23:00 sleep. I was doing a lot of work; otherwise, I was working badly. In my younger mind, I thought that more was better, but I learned that better is better. Another thing that I want to say is that you must listen to adults, especially your parents. Why am I saying this? Well, my ego at that time was out of control; I let my work control me, and my father (I love you Dad) tried in any possible way to explain it to me. I was so stupid that I believed he was trying to stop me, and you cannot understand how stupid I am feeling saying this. (Tezenis call) September. Big recap of my condition: can’t shoot at all, can’t dribble the basketball at all, have a lot of fear, talk too much, have high athleticism, and have very high endurance. One day my dad called me into his office. Small talk from him where he says Tezenis wants to see you in his summer camp. Do you all remember my injury, right? Well, I was feeling a little pain in my knee. Camp goes by, and I sucked; I was the worst. September to December 2023. Tezenis changed my mindset; now I started to work smart and hard. I was still trash, like real crap, but I started recording my training with ridiculous precision. I wrote books on my shot to make it as close to perfection as possible. I studied my body, my ability, my hands, everything you can write, and noticed I got it. I slowly passed from somebody who can’t go outside the free-throw line to a half-court shooter. I was still terrified of the game, but in practice, I was ‘Him’. At the end of December, I went to a team practice, and I noticed a little increase in the pain inside my knee. Team drills go by, and suddenly while I was playing defense, I felt a ‘Pop’ in my knee; I fell on the ground. When I got up, I fell again; I realized that I couldn’t feel my knee, and after one minute, THE WORST PAIN IN MY LIFE knocked at the door. I believe that my career was over; I cried a lot; I called my dad, and he said, ‘I love you, but you are so damn stupid.’ He reached out to one of his friends who is a doctor. He asked me a couple of questions, and he did a radiograph for me. A resume of what came out is that half of my meniscus was gone, edema became half of my knee, and a lot of liquid joined the party. I clearly remember the doctor asking me how I was still walking with that pain. When he saw the test, he asked me if I had an ankle injury or something else this summer, and I said yes. What came out is that this meniscus injury happened in May, but my muscles and the liquid didn’t make me feel the pain. (Recovery) January to March. So, I can’t remember when, but I even discovered that I was a little bit blind (10/4 on both eyes). I started getting out of my comfort zone, and one girl helped me out. Being out of my usual world gave me the ability to know the difference between ego and confidence. I could know better my parents, and for a kid who has two hard-working parents, which are divorced is a lot, trust me. In one week, a lot of things come at me in the worst way possible. I will make a list because I can’t order them chronologically. Heartbreak (first time in my life), my brother went to live with my mom, bad grades at home, still can’t train, lost the spot on the team, the best relationship that I had with my dad went for a stupid thing. In this period, I couldn’t focus at all, like 0. The only way that I was able to let out my steam was by the gym; all the rage was put in that frame. I was in physical and mental pain every day of the week, and that is the exact period where I got close to God. To all the athletes who are listening right now, please get close to your God or find peace in other ways. April. At the start of April, I was healed but mentally lost; my mind was traveling from one place to another. I decided to separate my persona in half; I followed the example of Kobe Bryant. So Giacomo has to deal with personal challenges and tribulations, and the ‘Red Mamba’ must let out all the steam that Giacomo accumulates. I didn’t create this; I just gave it a name. This type of competitive behavior has always existed in me, and now is even more present but separate. So I am now 100% healed and I can see. I am furious, not scared at all, just a really big desire of killing my opponents. A big difference between the start of the season and now is that I was playing to show others and seeking attention; now I just want to play my best in the game that I love. Before I describe my first game, I want to give you a lesson, ‘Do the things for you, not for the others.’ First game. When I laced up my shoes, I felt the switch in me. It was the first time in my life that I was physically healthy and without limitations. I wasn’t feeling anything, stone cold, nothing. As soon as I got in, every possession was so much personal. I could see and run; I could breathe and talk; that was so necessary. All the things that I accumulated in 2 years of delusion and repression were coming out like a river. 45 points, 20 rebounds, 9 assists, 4 steals, and 2 lost possessions. I got in the locker room, and I cried. In my opinion, this is the year that formed me as a person. I have a message to all the youngsters of my generation, ‘talk to the older ones’. I pretended so much about myself, and I know for sure that if it wasn’t for the conversation with my dad and my math teacher, I wouldn’t be the person and the player I am now. And lastly, a big message that comes from my dad, ‘you fail when you stop training’. My name is Giacomo Frinzi, and I will be an athlete.”

Giacomo Frinzi classe 3E


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