The complete athlete: 10-year-old fosters perseverance with calm demeanor

Published 12:33 am Sunday, February 4, 2018

Callie Williams understands patience. In fact, it is the key to her perseverance.

Saturday morning at McLaurin Elementary School, Williams, 10, sat on the bench while the rest of her teammates started during a jamboree of 2nd2None Youth Basketball League games.

Instead of getting flustered, however, Williams waited intently for her chance to participate — understanding the importance of watching her peers.

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“I wanted to get in the game, but you do need to rest,” Williams said.

Williams received plenty of playing time, rotating in during the five-minute quarters. Her mother, Ivy West, said the understanding is something Williams has always had despite this being her first year to play organized basketball.

“She told me she wanted to play basketball because it keeps her going,” West said. “She said she wanted to learn the skills, so I wasn’t going to discourage her. She doesn’t know a lot yet, but she does love to learn.”

Building a perfect athlete requires someone who can be persistent in their methods, and even at a young age Williams knows why that is a positive quality to have.

“I want to succeed to become a better person,” Williams said.

Surrounded by three brothers, Williams often has to learn things her own way. A support system, West said, makes all the difference in determination, too.

“I just try to tell her that she won’t be perfect in everything that she does, but to try her best in everything that she does,” West said. “It’s really big with her. She always looks at me during the game every time she does anything. I just try to support my kids in order to keep them on the straight and narrow.

“All of them are in sports, so we are constantly trying to teach them and keep them motivated.”

West said though she is sure things will go wrong along the way, she has no doubt Williams will never lose her perseverance and hopes other children are able to pick up on her daughter’s character.

“When she is on the bench, she never leaves saying she feels bad or is mad,” West said. “I hope she teaches other kids, including her brothers, to have patience.”

With a quiet yet steadfast mind, Williams is determined to eventually learn one thing in particular.

“Layups,” she said.