I used to hate being called upon in class mainly because I didn’t like attention drawn to myself. And _36_ otherwise assigned a seat by the teacher, I always _37_ to sit at the back of the classroom.
All this _38_ after I joined a sports team. It began when a teacher suggested I try out for the basketball team. At first I thought it was a crazy _39_ because I didn’t have a good sense of balance, nor did I have the _40_ to keep pace with the others on the team and they would tease me. But for the teacher who kept insisting on my “_41_ for it”, I wouldn’t have decided to give it a try.
Getting up the courage to go to the tryouts was only the _42_ of it! When I first started _43_ the practice sessions, I didn’t even know the rules of the game, much _44_ what I was doing. Sometimes I’d get _45_ and take a shot at the wrong direction – which made me feel really stupid. _46_, I wasn’t the only one “new” at the game, so I decided to _47_ on learning the game, do my best at each practice session, and not be too hard on myself for the things I didn’t _48_ “just yet”.
I practiced and practiced. Soon I knew the _49_ and the “moves”. Being part of a team was fun and motivating. Very soon the competitive _50_ in me was winning over my lack of confidence. With time, I learned how to play and made friends in the _51_ – friends who respected my efforts to work hard and be a team player. I never had so much fun!
With my _52_ self-confidence comes more praise from teachers and classmates. I have gone from “_53_” in the back of the classroom and not wanting to call attention to myself, _54_ raising my hand – even when I sometimes wasn’t 100 percent _55_ I had the right answer. Now I have more self-confidence in myself.
36. as / until / unless / though
37. hoped / agreed / meant / chose
38. continued / changed / settled / started
39. idea / plan / belief / saying
40. right / chance / ability / patience
41. going / looking / cheering / applying
42. point / half / rest / basis
43. enjoying / preparing / attending / watching
44. less / later / worse / further
45. committed / motivated / embarrassed / confused
46. Interestingly / Fortunately / Obviously / Hopefully
47. focus / act / rely / try
48. want / do / support / know
49. steps / orders / rules / games
50. role / part / mind / value
51. process / operation / movement / situation
52. expressed / improved / preserved / recognized
53. dreaming / playing / relaxing / hiding
54. by / for / with / to
55. lucky / happy / sure / satisfied