Vocabulary Reading:


This article uses words from the 1000-2000 range of the General Service List. Read it. Then answer the comprehension questions.

Playing to Win

A father tries to encourage his son after basketball practice.

Dad: How was practice?

Son: Okay, I guess.

Dad: Did you win any prizes?

Son: No, it was just a practice, not a competition.

Dad: Right, but you look bummed out. What’s wrong?

Son: Oh, I did something stupid. I had the perfect opportunity for a clear shot at the basket, but I hesitated before I jumped. I took off on the wrong foot and totally missed the basket. I must have looked extremely stupid.

Dad: We all have days like that.

Son: Yeah, well, my fans were pretty quiet. I didn’t’ hear any hurrahs.

Dad: Your fans?

Son: Yeah, Suzie and her friend came to watch.

Dad: Oh! And I guess you were eager to show off in front of them.

Son: It just made it worse knowing they were watching me. I started feeling angry.

Dad: Angry? At who?

Son: At myself, I guess. I don’t know. I just felt really angry, so when I tried to block my opponent’s shot, I gave him a quick push. The coach saw it. He shouted at me and gave me a penalty. That guy got a basket with his penalty shot.

Dad: O-oh!

Son: Then my whole team was mad at me for giving away points to the rival team. We got into a row in the locker room. Now the coach says I can’t compete in next week’s game. He says I have to learn to be a good sport and lose graciously.

Dad: Well, that’s all part of playing the game.

Son: Yeah, well, I don’t play to lose. I play to win!

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