Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Everything I Know About Life--I Learned From a Middle School Basketball Game

Chandler’s first middle school basketball game was tonight. He started at center. On this, his birthday, Don would have been so very proud of him. Chandler had a cheering section this evening. Kent and I attended, Chad and Joy, Grandma and Grandpa Abla, and Charleen were all present for his debut. As I sat watching Chandler play, I was surprised to find how much the game resembled lessons I have learned in life, so in honor of Chandler’s first game, I bring to you…

Everything I know about life I learned from a middle school basketball game.

I learned that…
  • You wont always be first string, sometimes your job will be to come in after the all-stars are tired and take the game from there. There is no glory in this except the self-satisfaction of knowing that without you the game wouldn’t be possible.
  • You will always have folks to cheer you on, even if you totally mess things up.
  • You may have killjoys in your life who are pessimistic about pretty much everything—stay away from them—they affect your positive mojo.
  • Sometimes you have a good game where everything goes perfectly—you are in a zone; then there are other times when you couldn’t make a basket if your life depended on it.
  • Most of the rather big mistakes you make are soon forgotten by others, but remain in your memory forever--what good does that do?
  • Sometimes you get a “bad call”, but there is the benefit of the ability to blame someone else for it (referees).
  • Guarding yourself from injury is the first line in self-preservation.
  • You can’t make it to the end of the game without your teammates. It takes five to play basketball. It takes more to play in real life.
  • No one else will remember the score in a week, so perhaps you shouldn’t keep it. Sometimes we require more from others than we do ourselves. We remember the hurts and the offenses against us far more than they merit our time or energy.
  • Sometimes the game isn’t about the game. Chandler played a rather seasoned team tonight. He calls the Monticello Sages the Monti-steroid Sages because their 7th grade center is 6’2”. Anyway, after a crushing defeat he went to the concession stand and began to make friends with the other team—it’s his nature. For him, it is more about the relationships than the game – I couldn’t be more proud.
  • It is essential to have a strong coach, one who has played the game before you; one who owns the playbook; who encourages you; who calls you to discipline and finds value in who you are.
I am sure there are many more life lessons to be gleaned, but these are but a few of my personal insights. Care to add more???


Shelly said...

Nice post. I was a basketball player through high school and was on our college team for a short while...so I LOVE basketball.

I did learn some incredible lessons. Teamwork was probably one of the biggest lessons that stil imacts me today. There are times when your role is not to be the star...sometimes you play a supporting role....knowing what your role is, is the key...and then being content to be a role player...for the good of the team....

Love, love, love basketball!!!