Basketball Tips

(c) Jacob Bowman

Today was a Wednesday, which meant that Jeff and I met up for our weekly casual basketball.

Usually, I’m always up for a little sweat and game. However, this time, I wasn’t in the mood and almost felt like calling to cancel our plans. My previous history class was boring as hell. And my energy level was lower than usual since I was up late last night with a few buddies watching “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. I’d much rather take a nap then trek half way across campus.

Refusing to be a quitter, I forced my legs to leave my dorm and stuffed five oatmeal-raisin cookies into my mouth. I was hoping that the sugar would give me a little push, but honestly, it didn’t help. Never rely on saturated fats for anything except disappointment, and cancer.

Once I reached the courts, I bumped into Jeff right away and chatted a bit. It was then I noticed familiar faces on the courts near us. It was my friend John from high school. And we started playing with John. Then it became Jeff, John, Max and me. Then it turned into Jeff, John, Max, me, and this guy named Alex who sticks his tongue out of his mouth when he gets excited, reminds me of a dog

All of a sudden, we were playing two-on-two with Max rotating in with John and me. We quickly discovered that Alex was a fantastic shooter and probably the best among us. He made nearly ever basketball from the free throw, which meant it was hard to play defense around him. It also meant, due to my far inferior skills, I really had to play, hard.

Many times throughout the game, I started panting. Clearly, I was out-of-shape compared to the guys. However, I am competitive in games and continued to push through. When the game ended, it was around dinner time. We lost… in the first set and then, recovered by winning the second!

I walked over to the side of the courts and let myself collapsed to the floor to rest. This moment felt amazing.

Reflecting back, I wonder what life lessons I can learn from today’s game. Is the moral here that one should dive straight into whatever he or she doing and just keeping pushing until success? This sounds idealistic, but life is not always a basketball game. Sometimes, you will not be given such definite, clear objectives like shooting into a hoop. Sometimes, it could take years to find out exactly what all your defenses and throws add up to become, if anything at all.

All I can conclude is that I felt true motivation. Motivation that only comes from doing something I absolutely love and whole-heartedly believe will succeed if I put in the effort.

Basketball is much more than a game. It allows you to practice more than just your blocks and passes. It also makes me feel better about those five cookies.


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