Lessons from some wise teachers

Today, I found out that I don’t like to lose. I played basketball with some young children after several years of “retirement.” It started off casual. I was sharing with the youngsters some basic fundamentals about the sport. Everyone gets on the court and insistently want to showcase their skills.

Some of the youngsters took to demonstrating their ball handling or dribbling skills. I can relate to these individuals because I shared the same interest growing up. I wanted to impress the audience. I can even recall times of my youth when young ladies would show up at the courts; I would, instantly, showcase my ball handling skills trying to show my strut or gain their attention. Its natural in the game of sports or any encountering with someone you have interest in.

As we played around, I asked them if they knew how to make a lay up? Most of them said confidently, they could, so I asked them to demonstrate for me. While showing me their skills, it came to them they wasn’t as comfortable in their ability as they once originally stated. Being as intelligent and manipulative as they are, they changed up the plans and began shooting jump shots.

The children then decided that they wanted to play a game known as 21. In this game, everyone is able to participate because there is only one winner. Everyone who participates compete to become the supreme victor among their peers. The first to 21 points win the game.

As we were playing the game, I started to get into it more; shooting the jump shot and looking for my rhythm. I then remember what I was telling the youngsters, work on your lay up. The important part to remember about the lay up is when you have mastered it, you can always use it when your jumper is not falling. Lesson #1: consider your “lay up” and attract things in your life that allows you to flourish, such as a career or profession. This is what I did to win the game.

We began to play the second game and one of the youngsters caught on to what I was teaching them. He proceeds on the get into the lead. He ends up scoring 20 points and all he has to do was shoot one free throw to win the game. He misses the shot and it gives me a chance to win the game: considering, the person who misses the game winning shot from the free throw has to go back to 15 points, and work their way up, again.

Something peculiar takes place. While the young man was shooting his last shot, he proceeds to tell me that he could not function well under pressure, which led up to his missed opportunity.

Nonetheless, we are still playing and the young man has 18 points. He knows if he shoots a three pointer, he can win the game. He takes a chance at winning and goes for the three pointer and makes the shot. Game over. Lesson #2: Never count yourself out. Serve opportunity best by being your greatest cheerleader. 

I remind him of his own words regarding how he claimed to not perform well under pressure. We all cheer him on, encouraging him to never count his abilities out. I then tell him that he overcame his objective by seizing the opportunity. Very encouraging moment for that young man.

We soon began another game, this time one that the youngsters created. We began playing the game and we are now close to the end. It dawned on me that this young man could possibly win the game. I begin to taunt him as I would other opponents.

He misses the shot due to the reverse psychology I use on him. I, then, take the ball and score, tying the game up.With the ball in my possession and the final shot on the line, I remind myself of what I told them earlier that day, “I am such as KD, Kevin Durant, when it comes to pressure, I don’t allow it to make or break me.”

Guess what, I take the shot and score in the most exhilarating form, with a fade away jumper. Lesson #3: Know your strengths. Be confident in your ability.

To conclude, apply these concepts in your life. Winning is always the ultimate goal, however, who truly loses except for someone who gives up. There will be other people with better abilities than you. Needless to say, people learn from people. This means that you also possess skills that work for your advantage. The purpose is to use them cohesively, and build each other up.

I don’t like to lose and the most important thing I had to remember was what it takes to win. First that required my mental commitment and lastly my physical. Everything you will encounter in life will require these commitments. Playing a friendly game of basketball was exactly what I needed to encourage myself on this journey. Thanks to the brave and creative spirit of those children, they did not know that they were my teachers.




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