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When I'm not writing about my experiences in this journey called 'life', I'm singing and uploading my own interpretations of modern music. Click on "Cover Songs" to hear them, or on the YouTube logo on the right to see my YouTube channel.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Basketball Analogies


I love analogies. A good analogy is like a beautiful tour guide - even if you don't understand her properly, you still get the general idea; and if you don't, you still tell everyone how wonderful she was.


From the above statement, I guess it's pretty clear that while I may have a fascination for the art, I myself am no Van Gogh when it comes to.... oh hell, basically my analogies suck! But I make do with what my rather controlled imagination gives me.


I love basketball, with a passion. And just like every other person that is passionate about something, to me life is somewhat similar to basketball. So here are a few basketball analogies, just off the top of my head.


1. The Next Shot Is Going In

If you're a shooter, one of the biggest problems you can have in a game is if your shot is not falling. You get open looks, you find your spots on the floor, but no matter how hard you concentrate that ball just refuses to go in. Too long, too short, too much arc - suddenly you're thinking about things you never did while taking a shot. Should I get inside more? Am I jumping enough? Should I try the other side? In your desperation to try and get the shot in, you start reinventing your entire shooting motion in your head or on the fly, trying things that aren't helping you in any way.

So what do you do? If I may steal a line from 'Rocky Balboa' - "shooter's shoot". If you're a shooter, you have to believe the next shot is going in before it leaves your hand. You need to keep throwing that ball up, because the only way to break even after missing your first five shots is to make the next five.

How often in life do we find people that quit after one failure, one wrong decision, one 'air-ball'? Just because it doesn't work out for you now, or tomorrow, or the next week, doesn't mean you stop trying. Unfortunately we live in a world that is brought up on instant coffee, instant noodles, fast food and the the internet. Everything has to happen NOW. No one wants to wait it out.

Maybe we should learn to keep shooting.

2. Taking One For The Team

'Driving the lane' is when a player aggressively attacks the basket by dribbling straight in towards the hoop, and is sometimes the most effective way of putting points on the board. See, if you are fouled in the act of shooting, and the shot goes in, you get to take a free throw which is worth another point. If you make the free throw, you end up scoring 3 points from one possession. So if you think about it, you could either take the chance of scoring three points by shooting the ball from the three-point line which is 23 feet away, or you could be brave, drive the lane, get banged up among the 'trees' (the taller players that are usually positioned around the rim) and take one for the team.

While there's nothing wrong in shooting a 3 pointer, when it comes down to the wire, sometimes it's best to take the route less travelled to ensure that no matter what, you either make the shot or you at least draw some contact to stop the clock and go to the free throw line to make some easy points. Win - win situation.

I have these phases in life where instead of manning up and getting my hands dirty, I rather sit away from the action and take the long-distance option. Sure, perhaps I can solve the problems that way too, but more often than not the only way to make sure things get done is to get inside and get hurt. As long as the 'ball' goes in.


3. The Last Shot

It's the fourth quarter. You're down by one point, and there's only seconds remaining in the game. Call a timeout, gather around the coach. There's time for just one shot. Coach looks at you. Your heart stops. He's going to draw up a play for you, you know it. You're going to be taking the shot. "Alright, draw this defender out, drive, and throw it out to X." He turns to your team mate - "X! Make this shot, boy! You can do it!"

When this happens, there are two trains of thought that can go through your head. One is, you can be relieved. Phew! No responsibility on you! All you got to do is get the ball safely to X, and he can make or break us. And if it doesn't go in, it's not your fault. The second is, you can be upset. Damn, so coach doesn't believe in me?? He thinks I can't make the shot?? Doesn't he trust me??

Both trains of thought are wrong. While I was playing ball in college, we had one guy on our team who basically carried us on his back with his amazing shooting ability. He had a great shot, made good decisions, and was the star of our team. To top it all off, he was my best friend. So did I get bummed when he was the go-to guy on the team? Sure. I wish I was the one making the game winning shots and being trusted with the ball when we were down, but the bottom line was that wasn't my role. We had a shooter, a good shooter, and his role was to take these kind of shots. As for being relieved at not being chosen, sure; but every now and then these plays break down, and suddenly you're the one with the ball in your hands thanks to good defence from the other team. And if that happens, pressure or no pressure, you need to be mentally ready to take that shot.


Often I've met people that have an attitude of "why him and not me??". I'm sure those of you that work will come across the over-enthusiastic co-worker that seems to get all the big incentives, big assignments, and the big accolades. The fact of the matter is that we all have our roles. In any team, be it on the court or in the office, the only thing that matters it that the team wins. If our pride and ego issues get trampled on the way, that is of lesser consequence.



In closing - check this video out. One of the greatest buzzer beaters ever!





7 comments:

Jerry said...

Yeah I didn't get that tour guide analogy....


:P

Finally a post, Mr. Dark!

*sound of jaw dropping after seeing video

alicia said...

i think this is one well expressed post!

PseudoRandom said...

Excellent post!

JP said...

Some times even if you are under the ring , you have to pass to the open man outside, to score.

Gehan said...

jerry: brilliant shot huh? goes down in history, that shot...

alicia: hey.. thanks! as usual, i thought it was a bit muddled but im glad its come across...

pseudorandom: thank u! im glad u liked it :)

JP: someone knows his ball :) while wat u say is true, this was just for explanatory purposes, thats all...

Baby Z said...

My husband also likes to play B-ball. He's got mad hops and it's fun to watch him cold hoopin' it with his boys on a hot Saturday afternoon. Since he's 6'2" and thin he does have a bit of an advantage.

Ethan 711 said...

hahahahahahahaahaha these arent even analogies

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