Friday, December 2

Driveway Moment Pondered

I don't watch college basketball. In fact, I actually watch very little sports on TV - which is odd considering the fact that I was once nominated for a CableACE for my production of live baseball games. But I think it is important that you know that I don't share the following because of any great love for a particular basketball coach.

I was having one of those NPR "Driveway Moments" yesterday. I was only half-listening to the interview at first...but then something caught my attention. The interview was with a sports journalist of some kind (see how much attention I was paying?) - he was sharing some stories from his career. I expect he was promoting a book or something...

He was speaking about what coach Bobby Knight once said to his players: "You can't be successful as basketball players if you're selfish people. And I'm not just talking about passing the ball or getting back on defense, it's about more than that." He went on to ask his players if any of them had thanked the person who had hosted the team for Thanksgiving dinner - not one could say that they had.

At first it may be hard to see how those things are related to winning basketball games. How is being selfish an obstacle to scoring? And then I thought back to watching my nephew Jack's basketball team last year (I wrote about their final game here) and what a difference it made when they stopped being selfish and were more interested in the TEAM than their personal stats. I believe it is more obvious in basketball than some other sports because the team is only 5 members strong. (maybe hockey...but none of you watch hockey...)

And the whole theory carries through to things other than sports. We are part of teams every day - families, workplaces, committees, clubs, service organizations, churches and circles of friends. When we set aside our personal goals and try to figure out what the team's goal is - and then work together to accomplish it...then we are successful.

I'm going to keep mulling this lesson over in my head.

I learned something from Bobby Knight? I didn't expect that.

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