In the past year or two, I rarely touched a basketball so I just figured “ball was not life”…so I thought.
The last tournament I played was in the 2016 Korean national tournament in Dallas. We, Team DC, lost in the semi-finals to the team from New York, and until 3-4 weeks ago, I thought that was my last basketball game/tournament ever. The sport that was my passion, flow, and essentially life once upon a time became something that I saw as stress and ultimately replaceable. Eventually, I found myself never playing, watching, thinking, and missing basketball. With all the traveling, career and life transitions, and other activities, I thought I had replaced basketball completely out of my life.
Strangely, about 4 weeks ago, I woke up feeling like I wanted to play basketball. Nothing major or long-term, maybe for exercising but mostly, just cause. Little did I know, that feeling led me to this past weekend, winning my first gold medal in the Korean national basketball tournament. However, more importantly, this weekend made me realize that all the things I’ve learned during my years of playing basketball have had a significant impact on my life outside of the court.
Since leaving my former job, I’ve been doing things independently. Rather than working for a corporation or having a boss, I chose to do things on my own. It allows me flexibility but most importantly, the full control of the direction of the business.
This trip to Atlanta allowed me to forget about everything and solely focus on one thing: WINNING. However, I wasn’t going to achieve that on my own. With that in mind, the only thing I could do was give my all on the court and provide any assistance that the team needed off the court.
I found comfort in knowing that I couldn’t do everything. I had to rely on, and more importantly, trust the team. With the team was there to push, challenge, and hold me accountable, I noticed myself performing at my best.
2. Stay in your lane
On the court, whenever I tried to do too much the outcome wasn’t favorable for myself nor the team. Especially since I wasn’t able to put the amount of work I needed to in order to be at my “best” this time around it was critical for me to not over-reach.
Interestingly, I’ve recognized that to be the same as being a trainer/coach. I can’t, as well as, shouldn’t claim to be something I’m not, a physical therapist nor a doctor. I shouldn’t claim to rehab or fix any injuries and illnesses because that’s not what I’m qualified to do. All I can and should do is “stay in my lane” and focus on what I do best.
3. Surround yourself with the right people
Just as Jim Rohn said, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” who you surround yourself with becomes essential to your mindset, character, and the quality of life. It’s the same case for a basketball team and the team at work. If the team can stimulate, challenge, and support each other the team will transform and grow which ultimately will lead to success. Without the right people, even if the most talented, success will be hard to come by.
The sport of basketball comes down to putting a ball in a basket. It’s so simple and basic. Yet, millions and millions of people passionately play, watch, play, teach, and learn. Just because I wasn’t playing or watching it, I just assumed I was no longer a part of the sport and its impact. However, this past weekend has made me realize the true meaning of the phrase, “Ball is life”. As corny as that sounds, the lessons I’ve learned over the years have influenced me to become who I am. If a simple thing like putting a ball in a basket can teach me so many lessons, what other basic things in life can do the same?
Look around. Live and learn.