“Who Wants to Start??”

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This story is somewhat amazing and slightly embarrassing.

Many of you know I played college basketball (some of you are shocked because I’m 5’11, listed at 6’0 in the program, and white).

I was pretty good but, none the less, my collegiate career was mediocre at best.

I was far from the best player on the team, but none of us realized our potential because our coach was pretty awful. I know guys that are still upset about playing for him.

He was an older guy who just refused to change with the game over time.

Now I’m not the greatest athlete on the Div I stage, but I would put my basketball IQ up against most.  My dad has been coaching for over 40 years so I know X’s and O’s.

Our coach often made really weird decisions with seemingly no reason behind them, tactically or strategically. The assistant coaches and I would regularly exchange looks of bewilderment.

Frequently, we would be sitting on the bench during a timeout and he would do something like ask “who’s ball is it?”

This is where most of you can imagine my look of outrage/confusion while throwing my hands up (I just got a little fired up thinking about that).

He once called the same play four consecutive trips down the floor……so I changed it to something else the fourth time.  We scored, I got benched haha.

My junior year we were playing at Bucknell and the first half had been less than stellar.  At half time he was doing the standard yelling at everyone.

And I mean everyone, like even the guys on the bench who hadn’t touched the floor.  I understand there is a rare time for that but this wasn’t it.

Imagine a scenario where basically nobody wants to play during the second half.

Then something amazing happened.  Amazingly stupid and weird.

Out of nowhere he asked “Who wants to start the second half?”

As I’m looking around the room confused and wondering what people are going to do I here my name

“Fern, you’re starting at point guard!”.

Half shocked, I wanted to be happy but couldn’t figure out why he chose me.

Then I realized I had my hand up……insert the SMH emoji.

In my mind I was thinking “Did I just do something stupid??”

Hands started shooting up quick after he called my name.  Some guys weren’t fast enough and didn’t “make the cut”.

To put this into context, a guy making a very nice salary coaching Div I basketball just chose his starting line by a show of hands.

That night still makes me laugh, and I’m talking about the kind of

“I can’t #$%&^%$ believe that?!?” laugh.

What was interesting is that once everyone realized how simple it was to start they all jumped in.

Everyone went from a state of wanting to quit to a scenario where you would have thought he was giving away free Jordan’s!!!

We went on to lose that game, largely because Bucknell was really good, but the attitude on the floor changed.

We played hard and tried to take advantage of our opportunity. I mean after all we “earned it” by raising our hands really fast hahaha.

Sometimes we just have to jump in and make the best of an unknown situation.

It’s virtually impossible to know the outcome of a given scenario.

We never know if we will win the game.

     We never know how the project will turn out.

     We don’t know if we will PR the lift or WOD

     We just have to raise our hand and get in the game.

I had a mentor tell me once:

“Basing your decisions only on known outcomes makes for a sad and uneventful life”

Having absolutely no idea how a given situation will  turn out is ok.

It’s ok because we can control the one thing that really matters.

EFFORT

When it’s all said and done that is the only thing we will ever really have control over.

And it’s the one variable that, when applied consistently, yields success.

We have to stop sitting around and waiting for other people to raise their hand first.

     Start going to the 6am class

     Stop eating like crap

     Stop complaining about things that have no real effect on your life

     Start making time for date night

Other people will start to follow your lead

Fern