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March Madness! 7 Ways Basketball is like Life…

elite basketball

I love March Madness!  I love the game of basketball, but you’ll rarely see me taking the time to watch any games unless it’s my kid’s games or it’s officially March Madness!  March Madness is when the phrase “Game On!” truly incarnates into the 10 young men that step on the NCAA basketball floors all over the USA.  It is the time of year when the Elite players gather in 5’s and live out other vital phrases such as, “Give it your all!” — “No Regrets!” — “No Retreat!” — “Bring it!” — “No do-overs!” — “Go Big or Go Home!” — “Do or Die!”.

With that…it seems Basketball and life have a lot of parallels.  Here are 7.  I’m sure there are more.  If you have another one, write it in the comments section!

Here you go…7 things about March Madness Basketball that relate to real life…

1.  I play better relaxed. 

In life, when I’m frustrated, I live horribly. When relaxed I focus on wise and pro-active choices. When frustrated I tend to argue and fight and that just rarely ends in productivity.

2.  The measure between in-bounds and out-of-bounds is the difference between ASSERTIVE and AGGRESSIVE.

Assertive actions are focused on what is necessary towards what you want. Aggression clouds my focus and causes fouls from a heavy hand. Assertive behavior leads to goals achieved. Aggressive behavior causes pain and harm.

3.  Practice does = Permanent.

Work hard and smart because we all know it will be worth it.  Find what works and repeat until it doesn’t work anymore.  Practice…a lot.

4.  Good Self Esteem = Good Performance.  Performance does NOT = Self Esteem. 

5.  It’s a TEAM game. 

You can’t win basketball or life on your own.  Many Christians mistake the passage of Philippians 4:13 as a passage that means you can do everything on your own.  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me.”  Most people stop with that verse…but verse 14 says, “yet it was good of you to help me.”  

There’s a lot of arguing going on about this in our culture from prominent people such as Barack Obama, Michael Jordan and others.  Somebody told Michael Jordan that there is no “I” in team…His reply was, “But there is in “Win.”  🙂  Makes me smile, but it’s just not true.  Some have discovered that there is actually an “i” found in the word “team.”  See pic below to figure it out yourself.

The-I-in-Team1

My spiritual gift of immaturity causes me to laugh and shake my head at that pictorial proof that there is on occasion “i” in team.

6.  You have to score to win.

Basketball is like life because it is vital to set goals and be assertive in pursuing them.  It is important to understand that great goal achievement in basketball is at between the 50% – 60% success rate.  And…basketball is like life in the fact…The tougher the shot/goal the more satisfaction there is in attempting it and scoring it! Man…some goals can just make the crowd go crazy!!

7.  You cannot hold on to your mistakes for long…

So…you gave the ball away.  You missed a crucial shot.  You tripped and looked silly in the moment.  LET IT GO!  The game of basketball and life is fast.  It moves on with or without you.  Dropping our heads to pout will only be another error.  The best players in the world miss 50% of their 2 pointers and nearly 70% of their 3 pointers.

Philippians 3:13 says, “But one thing I do…forget (let it go) the past and strain (assertive) to what lies ahead.”  

 

Basketball and Life do have a lot of similarities.  There are others…I’ll leave it up to you to add them to the comments section if you’d like.  We could brainstorm many other parallels with basketball and life… Boundaries. Refs. Coaches. Racing the Clock. Strategic plays. Momentum. There’s always a crowd watching. Retaliators get called for the foul. Locker Room talk. Having the right shoes. Dunking! Having the right players on the team.  Making the Cut. Rest and Recovery. Shirts and Skins…etc. etc.

Let’s get our game on!

 


Laid Back Day in Africa…Saturday

What a good day. Very simple. AFter yesterday I needed a mental and emotional break. Today we went back to True Vine Ministry and visitied some of the same kids as we did on Wednesday. I guess we did more than just visit. We played basketball with the kids, the ladies in the group let the girls braid their hair, other guys in the group played soccer and volleyball. Today was just a relational day.

I had a chance to run downtown Torroro and purchased some soccer balls and basketballs to give to the ministry and school we visited. I took a motorcylce ride back. I went with a group of about 8 and we most definately stand out. We where the only white people in town. The Africans call us MUZUNGO…which means White and rich. Its not meant as a slam, just slang. Kinda like Gringo in the Mexican world. So as all 8 of us rode back on separate motorcyles and our drivers all lined up in a single file line people shouted Muzungo Train!

I have never met such a freindly and kind group of people. They actually see it as improper to not greet one another with a “Hello, How are you?” Everybody smiles. Its so refreshing. I think we Americans could work on this a bit. We have a tendency to be so independant and nervous around each other we’ve lost the art of friendliness. I want to challenge you for the rest of the day to say hello and smile to every person you make eye contact with.

One other quick story that is just fun and differnet and it proves that God is the creator of all things and He made everything very similar. So here’s the story. Just outside the front of our hotel is one giant tree that has a whole bunch of yellow birds. You know the kind you see only in cages in America. They are called Yellow Weavers. Beautiful bird. They are all making these round nests. Its seems like you could count 50 or so nests being woven together in this tree. The nests are round and about the size of a large Grapefruit. These Yellow Weavers hang upside down from the bottom of the nest and weave them together. In fact I found out that males are the ones who do all the work weaving these nests. You can watch these passionate men working away trying to make thier womans home just right and see all the energy and effort it takes. They leave a hole in the bottom of the nest and the birds enter the nest by flying up into it and then there is a flat inside the nest that they grab and rest and lay eggs in. Well after all the hard work of making the nest you can watch the male stop his work and sit on a branch close to the nest and he is chirping away with great pride at all his hard work. What happens next is amazing. The female then flies up into the bottom of the nest. She seems to remain inside for about 30 seconds to maybe a minute. If she approves of the nest, she flies out and then lands next to her male mate/husband and they chirp in agreement. If she doesn’t approve of the nest she flies out and lands just at where the Male Yellow weaver attached the nest with a braided string and she snips that string with her beak and the nest falls to the ground and is destroyed. The male looks at his work as it falls…seems to take a sigh…shake his head and then starts all over. Typical Wife….moving the furniture. God really did make all of creation very similar. You can tell there is only one great creative artist!!! LOL

Well, we’re back at the hotel. Its raining again. You can hear the rain coming down and you can actually hear monkeys running across the roof. Not sure what dinner is tonight, but I’m glad I get to blog a little early tonight and therefore get to bed earlier. .

Africa is outstanding. I hope you will plan on going someday. Traveling with Hope4Kids International makes it very simple.

I am so blessed to be here.
Thanks for reading.
I’ll update tomorrow. I’m going to an African Church service tomorrow…I have heard they can go on for many hours.
Gather with your church family tomorrow and celebrate how much God loves you. Don’t just go and attend a show…really give thanks to God. Bring your tithes and offering with you and sing out with all your love for God and take great notes as your preacher shares the Word of God. Then Go out and Be The Church!
The Hope of the World is the power of God working through your hands and feet and heart. Gather with people you love, enjoy the community of it all and keep being the Church! It really is the only hope our world has that lasts.

Love ya…
Trent