Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Rebounding in Life

When in the ABA and NBA, I scored 12.5 points a game but my real strength was rebounding. For those who don't know what rebounding is, it's simple. When a shot is taken and it misses, that's called a "rebound." When it misses, somebody grabs it. That person is the rebounder. I absolutely loved rebounding. I was a rebounder and I have records to prove it. I won't bore you with that.

The person who takes a shot and misses is sad because he (could be she) didn't get the two or three points. People who shoot a lot like points because, when you get a lot of points, you get your picture in the next morning's paper. But the rebounder (his teammate) is happy when he sees a ball about to clank off the rim. He's happy because now he gets a chance to score by grabbing the rebound and putting the ball in the basket. While the shooter stands there, with a long face because he didn't get his points, the rebounder is happy because he helped his team. I can say this because it's been 40 years since I played; it's also kinda cool to get the points and wink at the shooter who didn't get them.

Keith Erickson, member of 1964 UCLA championship team, who played with two ball-hogs Walt Hazzard and Gail Goodrich, told me he once kindly asked Gail to pass him the ball once in a while. Gail told him, "If you want the ball, go rebound." There you go.

OK. This is getting too long. I have lots of stories but I'll get to the point.

We can learn about rebounding in life, by analyzing rebounding on the basketball court. We can learn how to make good out of bad in our daily lives, just like the rebound in basketball is turning something seemingly bad (the missed shot) into something good (a score). Here's how.

There are three steps to basketball rebounding:
One: Assume Every Shot is Missed
Two: Get in Position for the Rebound
Three: Go Get the Ball

Great rebounders know this formula and that's why they are great rebounders.  Those who stand there and assume the ball is going in, are in a dream world. The ball will go in less than half the time. Yet they dream on. If you don't get position, when the shot is taken, you'll also be away from where the ball will go. When you don't go after the rebound competitively, you'll lose the race. Somebody else will get it.

There are three steps to rebounding in life:
One: Assume Things Are  Not Always Going to Go Right (The Miss)
Two: Get Prepared for Possible  Change (Getting Position)
Three: Go After the New Opportunity (Going After It)

In basketball, the missed shot is nothing more than change. We thought the ball was going in but it did not.  That's change. In life, those who anticipate change (the rebounders) are already one step toward being prepared. Those who make plans for change (i.e., Learning another skill incase you loose your job) are ready. And, with every closed door another one opens. The Rebounder in Life sees the open door and goes through it.

Those of you who read my tweet, "My Story," know that I know change. I'm a rebounder and that's why I was able to move on, even when things looked the worst.

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Benjamin Franklin

Keep Rebounding, Friends,

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