Basketball As A Metaphor For Life

Basketball As A Metaphor For Life. I like the way that sounds. I’d like to say that I deserve credit for coining the phrase but I am fairly certain that it has been used before. For that matter I can guarantee that there have been numerous statements that use that line. We could create a Madlib.

___________ As A Metaphor For Life. My inclination is to come up with several examples, the more ridiculous the better. In this case I am going to ignore the inclination and share a simple conversation I had with my son in which I used the phrase that adorns the top of this post.

The big guy and I were enjoying a father/son moment over the weekend. One of the ongoing components of our conversation is that I ask him if he has any questions for me. He always does. I can’t help but smile as I think of the look he gets on his face as he tries to decide what to ask me. Some questions are more serious than others. I can’t say that I remember exactly what led to the basketball as a metaphor for life story, but I can share how that went.

Little Jack wanted to know what I like best about the game. I told him that it is a hard question to answer, but that parted of it is because basketball is a game of desire, a question of will. Success in basketball is more than talent and more than luck. It is a question of imposing your will and desire to succeed upon the other team.

And in my opinion the best example of that is rebounding. Anyone can shoot. If you practice long and hard you can become a decent shot, but not everyone can rebound. Rebounding requires effort. Rebounding is more than being in the right place at the right time. Rebounding is about tracking the ball, anticipating where it is going to fall and then finding a way to get it away from all of the others who are trying to do so too.

I love that. I get off on out working and out hustling the other guys. Rebounding is one of those places in which you demonstrate desire. Hard work is the hallmark of a great rebounder. Oh sure you can find holes in the theory. You can mix great players with bad, tall with short etc.

But all things being relatively equal it really comes back to who is willing to work harder and that is a good life lesson.

There are a lot of ways to measure success. There are a hundred methods we can use to try and say why one person is more successful than another, but why complicate it.

If you want to make it. If you want to be successful you can follow the same path as the great rebounder. Dig, dig, dig. Hustle, push, grind, pull, push, hustle and dig. Get to the ball first. Use your body to block others. Find ways to play smarter so that you do not exhaust yourself. Use the angles to shorten the court.

Work hard.

That is the simplest way to put it and that is essentially what I explained to him. It is nice to be talented. It is even better to be lucky, but in the end the one thing that we can control is ourselves. And that means that we can control how hard we work. We can outwork the others by taking that extra step.

I am not sure that the big guy followed all of this. In fact I am sure that some of this went over his head, but that is ok. It is a good life lesson and if this helps it sink in than I am happy.

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  1. Jack's Shack May 24, 2007 at 3:41 pm

    Cooking and Siting- I like it.



  2. Janet May 22, 2007 at 11:19 pm

    American Idol is a metaphor for life, too. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and you always feel like you’re being judged, especially by the British.:)

  3. rabbi neil fleischmann May 22, 2007 at 11:46 am

    Nice post/story. I love the initial idea.

    I’m going to go with SITTING as a metaphor for life. The way we sit on a chair – if we cross our legs, slouch, lie way back, sit at the tippy edge, etc. teaches us a great deal about how a person looks at life. It’s a different take from yours as a metaphor for how to live life… Now that I think, this is more a test of how one views life, one’s psychology.

    Let me try again – COOKING as a metaphor for life: You try your best, but you never know how it will turn out. It’s impossible to consider every factor. But G-d helps and in the end it turns out the way it was meant to be.

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