If (When) You Fail, Don’t Lose Your Composure

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I played high school basketball and was Captain my Senior Year. I also coached two years of high school basketball (going undefeated one season!). One learns a few things about the sport by spending that much time in smelly gyms. Here is a little insight: when a young player takes a shot and misses, there is an increased chance that within the next 5 seconds, he will commit a foul against the other team. Most inexperienced players who take a shot and miss it run straight to whoever gets the rebound and tries to steal the ball, only to be overaggressive and commit a foul. Why does this occur and more importantly, are there applications outside of sports?

I think it’s a matter of losing composure after failure. The kid is frustrated and wants to make up for the missed shot. He’s out to prove he’s a good ball player, so he overcompensates – and ends up fouling. I also think it is losing control of his emotions. The temper forces overreaction – and invariably the whistle blows.

It happens in life all the time. Somebody messes up, and as if things weren’t bad enough, they lose their composure. Bad becomes worse. Some basic coaching could help prevent these multilevel mistakes. I think the real culprit is a lack of maturity. A more seasoned player has learned that when he/she misses a shot, it’s best to go back and play controlled defense. A good coach will train players that it’s ok to miss shots but it’s not ok to make matters worse by fouling.

In life: Not if, but when you blow it – hold on to your composure. Don’t lose control of your emotions. Don’t overcompensate. Sometimes it’s best to fall back and play defense.

You’ll get another chance to take, and make, a shot.

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