Tag Archives: basketball

Don’t Be Afraid To Dribble The Ball

When I was in elementary school, I played basketball in my spare time. 

Let me rephrase that – I tried to play basketball.

A few years prior, I had broken my teeth in the pool and from then on became overly cautious about everything. In basketball, this translated into me running up and down the court well, but whenever I caught the ball, I was so afraid of breaking my teeth again, that I quickly passed it on to someone else like a hot potato.

I was nothing like James Harden. 

And what did this brilliant strategy get me, you may ask? Only a single basket during one of my weekend games in all the months I played…and it was a foul shot.

Now, over a decade later, I’m realizing that this same approach I had to basketball back then has become a metaphor for how I’ve approached other things in my life.

Let’s take conversing for example. 

When I converse with those I’m not super close to, I have this tendency to want the conversation to be over quickly because I’m nervous. Instead of dribbling the ball a little by talking, I quickly pass it by nodding my head a lot and not contributing more to the conversation. 

Maybe you do this kind of thing in other parts of your life. For whatever reason, you’re too afraid to have the spotlight on you for a little bit, so you quickly direct it to someone else. 

I remember in 3rd grade, I passed up on the opportunity to be the lead in our school drama production of Firebirds. I was the first approached for this role and by my favorite teacher, no less. As sassy and outspoken as I was back then, I still said no to this opportunity to be The Firebird, and opted instead for being a whistling tree in the background. 

Yes, a freaking tree.

For my reserved friends out there, I’m here to say: dribble the ball, let your voice be heard, be the Firebird instead of a tree in a vast forest of other non-actors (no offense).

The next time you fear certain actions remember this: those fears will pale in comparison to the regret you’ll feel when you look back one day and see all the opportunities you missed.