• The Game of Life

    There are many people, places, and events that spur memories from my life that can make me laugh hysterically, or cry uncontrollably. With one simple question, my high school basketball coach, allowed me opportunity to become a fierce and focused competitor in this game called life.

    During basketball tryouts, freshman year, after 2 days of running, drills, sprints, defensive stance drills, stutter steps, etc., coach asked this question, “Who wants to have fun playing basketball?” If you were one of those individuals, you were instructed to step to the right / left (I don’t remember, it was many moons ago!). But still, if you wanted to have fun move to this side, everyone else stay where you are. To those folks who either raised their hands or stepped to the side, she politely told them that intramurals would be starting in a few days and they were more than welcome to join the intramural team. She asked one more time to see if anyone changed their minds and then ended practice.

    Whoa! In my mind, there was no other choice for me. I WANT TO WIN! Plain and simple… No way am I here to have fun. I love this game and this sport too much to purely do it for fun. I WANT TO WIN.English: Basketball article stub icon

    And those of us who chose that winning was more important that having fun, and who made the team, were tried and tested throughout every practice Saturday AND Sunday practice that lasted 4 hours each day, along with practice every day after school unless there was a game. That’s dedication to your skill, to learning, and growing. Through the pain of playing through injuries, winning and losing with grace, the lessons learned through drills, practice, practice and more practice. Timed suicide drills and then being picked to shoot a foul shout when you’re winded and feel like you’re about to pass out. You missing the foul shot, and your team mates encouraging you, even though we had to run more because I missed the shot. The passion, dedication, and all out sacrifice for the thing that you love the most at that point and time in your life. What an invaluable experience to have so early on in my life. I didn’t know it at the time, that it’s that question that would motivate me and teach me the pattern necessary to succeed.

    Those who chose to have fun, had a great time playing intramurals. It was their choice to not be that serious about the game of basketball. Knowing what you want and putting all of your time, effort, heart, and soul into it (without caring whether others understood it or not) is success. Finding others who have that same passion, energy, and drive in the same area.. PRICELESS!

    • Where is your true passion? Are you truly dedicated to putting all that you have into doing what you love?
    • Are you surrounding yourself with others who have that same passion to help yours grow and flourish?
    • Do you have a support structure to cheer you on when you’ve fallen, who will be there to help you to further develop your strengths?
    • Do you have that coach, that trusted advisor, to share wisdom, and insight who encourages you to reach beyond what you believe is possible?
    • Does it make sense to just like it enough to do it every now and then?

    You choose your passion. You choose your level of dedication. You choose when enough is enough.


    With love and gratitude.

    P.S. A special shout out to Mrs. Chris Palladino at Camden Catholic High School. The best basketball coach on this side of the planet. I can’t thank you enough!

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