Lessons Learned from my Dad and Basketball


My Dad coached my junior high basketball team and I wasn’t very good. I can remember him saying to me, “Moll, well you’re just not that good and we’ve actually got a shot at this right now.”

He was right in that I wasn’t that good at basketball and I’m so glad he was honest with me.  I also knew that if I wanted to get better, I would practice more and he would be right there by my side to throw my layups.  The truth is, I just didn’t want it that much.

There are so many lessons I learned from all of the games and watching him coach other teams over the years that I feel like this post could go on forever...here’s a few.

  1. Have fun in whatever you’re up to in the world.  He would always say at the beginning of a game, “We’re here to have fun, and something to the effect of, and we might just win too!”  I see so clearly how when we engage with life and let life flow through us, it’s almost like the Life is saying, “You wanna play?”

  2. Keep your eye on the ball.  This looks so different to me now because I used to think it meant keeping your laser focus on what you’re after and keep going until you “make it happen.”  But now, it’s so obvious that what it really means, in my experience and in the work I do with my clients is keeping your eye on the ball or your focus in what you’re trying to create is just a simple result from having a clear mind.  

    Whereas with a busy mind you drop the ball, trip over your shoelaces or can even forget what team you’re playing on.  When you drop into a clear mind, you know exactly what to do next. And you’re right back into playing the game, having fun and just enjoying yourself.  It feels easy and almost effortless. And just like my Dad said to the team, you might even win.

    Side note: When you think you know what winning is in relation to your work or project or whatever you want to bring into the world, in my experience what you “think” is actually quite smaller than what’s really on offer.  When you’re not forcing it, amazing opportunities can fall in your lap, and what you’re chasing is usually a tiny bit of what’s really available. Fully engage and the next step will almost always be obvious.

  3. Hustle. This word has a completely different meaning to me now.  My Dad always said that I was great at it and I even received the “Hustle Award” in high school volleyball.  Knowing that my five feet tall stature would not get me very far as a setter, I instead focused on what I could do and enjoyed in all sports, which was the speed of running after the ball and (hopefully) catching it.

    The idea of hustling in your work or project or idea is just you moving with it. And yes, at sometimes it can seem like there’s real momentum gaining or it can feel like things are moving quickly.  

No matter what the size or speed or how you perceive your project given the thinking you have in the moment about it, all you need to do is take the very next step.  

If you try to jump ahead five spaces thinking you can beat the imaginary clock of your pre-planned timing, you’ll not just miss out on opportunities as they bring themselves to you in real-time, but you’ll probably have a busy mind and fill yourself with worry and fear about your choices and all the what-ifs.  Fast or slow, happening at just the right time, divine timing, synchronicity, flow. And sometimes it looks right to just let go of it, or release it to the world, let it bake or simmer a bit longer, allowing it transform and evolve.

IT’S ALL JUST THE VERY NEXT STEP (and we’re all in this together.)

What are you up to that you want to look at with fresh eyes and transform?

Where do you want to play next?

What do you see?

Enjoy this day.