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Repetition and the Junior High Basketball Coach

My post on how playing soccer has helped my business got me thinking about my early adventures in team sports.

I had a growth spurt early and I was much taller than most of my peers. (They of course caught up to me in high school.)

When we first moved here from Texas, all the coaches were so very super excited to get to know me. Little did they know that I sucked a sports. I just wasn’t that interested in playing. The only sport I was remotely interested in playing was basketball.

I liked basketball.
I had friends that played basketball.
We played a lot of basketball.

This doesn’t mean I was actually good at basketball.

But, I was tall so I was on the team.I’m horrible at remembering names, so we will just call him Coach. As I think back on these days, I’m pretty sure Coach was a super-secret basketball genius. I’m really not sure why he didn’t go on to become the coach of the Phoenix Suns.

Here’s what he did.

While everyone else was practicing passing and dribbling and team stuff, he stood me directly under the net and made me shoot bank shots. Over and over and over and over, this is what I did. Each practice we would do variations of this. Hook shots. Dribble and shoot. Move up and down the key shooting. It got pretty boring. But, I did it. Over and over and over and over.

I was a nervous wreck on our first game. But, there I was standing at the key following the ball around like he told me. Suddenly someone passed to me. I don’t remember even thinking. I just turned and shot.

It went in. Everyone cheered. I was as shocked.

Then it happen again during the game. And again. I ended up scoring like 8 points that game. I don’t remember them. I just turned and shot. It was a truly amazing highlight of my very short basketball career.

And Coach knew something that its taken me a lifetime to learn. Repetition is the key to success. It really is about that 10,000 hour thing.

I need to remember this as I move forward with my life.

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