What Can We Learn From Basketball?Posted: March 4, 2013
What if we were able to learn something from basketball?
If you looked at the shorts we wore a few decades ago and the ones we wear now, you might say that basketball has already taught us something. Shorts with longer leg lengths became popular on the basketball court first. We all thought those shorts looked funny at the time. Now we know that a little more cloth can make the world a better place.
We stopped learning from basketball at that point. That might have been a mistake. There are a few things that I still see in a game of hoops that could make things better for us all. I’ll admit that I don’t see either of them as often as I used to.
Admit Mistakes. Say Thank You.
Basketball is a team sport. Sure, a few players conduct themselves as if it isn’t. Some players score a basket, celebrate their accomplishment as if it were a singular act and then head to the other end of the court. But so few baskets are truly the work of just one player. I think most are still aware of that.
There was an era when all players recognized that a great shot usually followed a great pass. A scorer always pointed out the team-mate who got him the ball. It was a quick way of showing appreciation for the assist.
It was also common for a player who’d been called for a foul to raise their hand. As best I can tell, it was a rule that helped score keepers count the number of infractions on each competitor. It seemed to me that it also served as a concession that an error had been made.
A Short Bit Of Contrition And Thanks.
The best time of year to love basketball, the college championship season, is upon us. Conference championships will lead in to the selection of teams for the tournament for the national championship. College ball is the last, best hope for the pure game. A well-played game college game still sometimes comes across as a team art performance.
If you carefully watch one of those performances, you might even catch someone admitting a foul or thanking a team-mate for a job well done. Maybe we can all thank someone for helping us out, or just say “yeah, that’s what happened” when someone points out a mistake.
In the ’70’s, I wore shorts that were not a good choice for anyone. In my defense, everyone else did too. I should have shown some initiative. Thank you, basketball, for saving us all from those shorts.