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  • Writer's pictureHenery X (long)

A Team Effort

Updated: Mar 26, 2023

When We All Do A Little, No One Will Never Need To Do A Lot

It was 00:00:20 seconds to play in regulation. The home team was down by two, but they were in possession of the ball. They had called their last time out and now the entire team listened intently as the head coach relayed what would more than likely be the last play of the game.

As it was with the said coach, the starting five players on the team lived for moments like this. Where the average person would be nervous and unsure, they were fearless and had one hundred percent confidence in their abilities. One such player was James “Sure Shot” Johnson, who was by far the best player on the team. James was the starting point guard, which was a position he earned because of a commitment to excellence. At six foot six and weighing in at two hundred and fifty pounds of pure muscle, he was hard to handle. Tack on lightning speed, uncanny court vision, and a seemingly unlimited shooting range and guarding him became virtually impossible. At times like this, opposing coaches expected the ball would more than likely end up in his hands.

“Alright, fellows. Are we all clear on what needs to happen?” The coach said, his eyes darted from player to player.

“Yes, Sir!” the players said in unison.

“Alrighty then. Let’s go win a ball game.”

The players ran out onto the court, where they took up their positions. The crowd was going wild. They had most definitely gotten their money’s worth tonight. James had been assigned to inbound the ball, a move that left the opposing coach baffled, as well as a bit nervous. One of the three referees blew his whistle, and the action began. James was being defended by the opposing team’s point guard at first, and then the coach attempted to make a switch with his center. This is when the veteran point guard made his move. He threw the ball into the shooting guard and hurried past the center. The shooting guard bounce the ball back to James. Seconds later, two defenders were headed in his direction. As he saw them, he also saw the positions of each one of his teammates. The scene played out just as their coach predicted it would. He could have easily taken the last shot, but it wasn’t what they agreed upon. Seconds before the two defenders were about to smother him with pesky defense, James threw a beautiful bounce pass to the small forward in the right corner of the court. One of the two defenders heading towards James was supposed to be guarding the man who was now in possession of the ball. The second the man in question received the ball was the moment he let it fly from three-point land. Everyone in the arena was as quiet as a house full of five at 3 a.m. and all eyes were on the ball in flight. The ball entered the netted rim at the exact time the buzzer sounded to end the game. The winning team, as well as everyone who was riding with them, was acting as if they had all won a hefty share of a trillion-dollar lottery.

Some would say it was the small forward’s shot that won them the game. Some would say it was James’s precise bounce pass that claimed the victory. And some would say the accomplishment resulted from a coach, who knows what he knows. Though all three factors played a part in the conclusion, there are many more realities to consider as well.

In the first quarter, James had a remarkable six steals, which were all converted into points. In the second quarter, the center had four key blocks, which also resulted in points for their team. In the third quarter, the coach called two critical time outs, both of which stopped the opposing team’s sudden burst of energy. Early in the fourth quarter and down ten points, James was given the green light to do what he did best, which was scoring and creating scoring opportunities for his teammates. At this moment, he ensued each one of his teammates not only touched the ball but could score as well. He knew for them to win, it would have to be a team effort. He was establishing unwavering confidence in them by showing he trusted them to get the job done at a crucial time.

In closing. We all have a part to play in this life we live. We learn our said part by living our lives on our own terms. We can’t be concerned with what others are doing or not doing. All we can hope is they’ll do what’s expected of them, and to the best of their ability, when the time comes. Perfect practice makes perfect. The more we do a thing, the better we become at doing the said thing. Never become satisfied. Satisfaction brings about stagnation, and stagnation is likened to death. Always make your last accomplishment inspiration and motivation for your next.

“Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.”-James Baker

“When we’re properly prepared it prevents us from performing poorly.”-Henery X (long)

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