The Joy of Winning a Close Game 59-58


My favorite singer is Sam Cooke, and he probably did his best work with an acapella gospel group The Soul Stirrers. On the way back to the locker room after our narrow escape last night, I heard Sam Cooke singing in my head. The title of the song escapes me primarily because I do not have my ipod with me as I write this post, but the lyric does not. Cooke sang the word “Joy” over and over again, but different, intriguing and heartfelt on each rendition.

I was full of joy, full of pride and fully aware that we got a little bit lucky. We fought the game all night, entered the fourth quarter down four and got our first lead of the game midway through the fourth, eventually going up six. We missed free throws and conceded baskets, and with 12.5 seconds left held a 59-57, but Lake Howell had the ball.

With 5 seconds left we committed a foul (not by intent mind you), and they had two shots to tie. The shooter hit the first, missed the second, a scramble ensued, they got a shot up, it rimmed out and we got the rebound and the win! We stormed the floor, lept into each other’s arms and shouted all the way off the floor.

We had no control over the free throw. We got lucky. He missed. We did have control over our belief. This is a function of the conscious mind, and we can control it. This is what winning teams do, and it is something I consciously do with my own mind.

In many situations during a game, I am animated, profane and somewhat violent. This seldom occurs late in a game, particularly when it is close. In those moments, I need lucid thought to see the possibilities and perils of the situation, and to project to my team a calmness. I genuinely believe we will win when it’s close, but I accept that we may not.

Happy as Hell that We Did!

3 thoughts on “The Joy of Winning a Close Game 59-58

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