Wednesday, June 19, 2013
It's A Slam Dunk
Coach tossed Nate a ball and began his instruction. "First thing you need to learn is how to slam dunk the ball. Once you can slam dunk the ball, the rest of the game is easy - it practically plays itself. Go ahead."
Nate stood there, puzzled for a moment. He then shrugged and tried to jump up and slam the ball. His vertical leap was weak, to say the least, and he didn't get within 2 feet of the rim. He tried a couple times, then turned and faced the coach.
"Shouldn't we start with learning to dribble or pass or something?"
"Not with my method. A slam dunk is a guaranteed shot. All other shots have a big chance of not going into the hoop. If you want to be successful in this game, you make points. The only sure shot is the slam. Here." Coach motioned for the ball. Nate tossed it to him. "Watch me."
The coach jumped up and slammed the ball. "Easy. See?" He did it again. He then backed up, ran at the hoop, jumped, spun and slammed it down backwards. "You can't stop that. See how easy it is? Go on," he said, tossing the ball back to Nate, "try it again."
Nate tried and tried, and failed and failed. The coach had him try approaching the rim on a run, from both sides and straight on. Not even close. Nate held the ball, panting, and said, "Can we skip this part and move on to something else? I might be able to slam someday, but not today."
"You still don't understand, Nate? Frankly, I'm getting tired of trying to explain it to you. Once you know how to slam, you won't need to waste your time -- and mine -- learning all those other skills. They'll be moot. You get the ball, you slam it home. Victory. Now try it again."
Nate tried another hour, until the Coach finally gave a sigh of frustration, threw up his hands, and walked away, saying, "There must be some sort of emotional or spiritual blockage in you that's preventing you from learning even the first step. Maybe this game isn't for you. Besides, you've used up all the time you paid for. I'm done."
So the Coach left. Nate stood there for a few moments, stinging inside a bit, not really understanding why things played out the way they did. Then he shrugged, walked over to his gear, grabbed his iPad, and pulled up an eBook on basketball basics. He studied the first chapter's diagrams and then set the iPad down, grabbed the ball, and began dribbling up and down the court.
Hope you enjoyed the story.
On a COMPLETELY unrelated note, my screenwriting Mentor decided he was done trying to teach me screenwriting. Guess I'll try teaching myself. Good thing I have a few good books on the subject...
Adios for now,