What do basketball and “commit to love” have anything to do with each other and in all of our lives? Kick back, stay awhile and let’s find out. This post is especially apropos during the mayhem of “March Madness”, the only time during the year I seem to get a chance to watch college basketball as it’s hard to miss when it’s on every tv in the house!
The Mirage of Instant Gratification
I have come to realize that it is quite difficult to keep up with the never ending demands of more, more, more in this day and age of “instant” gratification. When in all reality, the idea/concept of instant gratification is simply a myth. It’s not sustainable to expect “instant” in everything. The world would tell you otherwise and sell you on the possibility that it is real. It’s the “it” message of today on social media. People make it “seem” effortless when in fact it’s not. It takes work behind the scenes, sacrifices, choices to put out “real work” and that my friends is where true gratification begins.
It’s the time, the effort, the blood, the sweat, the tears, the joy, the happiness – where gratification unfolds and takes root deep within your soul.
Making a personal choice and commitment to write only when inspired and moved so others might get a glimpse in and feel that authenticity too, I have decided to stop trying to keep up with posting just to post in order to keep up with the instant gratification movement. Sure, would I love to give others that instant gratification of food posts, recipes, life posts, etc. each and every day? Of course, I would! But it takes real time, real effort, real work behind the scenes to keep it up and I have found that my attention has turned to life giving, hands on opportunities that I get to be a part of and that’s where my joy lies and spirit renews itself so my time and attention has to be put on those endeavors; and unfortunately that means that regular posting has to take a back seat for now until I have a staff of fifty or can beg my kids to take part.
An Answer for Everything
When it comes right down to it, I want to commit to providing all you readers with something more than just a post, I want it to be truly food for thought beyond a recipe, beyond a “how-to” guide, beyond advice giving, because if you notice everyone seems to have an answer for everything when in fact there is no “one size fits all” answer that can be given to anyone.
We each must find answers for ourselves through constant growth, expansion and exploration. The answer isn’t ever in anyone else, it’s in yourself and your willingness to go explore. It’s in the willingness to take action, it’s not in the observing, the sitting on the sidelines mentality. And, on that note, it brings me back to my original point of posting this message – – What you can learn from watching from the sidelines? Turns out A LOT!
(Those of you who know my writing by now know I get long winded, rambly, and often “squirrel like” going from thing to thing to thing…but I always course correct……….. eventually! [reference cute pic of squirrel below enjoying the dandelion goodness] So that brings me back to the point of this post.
Watching from the Sidelines
My daughter and I traveled out to Fruita, Colorado this past weekend for her team’s first official Nike EYBL regional practice and I had the pleasure of watching these practices from the sidelines. There really were only three choices…go shop, go eat or watch basketball. Hands down, I picked the latter!
As I sat in the bleachers “watching”, I had this uneasiness wash over me about simply sitting and doing nothing for hours on end and kept itching to get up and do something, anything. Sitting with that uneasy feeling for quite some time, midway through, I finally started to relax and realized the beauty of truly watching something in the making. The beauty of watching others work hard, be pushed outside their comfort zone, watching them put in the time and effort to accomplish goals as a team, as players, as a common force. The realization and knowing that the hands on act of getting yourself dirty is where the real and powerful, deeply satisfying, gratifying work lies was inspiring in so many ways. The act of “watching” demonstrates and gives you a sense of what is possible and can give you the push needed to stop watching others, get out there and like Nike likes to say, “Just Do It!”
Needless-to-say, I wrestled the whole time with jumping out on the court to help in any way possible but I exercised control and sat on my hands and just watched and observed.
As you can now imagine after hours and hours of sitting and watching over the course of two days, I had a lot of time for reflection (never mind the 5 hour drive home when I thought long and hard about this post!). What stuck out in my mind is a phrase that was used in the very first hour of our arrival during the parents meeting and the whole point of this post (see it only took me 5 paragraphs to get to the point!).
Getting to the Point
It was a phrase used and expressed by Keith Van Horn, former NBA player, and now Executive Director of Premier Basketball Club, and coach of my daughter’s Nike EYBL team, as he explained the “5 Commitments of a Great Team”. An obvious “ear” opening statement as everyone wants a great team and wants to know the secrets on how to get there.
When he stated the “4th Commitment of a Great Team”, I nearly jumped up out of my seat. In my head, I was up on my feet giving a standing ovation to the words, to the statement, being made by a high-caliber male athlete/role model who by society’s standards isn’t suppose to express the “softer, let them see you cry side“. Mind you, this 6’10” guy didn’t cry, all he said was, “This may surprise many of you what I am about to say as it is not usually used in the context of sports but I am going to challenge all of you to…
“Commit to Love”
What did he just say??***!!! I did a double take and quickly grabbed the handout with the 5 Commitments written on it and read the words, “Commit to Love”. To paraphrase, it read,
“Commit to supporting each other, encouraging one another and wanting the best for each other. This commitment will strengthen our bond and improve our effectiveness on the court.”
Who uses love and those kind of words in a competitive sports environment? It just doesn’t happen in this day and age and is something so desperately needed and frankly, so refreshing to hear. When he spoke those 3 words (commit…. to….. love), I wanted to get up and dance! Yes, that’s the message that needs spreading in this world!
Let’s call it what it is is – – a little known “secret” in that it is so simple but is a rarely used concept, motivator and something that is hardly every taught outside the walls of faith.
The fact that he shared it in a team environment out on a basketball court is that much more significant as no great journey can be accomplished alone. It takes more than yourself, it takes all those around you. It takes love.
Imagine how the single commitment to love can change a player, a team, a family, a person, a life, a community. The impact is immeasurable!
I know it to be true from my own endeavors and the moment it came out as spoken words, it resonated and rang as loud as any bell I’ve heard – music to my ears. It has been the sole mission/path that I have been on these last several years with not only my personal journey but the journey of “sharing life and love” with other people and most especially, what is being done along with Brave Beauty in the “Super Soul” Share Class/Happy Hours – teaching and empowering women to support one another, encourage each other and wanting the best and seeing the best in other women.
After living out the principles for myself of committing to and operating from a space of love, love has magically and effortlessly shown up in every nook and cranny of life. I know this to be true in my heart after living, loving and breathing it and like I have always told you all, I only speak and offer what I know to be true.
Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself – you will see. Keith is spot on! People, like Keith, who have reached the pinnacle of success, feel, represent and know the truth behind those 3 words and you can try it for yourself. The very fact that he shared this commitment with his organization and with the teams, players, and parents taking part, means that he knows the power therein and wants to share the message with others as he knows its key to take his teams to the highest level – that my friends is jaw-dropping and inspiring!
When you hear truth spoken, you come to know and feel it in a unique way that gives off a resounding “YES” from within! A flashback to my short-lived cheerleading days in 7th grade comes to mind with an awkwardly, yet satisfying spread eagle jump!
Commitment to Serve
Keith finished up with the final commitment of a great team – “Commit to Serve the Team”. Making the commitment to serve for the greater good of the team beyond just ourselves. Let others shine in their own right even it it means taking a backseat role in support of reaching the end goal. It all matters, we all matter, each and every person on a team matters. It’s such an easy thing to forget. Whether it’s those out on the court or those sitting on the sideline bench (or even those in the stands), each plays a vital role in the success of a “Great Team”. Learn to serve for the greater good of the whole.
If we all operated from that space of serving in our lives without selfish motivations imagine where that would take us?!
In a nutshell, why it resonated so deeply with me is that he summed it up, out of all places, out on a basketball court – a space that I have a deep love for as it was the very reason I started a youth volleyball and basketball league all those years ago and it all came from a place of love and serving. They are the very principles that guided me and moved me in the direction of creating Sharing Our Life, Love and Food. I wrote the cookbook out of love for my children and desire to leave them a tangible legacy, God forbid my time on earth is short. It, without a doubt, challenged me, pushed me, drove me, motivated me in so many ways and so, I know the force that love has and what it will “will” you to do.
Thank you Keith Van Horn, Greg Bolding, Jeremy Martin and Mike Wells for operating from this space and teaching and modeling it to others this past weekend. It has power beyond measure. Thank you for the reminder that love is necessary in all spaces. Not just off the court as most would assume but on the court where players are putting in the hard work. The simple love of the game, the act of loving and championing your teammates, your coaches, your community gives you that deep sense of connection that will drive and motivate you in indescribable ways. When you truly love something, you will do ANYTHING for it.
Love for the game, love in life, love in what you do, will carry you further than anything else because that which you love will require and ask more of you. It will make you work that much harder, make you that much more committed…that much more driven…
Thank you Premier Family for putting it so simply and creating a positive impact for so many on and off the court!
The Take Home:
Everyone wants a “take home”, a parting gift that helps them to remember the occasion. So if I could leave you with one thing from this post, it would simply be: find the things you love in life and go give it your all and do it simply for the greater good without any ulterior motive. Draw on that intangible force and drive that comes from the space of love. These simple words and action of committing to love and service is a life altering/life changing/life giving perspective that will rock your world and forever change your life!
Hope you enjoyed this long winded post! I’ll eventually learn to be more concise! = )