For basketball players, coaches, and fans everywhere, March Madness is without a doubt the best time of year.
Every shot, every turnover, every call by an official is bigger, is more important and is more scrutinized than similar actions that take place during the regular season.
As kids we all dream of someday being in a situation where we can hit the game winning shot that leads our team to victory. Not only do we dream about it, but we practice it as well.
As our mind counts down the clock, 5-4-3-2-1, we make some type of dribble move and shoot a 3 pointer right before our mental buzzer goes off. (We almost always do the same thing from half court too!) If we make the shot we momentarily celebrate as we imagine our teammates mobbing us and the deafening noise of the crowd.
However, if we miss we usually go grab the ball, walk out to the same spot – and try again. And sometimes again, and again, and again until we finally make it.
But something happens to a lot of players as they get older. They no longer dream of being in that situation anymore. In fact, they secretly try to avoid it. Why? Because the fear of failure is stronger than the anticipated rewards of success!
As a result they sabotage themselves by not cutting quite as hard, by not rubbing their man off the pick correctly, or by hesitating just long enough that getting a clean shot off is impossible.
If you find yourself in a similar situation some time in the next couple weeks, trust your preparation and don’t be afraid to fail.
No one remembers Babe Ruth’s strikeouts, Tom Brady’s incomplete passes, Tiger Wood’s shanked drives, or Michael Jordan’s missed game winners. But everyone remembers when things go right!