In college, two of my teammates and me played in a lot of tournaments and pickup games together. And we won a ton of them. But there was one in particular that we lost, and I always remember why.
Some fraternity decided to hold a 5-on-5 basketball tournament on campus at the end of our senior year. I could ever understand why they decided on a basketball tournament, as their members were mostly Latino guys who never played basketball. But they did. Naturally, we signed up to win it.
In the championship game, we faced a team comprised of a couple guys who were at our same talent level (one issue we always had was playing together; not enough basketballs for everyone to be happy) who’d joined forces with a group of ragtag guys who weren’t talented but did play hard and pridefully (aka they hated losing pickup games to us through the year, even though we were a lot better than them at basketball).
That beat us in that championship game, for one reason: They took the fight to us, and caught us on our heels from the very beginning. They were, obviously, very motivated to beat us. And it showed.
By the time we gathered our bearings and started fighting back, they had the momentum and the trophies.
I’ve always remembered that. And my mindset now, even off the court, is to attack first.
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