Thoughts regarding sports and mentoring.
Caution: Severe Tennessee Titan, Memphis Grizzlies, Chicago Cubs, and Scott Stallings bias.

Weekly Block – Big Finish

February 20th, 2012 | Comments Off on Weekly Block – Big Finish

The Weekly Block covers what matters in sports to me. And maybe you too.

1. Scott Stallings (Withdrew from the Northern Trust Open)

In an extremely short conversation with Stallings, he revealed that his recent injury is pesky and still affecting his play. Be patient, another big finish is lurking this year.

2. Memphis Grizzlies (18-14) (3rd in WC Southwest)

The Grizz have 4 narrow victories in a row and continue to impress with their ability to finish close games. The goal needs to be avoiding the 7 or 8 seed in the West.

3. Nashville Predators (34-19-6, 74pts) (3rd in WC-Central)

Nashville was only 5 seconds away from stealing another valuable point. The Boston and Detroit games reveal the Preds to be an elite team that just needs to finish.

4. Webb School Spartans (Boys Basketball) (18-14)

In district tourney play, the Spartans turned in one of the more heroic performances I have ever seen in high school athletics. Despite being a heavy underdog, Webb took the top-seeded Franklin Road Academy into double overtime in an away atmosphere.

And although the Spartans fell short on Friday, Coach Ricky Norris and his players deserve tremendous credit for providing the highlight of the tournament. Justin Jenkins and Burton Sampson each are game-changers with promising futures.

5. Oak Ridge Wildcats (Boys Basketball) (23-4)

The top-seeded Wildcats suffered a disappointing loss to Powell that ended Oak Ridge’s district campaign before it ever started. Simply put, Powell finished well.

 

A gameplan or a goal is only as good as its follow through. For this reason, The Lead Block encourages and challenges players to finish well. Find out how more HERE.

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Always Bittersweet

February 9th, 2012 | Comments Off on Always Bittersweet

How do you deal with a bitter loss suffered by you or your favorite team?

Quickly I brought the ball past half court and checked the clock one last time. Down a point with 10 seconds left, the time was now. Ducking into the lane, I scanned for an open teammate underneath the basket. No luck, only the lane was open.

The final shot of the game would be mine to make or miss.

As I jumped and released the ball, a nearby defender swept my arms down and the ball fell helplessly short as the buzzer and an official’s whistle sounded simultaneously. Clearly a foul occurred, but what happened next changed everything.

The foul was ruled a non-shooting foul.

So while our team was in the bonus, now I would only get a 1-and-1 instead of 2 guaranteed free throws. Despite my coach’s protestations, the official sent both teams to their respective benches and called for me to shoot my untimed free throw.

The fate of an entire game was my burden.

As I started my pre-shot routine, my mind filled with the 3 possible outcomes.
1. Make the first free throw, get a second free throw, make it and be the hero.
2. Make the first free throw, miss the second, and play overtime.
3. Miss the first free throw and be the goat.

As I released the ball, I knew the moment it left my hand that I had missed it and could only watch as it hit the left edge of the rim and ricocheted to the right.

Game over.

Watching the other team (our arch rivals) celebrate, I turned to face my teammates and felt shame. It is the only time in my entire sporting career that my emotions got the better of me. And to this day it is the most vivid loss I can remember.

Like death is a part of life.
Losing is a part of winning.
One cannot exist without the other.

So, how do you deal with a bitter loss?

Do you blame the officials for a missed call or two?
Second-guess the coach’s game plan or decisions?
Verbally berate or assault an opposing fan?

Our passions tempt us to forget that every loss is bittersweet.

In victory, no one struggles with this paradox. We celebrate together unashamedly, in the full knowledge that half the people present just experienced a crushing defeat.

No one needs a helpful guide in how to celebrate a championship or hallowed rivalry victory. We already know how to do that. What players, coaches, and fans need is a simple guide in how to handle a difficult loss. And it is easier than you might think.

The key to mourning a loss is the same as celebrating a victory.

You weep, embrace your teammates, and fans. And eventually, you move on.

Like winning, losing is always bittersweet…

The Lead Block encourages players, coaches, and fans to mourn losses like they celebrate wins. To find out how you can become an encourager, click ABOUT.

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Weekly Block – Back-to-Back

February 1st, 2012 | Comments Off on Weekly Block – Back-to-Back

The Weekly Block covers what matters in sports to me. And maybe you too.

1. Scott Stallings (AT&T Pebble Beach National ProAm)

After a short break to rest up, look for Scott to get back on track this weekend. And for all those fantasy golfers out there, Stallings is the best B player in the PGA.

2. Memphis Grizzlies (11-10) (4th in WC Southwest)

The Grizz have cooled off in their last 6 games (2-4). The big question is not, when will Zach Randolph be back? But, how long will it take him to get back to form?

3. Nashville Predators (31-16-4, 66pts) (2nd in WC-Central)

No team gets back on defense better than the Predators. Nashville is dominating the ice (9-1 in last 10 games) with defense allowing only 24 goals in their last 14 games.

4. Webb School Spartans (Boys Basketball) (17-9)

Burton Sampson’s shooting stroke is back and although the Spartans have struggled offensively, the return of sophomore Todd Kelly should provide a spark just in time.

5. Oak Ridge Wildcats (Boys Basketball) (20-3)

Spencer Shoffner is finally back to his old self, finishing with 2 impressive dunks last night against Hardin Valley and Isaac Merian is a force on both sides of the court.

 

Although some players will be back this year, The Lead Block is looking to add 5-10 new players and a new school this year. Find out how you can become a part HERE.

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