Free Throws & Studying

Posted in Thoughts by minoroots on 09/23/2010

I was looking back on some old Xanga (omg so 2004!) posts from the past, and found one of those entries that make you think “Wow, did I really write this back then?” Not to sound arrogant or narcissistic, but I find it surprisingly well-written for a 19 year old… Ok, at least for this 19-year old.

Anyway, I found it very typical of me–making analogies to life lessons based on basketball principles. I guess some things never change.

Here it is in its entirety:

Wednesday, December 15th, 2004:

So after conceding defeat to my Econ final, I proceeded to the near-empty Wooden Center to go knock down 100 freethrows. It was 10am and indeed, I was not in the right state of mind after a long night of battle with Aggregate Expenditures and Marginal Return Products.

Somewhere in between throwing up shots and slipping in/out of consciousness, I came to the realization that freethrow shooting is a lot like studying. First of all, it’s hard to consistently knock down freethrows. It takes discipline, concentration, and practice. The same goes with studying; you need the discipline to sit yourself down and tell yourself, “Okay, I’ve gotta do this,” and proceed to concentrate on the task at hand. If you normally never study, it’s hard to lock yourself down and accomplish a good amount of studying. In essence, it takes practice to study efficiently and effectively.

When I began to get in a groove and hit about 10 freethrows in a row, something always came up that prompted me to lose concentration and miss the next shot. Whether it was a roar coming from the sweet play made on the other court (there was one game going on) or some dude yelling and dropping f-bombs about some ticky-tack foul, these distractions took away my concentartion. It was just like when you’re studying, and you’re really starting to get into the study-mode, and then someone barges into your room, or calls you on your cell phone. Sometimes, it’s like your computer and the internet. You think, “Oh, I need to check my email,” and then you proceed to waste more time surfing the net, long after you finished checking the mailbox. It’s just like how once you miss a shot, you tend to keep missing and it becomes harder and harder to get back in your groove.

Another thing, when your goal is to knock down 100 freethrows, you tend to get tired and start thinking about other things around your 60th make or so. Then you start to miss, and it seems like you’re stuck on 67 forever. It’s like when you’ve been studying for a long time, and after a while you start to daydream, and oftentimes you get to a point where you’re not even sure whether you’re learning anything anymore. Man, I hate that feeling. And I hate being stuck on 67, too.

So after knocking down 100 and feeling some sense of accomplishment (since the final stripped me of all satisfaction), all I could think of was “Man, I should’ve worn basketball shoes” so that I could play 5 on 5 with those guys at Wooden. Anything to keep me from preparing for my other final tomorrow morning.

Remember: Discipline, Concentration, Practice, and avoid Distractions. Then go shoot some freethrows after your final.