Friday, June 02, 2017

Caught On Film

They say the tape doesn't lie! This is from March 6, 2013. We were scheduled to film our shooting strokes this morning in our first period basketball practice, but Josh Bailey, our WCS varsity girls' coach, who was to be the cinematographer, got tied up with other matters so we'll do it it tomorrow. Zoee told me the girls were nervous about being filmed....and now they had to wait another day. I told Jenna at lunch that I was going to post the tape on FACEBOOK and she believed enough to see a little bit of panic in her reaction. On one hand, I don't know what these young ladies are scared of, but on the other hand, I do. Some of them realize their shooting technique has room for improvement. Seeing it on screen only reinforces that realization. I wish I would have been able to watch myself shooting as a kid because I look back and see that my form, influenced by playing against my much taller brother, Dave, did not lead to consistency. To me, the filming is a useful tool. To some of these girls, it's just cementing the negativity they feel about their shooting form.

Sometimes, the worst thing that can happen when we shoot a basketball is that it goes in, which simply becomes a matter of chance. We have a single elimination tournament every morning in practice, seeding on random information like alphabetizing by first name or chronological birthdays. The contest might be Knockout or Big Ball Free Throws- I'm pretty creative! At the end of the session, we tape the completed bracket to the locker room door so they can all see where they finished. Sometimes, I make them rate themselves on certain categories and today we did, one through nine, fastest to slowest. Not unexpectedly, the two slowest players were sixth graders and yet, Sydney the # 8 seed, won the competition. This morning, we played "Around The World" which is a shooting game where you have to make a shot at seven different spots before your opponent to win. But we had this caveat- it wasn't a make if it wasn't clean, or a swish. I added this proviso because it forces the girls to get the ball up- a higher trajectory, up to a certain point, leads to a higher shooting percentage. According to the rules we used, several times a girl made more shots but lost the game because her shot always touched the rim when it went in. Many of them didn't like the rule because they shoot the ball flat but they know it helps them in the long run. Sydney loved it, winning her first tournament of the Spring!

I'm not a big Ray Stevens fan. I thought his hits like The Streak and Shriner's Convention were extremely silly. But, he hit a home run, in  my non-musically educated point of view, with Have A Little Talk With Myself, posted at the top of this page. Stevens laments how his attitude has taken a turn for the worse and everybody in his orbit knows it. We were talking about the Prodigal Son with my 8th graders today and I made the point that the younger boy had to hit rock bottom before he could get better. As long as we make excuses- or let our parents make excuses for us as teachers often see- we can't turn the corner. Several times in his Corinthian letters Paul urges his readers to examine themselves. That's not always fun. I tell my students that I am better looking in some mirrors than others- guess which mirrors I gravitate to? Sometimes, our best friends are the most accurate barometers of our progress in life. Best friends are the ones we trust will be honest, even if the truth might be painful. In basketball, your best friend might be the tape. The camera doesn't lie.

Applicable quote of the day:
"You should examine yourself daily. If you find faults, you should correct them. When you find none, you should try even harder."
Xi Zhi

To listen to Ray Stevens sing Have A Little Talk With Myself, click or copy/paste the link below:

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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