Rip Through Hesi Step Back Gather In F# Minor

There's a little park with a basketball court by my house I go to sometimes to put up some shots and get in a little solo workout.  I love basketball and have since I was a kid.  It's my yoga.  It's therapeutic for me.  I love the sport.  For numerous reasons.

There's a group of guys I see some mornings who always play 3 on 3.  They're all adults, between 30 and 50 I'd say and a half court game is perfect for them.  I go to the other side of the court, do my drills, shoot my shots, and listen to my music. 

For my hoopers out there (or anyone who has played any sort of sport) you know what I'm about to say is true.  It only takes one guy to mess up the whole game for everybody else.  One.  

Enter this guy.  

I started seeing, rather hearing, this dude about a month ago.  Always yelling.  Arguing calls.  Disputing fouls.  Throwing up airballs and blaming it on the wind.  He is just... that dude.  

Again, basketball is my yoga.  So every time I would find myself distracted looking at the other end of the court, watching this dude scream at the top of his lungs, I would remind myself to Mind My Business, turn my music up, and go back to my workout.  

Today he was hell-bent on arguing how the step-back-gather-into-a-one-footed-shot he just took wasn't a travel and I just couldn't help but stop what I was doing and stare at this dude while he's down there saying words that don't make sense.  He kept showing this "move" to the guys on the side, explaining to them how it was legal.  

It wasn't. 

But he didn't care.  He was going to get them to understand one way or another.  Now this group of guys, I can see they've learned the art of, "just ignore him and he'll spaz himself out and we'll get back to the game eventually."  It took everything in me to not go to the other end of the court, give him the ball, and say, "show me."  Show me how that works with a defender in your face.  Show me how you'll do this spectacular move.  Mind you, before you even get into this amazing step-back move you can't do, you'd lose the ball because you can barely dribble.  You're off balance.  You don't have the core strength.  And even if you somehow managed to do this 3-part move without tearing your acl, and this is the most important part, you can't even shoot!  You don't have the skill set to do what you think you're doing.  So... just stop.  Stay in your lane.  Play 3 on 3 and quit yelling so I can finish my workout.

I now see I'm all the way out of focus and decide it's best for me to just take my ass home. 

As I'm walking out of the park, I see three older white women practicing ballet with an instructor.  They're dancing to Chopin's Nocturne B Flat Minor.  I know this because I played this piece at some point when I was in high school as I was going through his nocturnes. 

As a young pianist, I used to always want to play the most advanced, difficult, impressive pieces and my piano teacher would always stop me and tell me that I had to "do the nitty gritty" first.  Quality over Quantity.  Do it 10 times slow and then we'll talk.

How does this relate to basketball?  Funny you should ask.

You can't play repeating octaves if you don't know how to relax your forearm and wrist.  You can't do big flourishes without learning the fundamentals.  You can't play Mozart's Sonata No. 18 in D Major K.578 if you can't play a D Major scale.  And you can't do a f*****g step back gather three point shot if you can't f*****g dribble or shoot! 

In a world where we only see and encourage finished products with filters and edits, be the one who values learning the basics.  Value being in the trenches doing the "nitty gritty" and actually learning how to master whatever it is you decide to do.  Then build on that.  That's how you become great.  By building strong foundations.  And you can build a strong foundation at any point.  If you've built things on a weak foundation, go back, strip it all down, and rebuild your foundation.  Or otherwise, be that annoying person at the park yelling about a move he can't do or that equally annoying person sitting at a piano banging on the keys with your elbows bragging about a piece you can't play.

OR, maybe I'm completely tripping because I haven't eaten breakfast and everybody's getting on my nerves because the world is in transition right now and it's just some guys playing 3 on 3 and I could just mind my damn business and stop trying to make everything so damn deep and take a nap...


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