What should you do when you screw up in a very visible way? Find out on today’s episode.
I know it’s the start of football and hockey season, and it’s the end of baseball season, but for some reason this morning I woke up thinking about basketball. Actually I wasn’t thinking about the sport of basketball. I was thinking about a particular aspect of basketball. The airball.
You know what an airball is, right? It’s when a player shoots the ball and not only does it not go in the hoop, but it misses EVERYTHING — the rim, backboard, net — everything. You’d think with all that real estate, you could hit SOMETHING overtime you threw the ball toward the basket. But airballs happen in every game.
In fact, during this year’s NCAA championship I saw at least 3 airballs during the 40 minutes of play. That’s 3 shots that were so poorly executed that they entirely missed the basket. Nuthin’ but air. From the two best teams in college basketball.
Oh, I’ve seen professional players do it, too. Think about that. They get paid millions to put the ball in the hoop and sometimes their shots appear so sloppy they don’t even hit the net!
Airballs are extra embarrassing because they’re just so VISIBLE and unexpected.
Ever shoot a “life airball”?
What happens on those rare occasions when we make a decision or take an action that causes us to completely miss the mark in a very visible way? I don’t know about you, but I often pause the “game” and take an extra long timeout to beat myself up. I’m frustrated that I screwed up. I’m humiliated that other people saw it. I feel guilty for letting my “team” down. I mean, I really let myself have it. There’s never any need for anyone else to yell at me, I do a pretty good job of yelling at myself.
Here’s a good example of one my recent life airballs: I scheduled a meeting with someone that just happened to be during my vacation I don’t know why I did that, but the meeting was in Columbus, OH, and my vacation was in Hilton Head, SC. Of course, I didn’t even realize I’d shot this particular airball until I got an email from the guy I was supposed to meet with asking me if I had forgotten about our meeting. If there had been a crowd watching my life, they would have chanted “AIR-ball, AIR-ball, AIR-ball” to further embarrass me. I was pretty mad at myself and sad that I let the other guy down like that.
It’s times like these when I need to remember the truth about airballs:
Airballs are just shots at the basket that didn’t go in. That’s it. A missed shot is a missed shot, whether it’s all air or whether it rolls around the rim and falls back out. Sure, an airball is embarrassing, but only as long as I let it be. The faster I get back in the game, the faster it fades from my memory (and everyone else’s).
In the case of my missed meeting airball, I apologized profusely and rescheduled as quickly as possible. I also set fifteen calendar notices and alarms to make sure I don’t miss the next one.
Here’s another thing: the chance of shooting an airball skyrockets when you take a risk or try something new. It just goes with the territory. Good to know, right
You’ve probably heard the saying: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” I’ll add to that, “And if you take enough shots, a few of them will be airballs…and that’s totally ok.”