I can’t sleep and I am overtired. I am watching the Celtics-Heat basketball game. At first, I wasn’t really watching, just the squeak of shoes, the distinctive sound of the ball hitting the floor or the rim, and the repetitive cadence of the coach. What are those words he is saying? I can feel the rhythm without watching and then I look up.
The players are watching each other. They have that anticipatory stance. Each player is waiting to do his part. They watch each other. They sense how the game is going. They push momentum forward or try to create it out of thin air.
The air isn’t actually thin. It’s filled with a network of shared muscle memory. Days and weeks and years of practice. Practice together and practice apart. Some skills, the ‘fundamentals’ are drilled in, known since some of them were single digits. Others are the product of practice, desire, and automaticity. But they have it. As we watch sports we often talk about ‘the look’. Sometimes teams just look like they have the momentum, the drive, … the synchronicity. They are aren’t feeling tired now, they are in the zone.
The rhythm is obvious.
Maybe that’s why this year(s) feels so hard.
Perhaps we are out of synch.
Have we lost our synchronicity through a month at home, a spring of online learning, a summer of isolation, another year of hybrid learning, and then… we returned. An out-of-sync team is also obvious. They miss passes and lay ups. They foul. The overall plan with the intricacy of a well-practiced, well-oiled, in sync team is faltering.
To be fair, a lot has changed. Too much to list. The assumptions we make about skill sets and routine, the muscle memory of the learning community is not quite there. We need to be more transparent, more patient, more tentative. Those passes get dropped more than they get passed.
How do we get back? Like any time, we have to get back to fundamentals. We have to survey the ‘game film’. We have to honest about our weakness and build strengths. We can do it… if the desire is present.
Ready, huddle up. Eyes on the plan. Review. Take a deep breath.
The off season is long… and short. We should work on some fundamentals while we’re off. Michael Jordan missed a lot of shots too.