Good Decision Foes: Haste

D'AntoniI recently listened to a fascinating message by Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Church outside of Chicago called Wiser in Our Decisions.  Bill listed some “arch-enemies” of making good decisions and once again, it plays out each day on the basketball court. In this series of posts, we’ll take a look at Bill’s big three, along with a few other factors that are often the Foes of Good Decisions – Haste, Anger, Ego, Apathy, Desperation, and Alcohol.

BASKETBALL -There’s a difference between playing fast and playing in a hurry!


HASTE – When players are in a hurry, mistakes are more frequent.  Players hurry when they feel pressure from the defense, from the game, from the score, and who knows what else!  John Wooden‘s coaching proverb “Be quick, but don’t hurry” is the perfect guide.  We teach players to attack aggressively, but if they can’t read the defense and their teammates, they’re rushing.  We want players to play as quickly as they can to pressure the defense, but only at a pace that allows them to make good decisions.

It’s been fascinating to watch the saga of Mike D’Antoni taking over the Lakers in the 2012-2013 season.  His philosophy of “7 Seconds of Less” offense with Denver, Phoenix and New York has transformed basketball.  Coaches like me have implemented aspects of his approach and I often find myself echoing the concept, “Shoot it before you turn it over!”  But, there’s a fine line between developing quick-thinking players who can take advantage of any situation and creating hurried, rushed, and frustrated players.  The LA frustration level, right now, is registering on the Richter Scale.

I’ll continue to stress decision-making in my coaching, but will still stress playing an aggressive, attacking style as long as we limit turnovers and take good shots!  Check out Practice Ideas for Hasty Decisions.   The parallels in life are quite obvious and I would be failing as a transformational coach if I didn’t find ways to help players grow in this area.

LIFE – Always in a rush!

Bill Hybels hit on all of my weak spots with his list.  How many bad decisions do I make when I rush?  I push the speed limit and get pulled over.  I make a purchase of something I don’t really need and can’t afford because “this sale won’t last long.”  I rush the kids out the door to get to school and inevitably, we forget something!  And as a result of all those rushed and hurried decisions, the bigger mistakes continue to mount like budget concerns, emotional outbursts, and missed opportunities.

FAITH – Don’t miss your way.

Is it possible that we can be rushed and hurried in our faith journey, as well?   How often do I rush my prayer time?  It seems so easy to claim,  “If God’s not going to answer my request or concern, right now, I’ll just rush to an alternative.  I’ll take care of it myself!  I’ll do it my way!”  How often do I hurry in and out of church without taking the time to digest what took place?  How often do I miss the opportunity to listen – to God?  To trusted friends like my wife?  How often do I turn my back on listening to another person who I may be in a position to show love and concern because I’m in a hurry?

Coach Wooden’s proverb sounds a lot like Solomon’s (Proverbs 19:2):

Desire without knowledge is not good,
    and one who moves too hurriedly misses the way.

Make better decisions in basketball, your life, and in your faith.  Don’t let HASTE be an enemy.  Act quickly when needed, but don’t hurry!


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  1. Pingback: Poise in the Face of Adversity | 3 Point Wisdom

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