The NBA Playoffs: Doin’ It Right!

nba playoffsWith four possible eliminations tonight in the NBA Playoffs, it may be our last chance to see how some of these teams have attempted to get the right shots for the right players at the right time.  It’s called execution and it will have a significant impact on tonight’s outcomes, but it also plays a major factor in other areas of our lives.  Let’s take a closer look at what teams have been trying to execute and then take a closer look at the role execution can play for each of us.

BASKETBALL – The good teams are always able to execute!

This is a wonderful time of year to grow as a coach.  Not only is it the time to assess how things went for your team during the past season, but it’s a great time to grab a remote and a notebook and take a closer look at how other teams are attacking their opponents.  There’s nothing better than the NBA Playoffs.  The greatest players in the world are performing under pressure, handling adversity, making adjustments, and executing their game plan. Here’s a quick look at execution under pressure from NBA and college teams compiled by Iona assistant coach, Zak Biosvert:

And for those of you looking for new ideas on paper, take a look at some sets from playoff teams drawn by FastModel  2013 NBA Playoff Plays.  As the games John_Woodencontinue, we’ll be able to see more and more of what teams are trying to do and then see how well they do with execution.   I agree with John Wooden who said “It isn’t what you do, but how you do it.”  So, why not do it right?

LIFE – How can you improve execution?

We all have areas in life that require execution.  It may be something we need to do or something we need to help others do.  It may be communicating with a spouse, disciplining our children, or adjusting to new co-workers.  It may be a teacher inspiring students, a church elder creating unity among volunteers in a church, or a family handling long-term illness of a loved one. Something I’ve learned as a coach may be helpful for anyone looking to improve execution.  Execution doesn’t just happen because you THINK you need to improve. It happens when you ADJUST your heart to be willing to execute and then search and PREPARE your environment to allow for execution.  ( I’m currently reading more on how to change our behaviors in another book by the Heath brothers called Switch).  Good coaches teach players why and how to execute, but then motivate players to want to execute, as well as create an environment to make it happen. That’s what good coaches do and so can you!

FAITH – Joshua knew how to execute!

God calls us to execute His plan for this life and then when we’re finished, we’ll celebrate in heaven.  I can’t wait!  In the meantime, I’ll draw inspiration from the examples of the Bible on how to execute.  Joshua was given a difficult task.  Not only did he take over leadership of the Israelites from a dynamic leader (Moses), but he had to deal with the poor execution of the Israelites.  They whined and complained as God delivered them from slavery and spent all those years wandering around in the desert because they failed to believe in God’s grace and mercy.  Joshua was given the task of finally leading them into the land that God had promised them.  It was Joshua’s job to execute God’s plan, even when it seemed crazy, like marching around a city’s walls for seven days!   How did he do it?  He tells us as he assumed the mantle of leadership in Joshua 1:8:

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

As we live in a world with changing worldviews, with opposing ideas about our origin and purpose, changing ideas about morality, and even as other cultures and religions radically look to impose their ideas, execution will be critical for Christians.  God’s word doesn’t change, though.  It clearly outlines a plan for each of us.  It’s up to us to consider our ways and strive for execution of God’s plan.

Read about Joshua’s perfect execution of God’s plan for the Israelites to take the city of Jericho in Joshua 6.