Other than those left in the NBA Playoffs, many young players (but not all) use this time of year to improve. Motivation comes as we watch the emergence of players like Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry with the Warriors, Paul George of the Pacers, and the Grizzlies’ Mike Conley, Jr. Hope springs eternal as players everywhere look to improve their game. Most coaches will focus on all the things players need to start doing to improve, but today I want to explain that growth also comes when we STOP doing certain things. Not only is it true in basketball, but in life as well. There’s plenty of things we need to STOP doing!
BASKETBALL – Change your game by finding habits you need to stop.
I see many players who have a lot of talent, work really hard, and love playing the game, but have a weak spot when it comes to evaluating themselves. As you watch the rising stars, don’t focus only on the amazing plays they make, but spend some time considering the things they don’t do. All of us are wired differently and for some, it’s helpful to spend some time eliminating things before you set out on a course to add new things. Check out Player Habits to Stop before you turn to things you should do, like the advice in Toughness by Jay Bilas and his original Toughness List.
LIFE – Things to consider stopping.
How different would your marriage, your job, your family, and your friendships be if you stopped . . .
Blaming? Worrying? Impressing? Whining? Controlling? Interrupting? Criticizing? Gossiping? Comparing? Holding grudges? Procrastinating? Lying?
Here’s a great idea. Find a comfortable, quiet place to consider the things in your life that you need to stop doing. Write them down. Think about the growth you can experience by getting rid of them and plan to talk about them with a trusted friend. It may not make an immediate splash, but as with basketball skills, you’ll eventually see a difference.
FAITH – If you want to grow closer to God, you need to stop . . .
I know a lot of people who feel intimidated by the Bible. That may be a convenient rationalization to avoid spiritual matters or it may be their assumption. But as we’ve talked about on this site, there’s so much wisdom in there that there’s no excuse not to read it more carefully. When you do, you find that there are some very direct and clear messages. In fact, in some verses there’s very little confusion and there’s very little room for interpretation.
For example, my kids like to remind me that the Bible says, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children.” You may be like me and have to grab the dictionary to find what exasperate means, but the message is clear – don’t do it. If I want to grow as a father, I need to stop exasperating.
An even better example comes from Paul in Galatians 5 where he somewhat sarcastically tells us that we already know what we should stop. He even says it’s obvious:
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality,impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Pretty clear, isn’t it? Debauchery? Stop it. If you want to grow closer to God, stop doing these things. I didn’t say, “If you want to please a demanding god who wants to take away all your fun stop doing these things.” No, stop doing them because you will be walking more closely with the Spirit of God. In my book, that’s a good thing and it doesn’t hurt your game on the court either!