Let The Game Come To You

Michael and Kobe

Just be patient. Let the game come to you. Don’t rush. Be quick, but don’t hurry.

Earl Monroe

So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance.  Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists. Acts 12:5-7

Phil Jackson always coached his players to let the game come to them. Two of those players were two of the greatest basketball players of all time: Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.

Phil’s advice to Michael Jordan, perhaps the greatest player ever, was to “Stop chasing the game. Let the game come to you.” You have to “Tone it down and let the game come to you,” Phil is known to have demanded of the Laker’s Kobe Bryant.

Phil, winner of 13 NBA championships,  (11 as a coach and 2 as a player) coached his players to be natural and not to try too hard. Rather than force plays, wait for an opportunity to make a play. Forcing plays results in turnovers and lost scoring opportunities.

No matter what kind of game MJ was having, Phil Jackson would rest him at the end of the third quarter and for the first few minutes in the fourth. He’d come off the bench rested and ready, and go on to do the most amazing things I’d ever seen, things I ‘d never seen on a basketball court, more often than not leading the Bulls to victory.  And sometime during the fourth quarter, Marv Albert would remark “he lets the game come to him.”

So let the game come to you.

Things don’t always move as quickly as we want. People don’t change overnight.  All problems aren’t solved overnight.  All Answers don’t come overnight. But when we wait, the answers are prone to come to us.

“Problems” spelled backwards is “people.”  Seriously, when we rush, we make mistakes, cause offenses, forget important details, and generally make a mess of things. Just like in basketball, in life, when we force plays, we cause turnovers and loose scoring opportunities.

Earlier this year I felt myself pressing. I was pressing too hard at work, at school and at church.  I was trying too hard.  I was pressing my wife, my staff and myself too hard. My blood pressure went up and  my quality of life went down.  I wasn’t sleeping well at night and wasn’t awake during the day. I was pressing too hard, and it showed.

So I made the decision to step back.  Like Peter in his jail cell, I “Let go and let God.” The angel came to him, woke him out of his sleep, and released him from prison. 

So let the game come to you. Letting the game come to you feels great. Pressing too hard feels stressful.  Wait on the Lord. Be of good courage, and He shall strenghen thine heart.  Wait I say, on the Lord.

3 thoughts on “Let The Game Come To You

  1. This is interesting. I love making connections between spirituality and my favorite sport of basketball. I do think, however, that it should be noted that Phil Jackson incorporated Buddhist ideas into his coaching.

    1. Greetings Isaiah.

      True, and thanks for the comment. While I don’t believe that Phil is a Christian, he did however follow a “path” and applied it to sports. I do believe that “spiritual” principles are in essence, “Godly” principles. That being said, Christian coaches aren’t given the credit they deserve for incorporating Christian principles in their coaching.

      Thanks again,

      Dave

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