One of the many things I love about coaching my kids in sports is to be a part of some of the incredible moments that happen. A couple weeks ago, my 9 year old son Max hit an incredible buzzer-beater shot well beyond the 3 point line (video below). It was at the end of the 3rd quarter when the team was down 14-8, and his team then went on and performed an incredible comeback against a team that hadn't lost in 4 seasons of playing together. But the crazy part of the story is that the shot he took isn't the first time he ever hit a buzzer beater. Just one year earlier (almost to the day), he hit a very similar long-range buzzer beater that won the game. So it raises an interesting question: Is it just incredible luck and coincidence that something like that can happen, or is there more science behind some of these phenomenal accomplishments we see happen in life and sports?
Based on the title of this blog, you can probably assume that I believe the latter. It's events like these basketball shots that are a perfect example of why we created Grit.org, Grit University, Grit Camp, Grit Club, and our podcast. I believe that events like these are supernatural occurrences that remind us and encourage us about these incredible happenings are not random - they are very elaborate concoctions that are created through a combination of various ingredients.
Does the person that achieves these 'happenings' have to be skilled enough to achieve it? absolutely.
Does the person need to be surrounded by others (players, fans, coaches, parents, etc) that believe this person can do it? for sure.
Does the person that accomplishes these feats need to believe in themselves, and that what they are trying to achieve is possible? of course.
Does the person that achieves these feats need to have visualized this event happening? most likely.
Is there even more to it than that? very likely.
My wife was the one that recorded both videos, and she actually records every single minute, shot, play of every sport each of my boys play. She ends up deleting 90% of videos and keeps only the good ones. Then my boys will go back and watch each of their great plays. The video of my son hitting the game winner in December 2020 he must have watched it 50+ times. I mean, who wouldn't right? But maybe that is part of what helped him do it again. Not only does he remember that it happened, what it looked like, what it felt like, what it sounded like, but also how others reacted to it. If you look at how each of those shots hit the backboard and went in, neither one of the shots even hit the rim! It was an absolute perfect backboard shot that they likelihood of being launched at that exact trajectory was very minimal. At our last practice, I had my son shoot 20 more long range shots from the same spot. He hit 1. So mathematically, he had a 5% chance of hitting that shot, and it drops even more when you factor in fatigue of having played 3 quarters of a game already, being under pressure, a higher heart rate, having a kid in his face with his hand up, etc, etc. But more importantly, he believed in himself that he had done it before and that he could do it again.
I understand that at the end of the day, it's just a game and just a shot. But to me, it's bigger than that. For me as his dad, I want Max to be able to re-watch those videos and see how what he did made OTHER people believe. Look at the 'hype man' in the second video. His name is Tony, and I've coached his son Tyler for several seasons of sports. Tony is in his mid-50s or so, but look at how that one shot made a grown man react. It's inspiring to see something you do in life have something that can positively impact someone else. Maybe the inspiration they get from your accomplishment they can then leverage that belief into achieving something that will inspire someone else. The ripple effect is lasting and potentially eternal. And my philosophy is that the more people we can influence and impact in this way - through belief in themselves and achieving the seemingly impossible or unlikely - then the more we can positively impact the world.
I encourage each of us this week to draw some inspiration from Max and go for it. What's something in your life you can aim for? Even if you miss, then at least you took the shot. Having that confidence to take the shot means that next time you are that much closer to it going in. And if you keep taking shots, then eventually something will happen. When that happens, then maybe you can inspire someone else to take whatever shot that life needs them to take.
Have a great week!
The Power of Belief - Max's shots turned into a motivational movie (credit to Andy Edwards)