A busy summer of basketball concluded for me a couple of weeks ago. I played in two leagues with my friends. One league was a more competitive league where my team went 3-4. The season was up and down. We beat two teams that went to the playoffs but lost to other teams that didn't.
The other league was a friendship league. That league was interesting for several reasons. I knew all of my teammates and that's benefit because I know how they play and can adapt. The flip side is that all my teammates are not the most experienced players. They like to play for exercise but they aren't going to be the most aggressive ones on the court.
The makeup of the team proved to be an interesting challenge for me as the captain. Having low key guys mean't winning and losing weren't big deals (we ended up 2-5 overall). However, I couldn't control the other teams. All the other teams in the league went at us fairly hard. In fact, we got beat badly in our first game by about 20.
It was after this first game, I realized I had to make a change in how I approached this friendship league. I wanted to give my guys a chance to just play but the other teams were just out there to win. I finally decided to just start being more aggressive and shooting more to keep my teams in the games. On my team, I was known as the most experienced player and best shooter.
Playing in the friendship league proved to be an interesting experience. I was not used to being the primary or secondary player / scorer on a team. I'm so used to involving my teammates that jacking up a lot of shots felt a little strange, though that I eventually got over it!
I admittedly got frustrated with how the games went sometime and put up some pretty bad shots. The flip side is that I learned that I can take over games sometime if needed. I just need to be more selective than how I was with the summer friendship league. In addition, I need to incorporate this aspect into my overall game instead of trying to be something I'm not.
In addition, this experience showed me how hard it is to be a leading scorer or player like Kobe, LeBron or Jordan. It takes a lot of practice to perfect your game and in turn requires a special confidence that borders on cockiness to be a superstar player.