It was playoff week for my Monday (Open Division) and Thursday (Friendship Division) basketball leagues. Entering the playoffs, both of my teams were probably considered underdogs. My Monday team was pretty good but faced a distinct size disadvantage against our opponents. My Thursday team had beaten our playoff opponent the week before but our overall record wasn't that great. We tended to run hot and cold.
However, both teams came through with some extremely good basketball. My Monday team played patient, got good shots, and raced out to an early lead. We eventually would win 77-63. My Thursday team did one better. We jumped out to a 16-0 lead, led 33-11 at halftime and ultimately won 53-39.
Thus, somewhat surprisingly, both my teams are in the championship games next week. In both games, my teams will probably be considered underdogs once again. Both opponents have a ton of firepower and we will have to work hard to stay competitive.
This will be my first time playing in two championship games in less than a week. My best season was in 2008 when I played in championship games in a Easter Tournament, Summer Basketball League and a Fall Basketball League (won one, lost two). As a side note, I will not be the ONLY player playing in both championship games. A couple of guys who play both teams will be opposing me next week.
As far as importance of these championship games, they are not particular important. Don't get me wrong. I definitely would love to win both games. There is something unique if my teams could come through. However, by my unofficial count, next week's championship games will be the 13th and 14th I have played in over the 20+ years that I played in adult league basketball.
In my younger days, I was high strung and nervous prior to playoffs and championships. It got so bad that I didn't do particularly well. However, I've played in so many playoff and championship games over the years that I realize that it's just another game. My approach is to treat these games just like any other. No need to make it more important than it really is. After all, we don't win trophies or money. It's all about for a positive memory and pride.
I find that staying relaxed is the best approach. My goal for next week is to help my teams win both championships. If we don't win, it's ok. It takes work to just get to the championship game and that effort should be appreciated.