As with most Saturdays, I met up with some guy friends for some pick up basketball. We had 8 guys and so we engaged in some 4-on-4 half court action. My team was struggling lost the first three games. At some point during the fourth game, I noticed one of the other guys was being a little aggressive with me. After some more action, it became obvious something had set the guy off.
After playing the fourth game and the fifth game and calling it quits as it was getting late, I talked to the other guy. The other guy expressed his opinion that I was being too aggressive and physical and he got pissed. There was some question about a play where I came down with my elbows on him. Some people questioned whether it was intentional or not. I personally did not think so but I can't argue the action that was done.
This post isn't to defend myself. It was an interesting experience to go through and learn from. Here's why:
No matter what we do (whether it's basketball or other things), there are times where people interpret actions differently than you envisioned. The biggest lesson here is not to get defensive and LISTEN. As hard as it is to do, there is a teaching moment for everyone. We all do things out of habit and reflexively. Maybe out of habit, I did a few of the things I was told. I don't know if it's usually a problem but obviously it was today. We talked about things like men, I apologized and we'll all move on.
On the other hand, I've also been on the receiving end of a few things. For example, during my spring basketball league, I was being guarded by a young 20-something kid. I had scored 20 points the game before against other team. The young kid was assigned to pester me and throw me off my game.
Well, it must have succeeded as I had a crappy game. But at one point, I got frustrated because the young kid was hand checking and hip checking me throughout. At one point, I told him to stop or I would start hitting back a little bit. Now, I knew the young kid and he doesn't do these things intentionally. We were cool after the game as well. In the heat of the moment, you obviously say or do things that come off the wrong way.
Basketball is just a game and we shouldn't take it too seriously. Of course, there is always pride involved and sometimes competition brings out the worst in us.