I’m a basketball lover. It’s in my blood. I can go weeks, months, years without playing basketball and can be walking down the street randomly and hear that ‘ping’ sound of a basketball hitting the concrete and the squeal of trainers (sneakers for the Americans) on the floor as players jump, turn and run… instantly I’m back in ‘lets ball’ mode.
One of the sweetest moves I learned in basketball is the crossover. The crossover is a fundamental offensive maneuver where you change direction sharply while bouncing the ball.
There’s variations to the crossover, from viciously fast changes in direction, between (your own) legs crossovers, subtle head or hip shakes that mislead your defender and even fancy looking spins!
The goal of the crossover is always the same, create space!
Dwayne Wade, NBA player for Miami Heat explains that “[the crossover] is effective because it gives you space,”
“…I act like I’m going one direction, and then I bring it back real quick. Once I bring it back, that gives me the second to be able to go into my next move”
Crossovers ≠ “Game Changers”
Watching my weekly fix of T.G.I.M by Eric Thomas (a short and direct weekly motivational message delivered by a brother who approaches self improvement from a young perspective) my ears peaked when he talked about crossovers as an analogy for game changers in life that allow you to change direction and create space.
What’s so special about the crossover? The crossover allows you to change direction, or the crossover gives you space!
For Eric Thomas, now a positive e-celebrity and very well known motivational speaker, reading was his crossover. Reading gave him the space within his life, the seconds he needed to briefly analyze his situation and make the changes he needed to.
In basketball, this is a crossover dribble in which the sudden change of direction causes the defender guarding the ball-handler to fall down. The ball-handler then takes advantage of the fallen defender and drives past him to the basket.
To take the crossover analogy even further, an ankle breaker is where the change in direction is so sharp and well timed that the defenders legs give out on them and they fall over. Embarrassment for the defender and loud screams and laughter from those bearing witness to this maneuver ensues.
I think about what my crossovers and ankle breakers are. What tricks do I have up my sleeve to change direction and create space in life, love and business?
While reading and learning is powerful and a definite catalyst for a lot of the overarching changes in my life, I don’t believe that it’s my game changer. It’s my foundation, my bounce pass or 2 step layup, to keep with the basketball terminology.
Perception is my game changer
I believe that my internal self image, and image/projection of the world around me and the ability to change that quickly is my crossover; it is my tool for creating space and changing direction to get where I need to be.
In a movie I watched recently called Dom Hemingway, an old-school British gangster with a taste for mediocre poetry and drug/alcohol abuse gets out of jail and proceeds to head on a painful path to self-destruction. Near his lowest point, he downs a pint of beer and proclaims:
“A man with no options suddenly has all the options in the world”
I had to stop the movie and think about this line for a second. It reminded me of the movie fight club and the portrayed idea that once you loose everything, you can finally start really living.
My question is: why wait until you’re at your lowest point or you’ve lost everything? Why not start really living right now.
This doesn’t mean saying fuck you to your boss or blowing up relationships around you like a Bristol Beaufighter, it simply means making the decision in your mind that things are different.
Deciding that you are no longer the girl who does x, or the guy who accepts y. Setting boundaries, taking control of decisions and actions that you had previously allowed others or society to dictate. That is really living, to me.
As I proceed to grow and learn, I’m going to keep working on that crossover, keep sharpening that ability to change my thoughts whenever I decide. Maybe it will lead to an ankle breaker or two!