Today was the last basketball game of Gavin’s season. In my humble opinion it was a success on so many levels even though they lost. This game will most likely be remembered by Gavin for quite some time and it was full of life lessons to hold on to as well as some very interesting moments of insight and learning for me.

There are many things in life that we have no control over. While we can’t control them we always have the ability to control how we respond, how we react, and how we view the situation. “Control what you can control.” Gavin’s game today was a very deep lesson in that concept.

His game was at 8am the morning of Daylight Savings; meaning we had to be up and moving by 6:15am when it felt like 5:15am to get Gavin to his game. We couldn’t control the start of the game, but we could make sure we all went to bed relatively early to get a good night of sleep before his game.

By the time the game started there were only four player on his team (including him). Two others just didn’t show up. We couldn’t make them show up, but the team could focus on playing their best without the teammates who went MIA.

When Gavin got a split lip while playing defense towards the end of the game he couldn’t play because of the blood. Instead of getting angry or frustrated he took a deep breath and sat quietly until the end of the game.

Once the game had started there was a point when the four players were struggling a bit. Coach called a timeout and pulled them all together. “Control what you can control. Control what you can control.” As he said that you could see Gavin start to get it and focus in again.

He wasn’t the only one that heard the message loud and clear. I pretty much took Coach’s advice like a slap upside the head. Once I heard Coach say “Control what you can control,” I almost chuckled to myself.

Up until that moment I didn’t realize just how frustrated and worked up I was. My blood pressure had elevated with me noticing it. I was frustrated about waking up and not being able to sleep in. I was frustrated about players not showing up for the game. I was frustrated for a variety of things… absolutely zero of which were under my control. Not a single frustration was something I could do anything about.

There was a lot that was under my control. I could take a deep breath and relax. I could enjoy the opportunity to watch Gavin play. I could choose a positive attitude and be a positive influence on others. I could choose to appreciate the fact that the game was still happening even though the other team didn’t really have to. I could slow down my rapidly beefing heart and just be present in the moment. I could choose joy over frustration.

Control what I can control then also seemed to flow into another statement that I am focusing on remembering more and more often. Happiness is wanting what you have, not having what you want. There was a lot that I wanted and it was getting very much in the way of appreciation for what I had in that moment.

After Coach’s comment to the players I was able to get my head in the right place. That phrase was all it took to snap my attitude back to where it should have been all along. It’s frustrating that I didn’t figure it out on my own or prevent it from happening in the first place. That said, I’m very grateful for the verbal cue that helped me get my attitude back to a good place.

Thanks for the motivation today Coach!


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