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 The Write Space and Time

 

Spacing and timing. Sonny and Cher. Batman and Robin. Some things just go together. By themselves they work, kind of. But when paired? Look out. That's when the magic happens. Beautiful basketball pivots on offensive spacing and timing. And it seems to me that life swings back and forth on the same two hinges. So every week or so we'll be examining both, or maybe just pondering about one or the other. And who knows what might happen with the right amount of space and enough time...

Sept. 1, 2010: One Step at a Time
Aug. 3, 2010: Shopping in July
March 15, 2010: Fight One More Round
Feb. 11, 2010: The Lesson
Jan. 26, 2010: Number 300
Dec. 17, 2009: The 2-For-1
Dec. 14, 2009: Groundhog Day
Nov. 26, 2009: Basketball is Cumulative
Nov. 13, 2009: Hot and Cold
Oct. 26, 2009: The Vision Part
Oct. 16, 2009: The Write Space and Time

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Sept. 1, 2010 -- In the span of a mere 24-hour period, I moved my son into his college dorm, dropped my daughter off for her first day of high school, and found out Whitney Hand couldn't play basketball for five more months. It didn't surpass Nov. 26, 2003, (a.k.a. Black Tuesday) on the list of disconcerting landmarks, but I can say without reservation that I've lived through better days.

The weekend that followed brought the blistering pangs of quiet desperation. For doers, not doing is painful; and my inability to do anything about these three reality shifts was palpable. What does one do when nothing can be done? I wish there was a manual, but so far I haven't been able to find one. Best I can tell, you just keep going.

Ask Sherri Coale
Have a question for Coach Coale about basketball or anything else? Submit it to CoachCoale@gmail.com and she may answer it in the next edition of The Write Space and Time.

I was a fortunate athlete; I never once had to miss a competition due to sickness or injury. So I marvel at the intestinal fortitude of those who do. When Whit went under for what we all thought would be a little `scrape and clean', she was on mile 26 of the Boston Marathon. She had trained, she had persevered, and she was headed home. Unfortunately, she woke up a few hours later only to discover that she had been plucked from the home stretch and plopped back down at mile 14. There's a reason runners call that heartbreak hill. I can't even imagine the sinew she had to gather just to start to move again.

But that's exactly what she did.

In true trooper fashion, Whitney swallowed hard, flashed her trademark smile and kept going. In a little over a week's time, she has already become an expert on the crutches. She's become even more of an attentive teammate. She has plans and schemes, and she has an agenda for our team. It is no-nonsense clear and they feel it in their bones: "Do not do less than you can because you CAN! And I can't." My girl Whit is a doer too.

Movement is an amazing drug. Physical exercise releases endorphins--it creates a forum for the reduction of stress, for the opening and clearing of the mind, for the infamous runners' high. But maybe what it does best is occupy you. It's not just "exercise;" however, that ignites the healing process. Simple activity can do the same thing. You organize drawers, re-copy notes, and try new recipes. Moving keeps you from being buried alive by an avalanche of helplessness while steadily getting you to a time and a place where you can `do' again.

On more than one occasion this past week I've caught myself humming that classic from the Rankin/Bass Christmas special "...put one foot in front of the other..." Because that's exactly what you have to do. It's decided, directed plodding. When you say yes to moving, you say no to wallowing. You say you're going to control the things you can. And mostly that's your mind and the way you choose to spend your time.

Before we know it, Whit will be back on the floor busting off pin screens, nailing 3s and grinning from ear to ear. She'll be running down the floor pointing to the guy who passed her the ball and we will all just keep going. One step at a time.

- SC