My daughter Ava is a freshman in high school and has been playing basketball since 4th grade. To improve her skills, she has also been training with Joe Chapman at Chapman Basketball Academy in Milwaukee for the past 3 years.
Joe is a great coach. In fact, he coached the Marquette alumni team, aptly named The Golden Eagles, to the championship of The Basketball Tournament. So what you say? The winning team wins $1 million dollars. Which makes TBT one of the most exciting new sporting events concocted this century.
The Good Miss
During CBA training sessions I regularly hear Joe say, ‘Good miss’. For developing basketball players, a good miss is a shot that hits the back of the rim. This is the best way to miss a shot for a several reasons:
- You hit the rim. Which means that your aim was in the right direction. If you don’t hit the rim it’s a bad miss. (I have mastered the bad miss if you want to see what that looks like.)
- A shot that hits the front of the rim is too short and will naturally bounce out, based on physics, angles, relativity and polarity. (I may have made the last 2 up.)
- A shot that hits the back of the rim was aimed correctly, had enough distance to go in, and could still bounce into the hoop. In other words, the shot that hits the back of the rim gives you a chance. #SoYourSayingTheresAChance
Travis Diener, another Chapman Basketball Academy trainer who played in the NBA for the Orlando Magic, Indiana Pacers and Portland Trailblazers, told me that for him there is no longer a good miss, and that he expects to make every shot he takes. But that when starting out it is good to distinguish good misses from bad misses so that you can identify progress as you develop and refine your skills. And since Diener hit the winning million dollar shot in this year’s TBT, he knows what he is talking about, Willis.
Your Good Misses
We all have good misses. These are the attempts that didn’t land where or how you intended. And they occur in every area of your life. But you can still take positive feedback from the results. As you are learning new skills and developing new muscles it is important to distinguish good misses from bad.
Until you master an activity you should give yourself partial credit for your good misses. For the actions that were nearly there. When you clearly identify the intended outcome you can measure your improvement through efforts that land just one circle out from a perfect execution.
- Maybe you didn’t land the job, but you got the second or third interview.
- You made a cold call and you got a response, but not a yes.
- Your backhand cleared the net, but landed outside the lines.
- While parallel parking you bumped the curb, but not the other cars.
- You asked that cute guy or girl out, but called them by the wrong name.
When you are developing a new skill your performances are not black and white. Don’t simply categorize your attempts as passes or fails. In every activity there are good misses. And there are airballs. Know the difference, and know what you can learn from each of them.
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