On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS April 9, 2018, #687… Stepping Up?
After further review…” Throw the ball to me” said # 24 Arike Ogunbowale, point guard of the University of Notre Dame women’s basketball T*E*A*M in the huddle with three-seconds left to play in the NCAA Women’s Basketball championship game played at American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas. When the Fighting Irish inbounded the ball from their front-court, Ogunbowale was at the top of the key, broke to her right around a set-screen, caught the pass, drove to the right corner and, closely-guarded, launched a three-point shot that hit nothing-but-net as the buzzer sounded making the final score Notre Dame 61, Mississippi State 58.
Notre Dame is the 2017 NCAA Women’s Basketball Champion! But wait – the scorer indicated that when Arike’s shot hit the bottom of the net, there was one second on the clock. Too late, the floor was flooded with the Irish celebrating their championship. The officials huddled at the replay monitor and decided that, indeed, one second was yet to be played. Rules are rules and the officials brought both teams back on the court for that one second. Ridiculous, yet it had it be done. When the Bulldogs inbounded the ball, the clock expired as soon as it was touched.
The major issue here is: would you want the ball as Arike did or would you be afraid of the risk and responsibility? Each of us in a lifetime will undoubtedly have those challenges. How we respond may determine our success or failure. Failure, in the sense of avoiding an opportunity to help our T*E*A*M. That situation confronted me in a high school baseball game. I was the second baseman on our Alhambra High School team. We were playing El Monte High School and whoever won the game would be in first place in our league. It was Friday afternoon at El Monte’s field, bottom of the ninth, two outs, bases loaded and 3 & 2 on their batter. At that juncture, racing through my mind was “don’t hit the ball to me.” I mean, if the ball were hit to me and I mess it up, we may lose the game with the blame on me!
When I matriculated to Occidental College, I reflected on my “loser” attitude. I had to change my mindset, and I did. Each time I had the chance playing ball at Oxy, I affirmed to myself “Hit the ball to me, I can make the play.”
Will you adopt the mindset to step-up and accept responsibility to help your T*E*A*M?
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To contact Jim, go to JimTunney.com or email Jim@JimTunney.com.

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