Saturday, May 16, 2009

The game is played away from the ball

I found a book called The Rules for Aging by Roger Rosenblatt that gives 58 cleverly written rules for successful aging. While I am not as impressed with Rosenblatt's little book as Tom Brokaw ("wise, funny, and insightful" coos Brokaw's blurb), I found Rule 57 interesting. Excerpt:

When Eddie Sutton was coaching Arkansas, he asked his players what they did during practice. They answered, "Dribble and shoot." Then he asked them how much time they thought that they dribbled and shot during a 40-minute game -- how many minutes they had their hands on the ball. The players guessed 12, 14, 15 minutes. Sutton told them that a more likely number was 2 to 3 minutes, and he also told them what that meant in terms of the nature of the game of basketball. "Most of the game is played away from the ball," he said, meaning defense and getting into position for a pass.

If you are a researcher, your time away from the ball is doing your lab work, learning new technology and where it is being developed, and getting to know colleagues in your field. If you are a musician, your time away from the ball is practicing, adding to your knowledge of music ideas, learning the financial side of the music business, and getting to know other working musicians.