Follow your shot

trashWalk into any women’s restroom, and you may be surprised what you find. That’s right, guys, these same creatures who so lovingly (ahem) encourage you to pick up your socks from the floor are just as slovenly behind closed doors. I can’t count the number of times I’ve stuffed used paper towels into a nearly empty trash can because someone missed an alley-oop on the way out the door. I picked up another assist yesterday.

Of course, that got me thinking.

I’d like to believe that these otherwise professional women are just bad shots. After all, who would intentionally leave trash on the floor beside the can? That means they’re making the toss and hustling out the door without looking to see whether it dropped in. Ah, now I get it. I can hear my dad’s voice in my head now:

Doggone it! Follow your shot!

That means that once you loft the ball (or a wad of damp paper towels), anticipate the trajectory and prepare for the bounce. Rebound, baby.

Okay, okay. There’s more to life than errant paper towels in women’s restrooms. But the follow your shot adage sticks with me. I think about all the times we do something and then walk away assuming we know the final outcome, rather than hanging around for another second or two to confirm it–and fix it if things don’t go as expected. I think about my race last Saturday, and the temptation to walk away without going in for the rebound and stuffing the next one. I think about a professor friend whose students blow through the online tests she gives without checking their answers–and then blowing their grades. I think about email responses people send without reading the entire trail and causing more confusion. I think about solutions to problems at work that people can’t implement because the proponent has moved on to other things and can’t be reached when an issue arises.

Turns out, it’s not about women’s restrooms at all, or even about basketball.

It’s all about following your shot.

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