In my PE classes and basketball clinics I learned how to pivot on the court. I am sure I used it a lot as I was one of the smallest, if not the smallest, on the court. I needed to pivot when the direction I was dribbling got shut down by a defender. By pivoting with my head up I was able to turn, look for help from a teammate, and keep moving toward the goal. I haven’t used that lesson in a long time, until now.
Pam Myrick-Mottley, an early childhood specialist at Mississippi State University, Life Is Good Playmaker Trainer, and amazing person was giving a Q&A after a workshop and her answer to my question, “Brian you can always pivot.” Pam’s specialty is working with child care providers and children who have suffered from trauma. These are kiddos who did not choose what life dealt them and she teaches coping skills through play, based on the belief that no matter what life hands you (or you walk into)you can always pivot.
Think about that for a moment. Demonstrate a pivot move in basketball to your children and as they are sliding into a tantrum yell out – “PIVOT!!” When you are getting frustrated and ready to blow, “PIVOT!”
A couple of summers ago our company was ready to go surfing with children and adults with disabilities. Surfers were registered, United States Coast Guard Academy and friends were committed as volunteers, Surf Shops were donating use of surf boards and instructors, food was ordered, and beach permit was all set. Everyone was committed to a GREAT day. If doors are being shut keep pivoting and looking for that teammate who can help you reach your goal.
In comes Katia to cancel the surf day due to unpredictable swells and strong riptides. We were forced to pivot. 8:30 rolls around, I receive a message from a family “The weather looks great, can’t wait to see you.” OH NO! One family showed up for a great morning and I was still over an hour away with the event cancelled.
This family clearly knows basketball and not only pivoted but also squeezed the lemons they were given and created an awesome experience for their son. I had a volunteer who was going to the beach with her long board regardless of the event and connected with this family for the morning. Mom’s text that afternoon brought tears to my eyes – “Thank you for helping us turn lemons into lemonade today. Jack had a BLAST!”
I think I am ready to open a lemonade stand called “Pivot Place”, right next to a basketball court. Whatever it takes to remind yourself that as long as you are still breathing you can pivot and change your circumstances by keeping your head up and focusing on what you want out of life. If doors are being shut keep pivoting and looking for that teammate who can help you reach your goal.
Keep Your Head Up.
Reach That Goal.
PS: You may also want to squeeze a cold glass of lemonade from the lemons you catch along the way as your reward for a job well done.