Get in the game.
Throughout my basketball career, I’d speak out statements of affirmation before and during practices and games. “Get in the game” was never one of those statements until more recently when I decided to pick up the discipline again.
My approach is straightforward. I simply write out statements that describe the person I want to be along with some foundational truths. Then I speak them out loud, every day.
One of the first things I jotted down was, “I am created to be a player. Get in the game.”
Again, this is post-basketball player Trent. Of course, I’d love to compete again as a professional athlete, but this isn’t about getting back in game shape and calling my agent. It’s also not about joining a league at the Y or finding another outlet for my competitive juices.
This is about the truth that God created each of us to actively engage in this life, and there are endless games happening at all times to step into.
No competitor is content watching from the sidelines or sitting on the bench. They want to play, to fight, to struggle, to conquer, to grow. Ultimately, they want the pressure and opportunity to influence the outcome.
Get in the game. It’s not about sports. It’s a reminder to myself to enter the fray and take action. Be proactive. Initiate a difficult conversation. Take on responsibility. Say, “I’m sorry.” Show up with energy. Pray with that person. Get on the floor to wrestle my boys. Ask for the business. Empathize with others. Be coachable. Put myself out there. Prepare like a professional. Ask questions. Make eye contact. Welcome challenges. Embrace the moment.
Being a player requires me to get out of my own head and out of my own way. I must remember I wasn’t created to be a bystander but a difference-maker. The opportunities to engage are endless. The ball may have stopped bouncing, but the games never end — at home, work, in the community, and beyond. I am called to be a player.
Don’t miss the moment. It’s game time.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” -Theodore Roosevelt