Wednesday, September 7, 2011

If Sabonis had come to the Blazers when he was drafted, many more people would consider Kobe to be a better player than MJ. A strange dichotomy for Blazer fans.

The following excerpt is not only from the book mentioned, but directly from TrueHoop which is a long standing favorite blog of mine, not only because Henry Abbot is a Portland native but because in my opinion, intelligent discussion involving the NBA is severely lacking (why this is is up for debate, but the vacuum seems to extend from the playgrounds to the mass media) and TrueHoop brings the best commentary together in one place. Anyway, this idea espoused by Michael Jordan is one I've heard before, but recently I've been thinking about the principles in a different manner. Discussion will follow the excerpt.

In the book "Driven from Within," Michael Jordan talks about his crunch time mentality:
If I miss a shot, so what? Maybe even a shot that could have won a game. I can deal with that. If I don't miss the shot, then I don't miss it -- we win. I can rationalize the fact that there are only two outcomes: You either make it, or you miss it. I could think that way because I knew I had earned the opportunity to take that shot.

I had put in all the work, not only in that particular game, but in practice every day. If I missed then it wasn't meant to be. That simple. It wasn't because the effort wasn't there. It wasn't because I couldn't make the shot, because I had taken the same shot many times in every situation. As soon as the ball went up, there weren't any nerves because I had trained myself for that situation.

I was as prepared as I could possibly be for that moment. I couldn't go back and practice a little harder. I knew I had done the right things to prepare myself for that situation. One way or another, I knew I was prepared to be successful. Now, if you know you haven't prepared correctly, or you know you haven't worked hard enough, that's when other thoughts and emotions creep into your mind. That's stress. That's fear.

It's the same process for doing anything, anywhere in life no matter how big or small the stage. ... If you are confident you have done everything possible to prepare yourself, then there is nothing to fear.
 On the Truehoop blog, there are some good points as to why not every player in the NBA (if any, really) should think this way. Basically, the idea is that basketball is a team sport and going into an end-of-game scenario, the person who takes the last shot shouldn't necessarily be predetermined, and that the unfolding play should dictate who takes the winning shot. I couldn't agree more.

I hope to follow a path into emergency medicine (I think) and compared to many other areas of medicine, decisions need to be made quickly and often, without adequate information. This means, at times, life saving and ending decisions are made by making the best guess. In order to make the best guess, the most complete scenario needs to be compiled, which means that more preparation can lead to better outcomes. Nailing that jumper over Byron Russel (yes, I do think he pushed off -- would you have made that call as a ref?) is impressive. MJ's preparation undoubtedly led him to that point. I hope my preparation will lead me to a point where lives are saved, that might not otherwise be.

As is evident by this blog, I've been relating many things back to medical school in my life. Hopefully readers of this blog will understand this, as this is an outlet specifically for just that: thoughts on med school. I don't care how many Team Based Learning exercises the school wants to put us through, I don't think they will ever allow Team Based Exams, and that really is the crux of it, isn't it? Just as life is, so is this whole process, we are born and die by ourselves (I would argue that even twins experience the birthing process in a solitary manner) and we take exams by ourselves. In medical practice, there is a move towards team based care, which I am not disparaging here, as the goal is to provide better care for the patient. However, the buck stops with the physician, who is, after all, the lawful leader of the team. The EMT won't be named in the mal-practice lawsuit (even if there was wrongdoing on their part, depending on the setting of the care, there is much less money to be had for going after the EMT). When it comes time to prove my skills and capability, whether it be an exam or a clinical situation, I really do want to know that I did all that I could to prepare. Striking the balance between having a semblance of a life and continuously studying is important. There will always be another concept that I don't fully understand -- just like there were more windsprints and freethrows for Michael Jordan to do. However, I think the body when it's physically exercising provides better feedback as to when it needs a rest compared to the mind/brain, which can talk itself into a downward spiral of no rest and only studying. I'm trying to strike that balance, writing this is part of that. I was becoming frustrated trying to calculate membrane potentials and after a period of mounting anguish, I decided to take a break.

Okay, break over. Let's see here, the Nernst value for sodium is +67  . . .

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