Jonathan loves the movie Miracle. He played hockey most of his childhood and teenage life, so there is an obvious connection to a movie about an Olympic hockey team. But it's more than that. As he was reminding me today, there's an interesting scene towards the beginning when the hockey coach shows up to tryouts to pick his team. After only fifteen minutes, the coach announces that he's already got the guys he wants. People are shocked. One coach reminds him that some of the prospective players haven't even showed up. But the coach is convinced he has his team. Why? Fifteen minutes was all he needed to see how teachable each player would be, and how they would work together as a team.

I always knew it was important to be a learner. But now, more than ever, I'm realizing how much more important it is that someone be willingly teachable, flexible, and pliable, rather than naturally gifted. Of course both are preferred, but here's the thing: even if a child has the potential to be an amazing basketball player, even if he has the natural gifts, he still needs someone to tell him how to shoot a basketball correctly. Or, let's say a basketball team has been playing with each other for three years, beginning their freshman year and working their way up to senior varsity team. A new coach comes on the scene. Partly because he's new and partly because he just has different ideas of how things are done, he starts introducing new drills, plays and techniques. Now, if the team isn't willing to accept his new ideas as good and implement them, if they aren't willing to give up ownership, they won't go very far. Some of them will probably listen to the coach and come of them won't. It'll be difficult to communicate. If they're not willing to learn, it'll be like trying to shoot a ball into a brick wall. Not only does it not go in a hoop and score a point, but it bounces right back atcha for a bruiser face. Not so much fun.

And sometimes that's how I feel.

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