5 lessons in NBA final playoffs

THE showdown between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers had come to an end. The Filipinos are one of the biggest basketball fans in the world. Some became basketball critics during the first half of the game and concluded that the Warriors are taking control of the game. They were so confident that the Warriors will walk away with the crown at Game 6 at the Cavalier's home court. True enough, the Warriors ended their 40-year drought with a victory against the Cavaliers.

I am a Boston fan but I can't help myself but to admire the Warriors at their victory after their long slumber. As I reflect after the game, I realized that the life in the court is very much like our ordinary lives. So, here are the five lessons in life that I've learned from the NBA finals.

1. Follow your head coach's orders

Let God be the guide of your life. During a week's stay in the Sacred Heart Novitiate in Novaliches as part of my exposure to Jesuit life, I learned something that keeps coming back regardless of the circumstance I am in: "When you say YES to God, there's no need for plan B."

During the game, the Warriors always listened to their head coach, Steve Kerr. They absorbed every strategy and plan of their coach. Their trust on their head coach made them more confident to overcome every obstacle in their path. That's why they became the top seed in their conference.

Lesson in life: God is your head coach in life. When God tells you to do something, even if you can't see why, trust that He has a good reason. He can see parts of the field that you can't. Always say YES to God because he will lead you to something better than you imagined, just like what Steve Kerr wants for his team.

2. Be unselfish and trust your teammates.

Basketball is a team sport that requires cooperation and contribution. It is not a one-man army game wherein only the superstar will lead the team. Everyone must focus, work together and fulfill their individual roles for the common good of the team. During the finals, Lebron James is a walking triple double but he wasn't able to carry his team to Game 7. Individual greatness can be measured by winning a championship ring especially in basketball but for a person who always thinks of himself, he cannot get one.

Lesson in life: Always contribute, share and cooperate. In our society today, we need to help each other and contribute to the success of our nation. What made the state golden in Golden State? It is because they helped each other attain victory. Let's be a warrior also to help our society so that we can be a GOLDEN STATE. For politicians, stop being pa-epal in every project that you make. If you're willing to serve, don't carry your name. Always think of the people's money that you should use to help them get up and improve our society.

3. Don't wait for Game 7 to win the championship.

Game 7 is always the highlight of the game in basketball because of the excitement induced by a "do or die" or "win or go home" game. It is an exciting and nerve-breaking duel between the two teams in reaching the championship title. However, the Warriors didn't wait for Game 7 to attain their title. During the first half of the game, they were already in the lead.

Lesson in life: In life, the earlier you finish your task, the more time you have to relax. In my five years of teaching, the most common problem of students is not bullying, academic performance or teachers. It is procrastination, the practice of making something in the last minute. We must get rid of our maƱana habit if we want to attain success in life. If we can do it today, we should do it now.

4. If the plays aren't working, re-adjust the game plan.

During the finals, Cleveland won Games 2 and 3 against the Warriors. After two consecutive defeats, the team re-adjusted their game plan that led them to victory. Every great basketball player knows that when your plays aren't working, you have to adjust and then adjust some more. The varying strengths and styles of different opponents require different tactics. You have to be able to withstand and respond to whichever attack an opponent uses on you.

Lesson in life: Everyday, we always complain about our work, other people and whatever happened to is. Sometimes we need to ask ourselves, do we change ourselves? If not, then start changing now as the Michael Jackson hit, Man in the Mirror, says: "I'm starting with the man in the mirror/I'm asking him to change his ways/And no message could have been any clearer/If you want to make the world a better place/Take a look at yourself, and then make a change."

As my co-teacher, Mr. Ariel Bendo once said "If you want to change the society, start from yourself and you can see the brighter tomorrow that you wanted to see." Before you re-adjust your game plan, make sure to re-adjust or start changing yourself first.

5. Always give thanks to God.

Stephen Curry is one of the most dominant shooters of the league. He proved it by breaking the record of the most number of shots posted in a single season set by Reggie Miller. But what makes Stephen Curry different from other players? In his acceptance speech, he said: "First and foremost I have to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for blessing me with the talents to play this game, with the family to support me, day in, day out. I'm his humble servant right now and I can't say enough how important my faith is to who I am and how I play the game." His humility and strong Christian faith makes him one of the most admirable players in the league.
Lesson in life: Sometimes, when we are happy, we tend to forget God. We only remember him when the world is against us. We must not forget to thank God in every blessing that we receive. Even the moment we wake up in the morning is a blessing that we must thank God for because not all people can wake up and start a new life every morning. Always give thanks to God because with him we can overcome our struggles in life. Paul said to the Philippians, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

It is important to learn valuable life lessons by watching the game but success is not all about winning, it is all about learning and experience that will help us grow. As Coach Wooden once said, "Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming."

In the end, it is all about the lesson in life that we must share, success is not acquisition of power, prestige or financial wealth, it is values that we must pass in order to maintain the balance in this world. So now, start it with person next to you. Pass it on! (Sensei M. Adorador/contributor)