Todd Durrant’s Random Thoughts
Follow the efforts of a creative, crazed entrepreneur.

I’m Not a Scorer…I’m a Rebounder

My only form of exercise during the last couple of years has been basketball.  I wake up early on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and some Saturdays to get to the court by 7AM and play a few short pick-up games with neighbors.   For me it is a good workout regime because the fact that other people are involved means that I’m more motivated to get up and go, rather than give up.

I’ll make it clear from the start, I’m not a very good basketball player.  I lack the athletic abilities that seem to come naturally to some of the other guys.  I’m slow, and I can’t jump, and I have no razzle-dazzle to help me break free from defenders.  I don’t have basketball smarts either.  As an observer of the game, I often think of what players should do to improve their game, but when it comes to myself on the floor, I have no idea what to do once I get the ball.   I can think to myself, “I’m going to do this and that to shake my defender…”  But once the ball hits my hands, my brain defaults to, “Help!  Get rid of it! Fast!”

I also don’t have much of a shooter’s touch.  So, when “getting rid of the ball” equates to taking a shot, the percentages are not in favor of a score.  Sure, I’ll make a basket or two in a morning, particularly if I’m right under the basket and there’s nobody around me.   On a rare occasion (meaning, about once every 6 months) I’ll even hit a shot from behind the 3-point line.  That usually results in the other players throwing up cheers and gasps of awe, since they know it is a near miracle when Todd makes a long shot.

I should also mention that I am not only an awkward player, but I look darn silly out there too.  I normally wear glasses, and since I’ve broken a couple pairs of expensive glasses in the past by getting hit in the face by the ball or a stray arm, I decided that I’d wear my prescription racquetball goggles that I special ordered a couple years ago.   Since my prescription is very strong, wearing those goggles tends to make my eyes look like little beads.  Yep, I look like a complete geek on the court.   But hey, I haven’t broken those things despite how many times I’ve been hit in the face.   I even shot once while my goggles were knocked under my chin, and it was one of the few times I made the basket.

In summary, I am not a real shooter.  I’m not a real scorer.   Sure, I throw up some shots, but I’m not one of the guys that’s going to help beat the other team on the scoreboard.    With that said, I still believe that I contribute as part of the team.  I am a pretty good defender, since I am usually matched up with somebody as slow as I am and I put some effort into making things difficult for whoever I am guarding.   And there is one place where the other players seem to respect me at least a little– as a rebounder.   It doesn’t take a lot of skill to be a rebounder.  You simply have to sprint for the basket whenever somebody shoots.   If the shot is missed, the ball has to fall somewhere, and if you’re one of the guys that rushed the basket, there’s a good chance you’ll be in the spot where the ball comes down.

Now that I’ve told you a bit about my basketball skills, or lack thereof, I shall elaborate on why this is the topic of my blog.  Last Tuesday I came home from basketball, dripping with sweat as usual, and I told Myra that I hadn’t made a single shot.  I believe I made zero out of eight shots that morning, which is bad even for me.   I then said, “I’m just not a scorer, I’m a rebounder.”

Myra smiled and said something like, “That pretty much sums up your life.”

She was half joking– not trying to insult me or anything.   I had to agree.  Yes, that pretty much seems to be the case with my life, or at least with my struggle to “play the game” in terms of a making a living in the business world.

Sure, I take shots.  I even take ill-advised shots sometimes.  But they usually don’t result in big scores.  While running my music business, I’ve tried a lot of things.   I’ve released a lot of CD’s by a lot of different artists.  Some have scored and done well, but some have rimmed out, or resulted in complete air-balls.   I’ve tried different approaches to marketing and promotion.   Sometimes those have missed badly, and other times they’ve bounced around and fallen in through the hoop.   But all in all, there is no long pattern of scoring successes.  I’m not one of the star players.

In another business attempt (a DVD rental business I’ve mentioned in my blog before), I put up a valiant three-point shot, investing a lot of my hope in the big score just to miss the basket, rim, and backboard entirely and watch the ball thud out-of-bounds.   I’ve recently released some of my own music, and I’ve published a science fiction book that took me years to write.   Do I expect those to swish through the net?  Well, not really.  In fact, I’ve probably become so content with my poor shooting that I don’t even feel surprised or frustrated when I miss.   After all, that’s the attitude of a rebounder.   If you don’t make it, there’s more of a chance for a rebound, right?

There’s a lot to be said for a good rebound.  Grabbing that ball out of the air gives your team another chance.  It keeps the ball in play and that takes you closer to an eventual score.   In fact, if you can get a clear enough offensive rebound, it often results in a put-back score.   Yes, in life I often feel like I’m running to the basket after throwing up a poor shot, or after somebody else shoots, in the hopes that I’ll at least be there to pick up the pieces and try one more time.   I’ve got the protective goggles, so if I’m hit in the face, there’s no harm done.  I can shake it off and move onward.

Maybe after all is said and done, my children and my friends will look back at my life and say, “You know, Todd never did make the big score, but he was a decent player, and he made a difference, even if it was all rebounds.”

Sure, I hope I do make a difference in the end.  I may not be on the winning team, but I hope that I helped the outcome a little bit because I was willing to chase the ball around for a while.   I’ll feel particularly content if I passed to the right person at the right time so that they could throw in an easy score.   The successful “assist” is even more thrilling than the rebound.  It’s all part of the game.

-Todd

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4 Responses to “I’m Not a Scorer…I’m a Rebounder”

  1. Your “random thoughts” are turning out to be more interesting than the 70+ other blogs that I’ve been reading lately.

    I think rebounding is a huge part of the game of business and life. Is it possible your success might come from being part of a successful team, rather than as a solo entrepreneur?

    I used to think music producers and recording engineers were failed artists. Why would anyone choose to be anything other than the lead singer? But then I got to know some really amazing people who didn’t need the spotlight. They understood that they could make a difference by making other people shine. Now I often think of the artist as the lowest position in the music industry, especially in pop music where the producer is often the one that determines the success of an album.

    Lots of artists move on to become producers later in life. The public thinks they’ve disappeared, but in fact they’re creating more value in the industry by mentoring and helping others. Maybe you can find a startup company where you can bring the steady hand of experience to the table. Just don’t let this rebounding get to your head and end up dressing like Dennis Rodman!

    • Haha, good one! I’m not going to dress like Rodman…of that you can be sure! The goggles are about as far as I’ll go on the weirdometer.

      Maybe what you say about “disappearing” a bit into the background and helping to shape the music industry through others is what I’ll be doing in a way with the songwriting “pop” lessons I’m starting next week. I have my first 3 students signed up. It’ll be far from “making a living” in the beginning, but I am actually quite excited about helping youth find their own way of musical expression.

      -Todd

  2. Todd, you need a European vacation. 🙂 (But, wait, the Leiahdorus album must come out first!)

    — Jack

    P.S. One space after the period at the end of a sentence. Only with typewriters do you use two.

  3. A large photo of you in your protective goggles would really bring this blog to life. 😉

    And maybe provide an album cover for the next Saudade release!


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