Yesterday afternoon I played against the former starting point guard, two years out of high school, up at our son’s new high school on the outdoor basketball courts. I’ve seen him up there before working on his game but never spoke with him. With two of my three kids present, talk about an opportunity to teach my boys a lesson — aside from the fact that Dad can still ball. ;)

I won’t bore you with the details, but I was up 7-2, then 11-7 and 15-12 before he finally won at 16-15. I didn’t mind losing but here are a few lessons learned (and one exhibited):

1. Have a goal before starting something. I kept scoring, thinking “Ok it’s 7. Game over. No? Ok, 11 then. No?”

2. Don’t settle for what’s easy. I shot a lot of 3′s. Like, an inordinate amount of them. They kept going in, but eventually I got so used to not playing hard that I held back on a few drives to the basket — so instead of lowering the shoulder and making a layup I pulled up and missed easy shots.

3. Know when to quit. I should’ve said “Ok, that’s 7.” or “Game — 11.” but instead let him dictate when his younger legs and athleticism would let the game end.

4. Make adjustments. Admittedly I was tired after having lifted weights earlier in the day and played a few games with my older boys, but I let him jack up threes (that kept going in) because my legs were tired, I was winded and it gave me a chance to rest. Even with my height advantage I wasn’t playing up enough on him out of fear that he’d drive past me for an easy layup.

5. Be a good sport. I didn’t talk smack or gloat when I was up. I could tell that was how he gained his confidence, so he was calling points after he let go of the ball (as in if he had 4, he’d shoot and say “5″, for example). I made a point of shaking his hand after and saying he played a good game, then asking him what his name is and asking him a few questions about the program at the high school since he had played there.

Anything I forgot?

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