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Call Your Own Fouls...

Playing basketball, I always enjoyed the pickup games even more than I enjoyed the actual, “under-the-whistle” games. 

One reason: pickup games had fewer rules. 

There were no coaches or referees to complain to when things didn’t go your way. 

I mean, pickup games had rules, yes. But we enforced them on our own. A foul call or traveling violation was only as strong as the player calling it. 

The less respect you had amongst the other players, the less chance your calls would be acknowledged. 

If you couldn’t command enough respect from your peers to get your way, you just had to live with being ignored. You were lucky to be on the court, probably. Someone would probably remind you of this. 

In pickup basketball, the best players, the Type-A personalities and the bullies dominate. 

And that’s exactly how it should be. 

During the season, though, when we had practices and games every day, the coaches and referees policed the action. 

And here’s what would happen: the less-respected players, those who were invisible in pickup, suddenly looked better. 

They played more confidently. 

They were more willing to speak up, to try things on the court. 

The presence of coaches and referees leveled the playing field in a way. 

That’s the way it should be, too. 

Both situations matter. We need(ed) that balance between rules and no rules. 

Here’s the thing about pickup basketball, though, that reflects life: a lot of what happens will never be seen by the corresponding authorities. 

Most pickup basketball games happen out of the eyesight of coaches. Some pickup games have refs; they almost don’t feel like pickup. 

Most of the time when crimes occur, the police aren’t around to see it happen — they show up after the fact (if they’re called at all). 

Most of the student interaction at school, the teachers never know about. 

The boss has better things to do than to monitor conversations between subordinates. 

Most of what happens in our lives is — must be — self-policed. 

Street justice is liveried out just as much as there’s police activity. 

Pickup game fights are just as frequent as players arguing with referees. 

Machiavellian power games and office politics police the workplace. Taking things to HR is a ost resort. 

Those who aren’t willing to self-police, those who want everything watched over and decided by the authorities, soon find out they’re in for a long, rough ride. 

There aren’t enough bosses to watch everybody. Not enough cops to stop all crime. Not enough coaches or referees to call every foul. 

So, every once in awhile — or more often, if it pleases you — decide to take matters into your own hands. Hand out your own justice and discern for yourself what’s fair and foul. 

It’ll be good practice for when the ball is thrown into your chest and there’s no whistle. 

How much in your life do you enjoy structure and rules versus the "make your own rules" setup? Reply and let me know -- I read all responses. 

By the way, you’d be smart to engage yourself with the following MasterClasses on competition and conflict — 

#1265: What You Learn Through Conflict

#771: How To Handle Conflict

#465: Conflict: It's GOOD For You!

#375: How To Handle Verbal Confrontation

#1263: How To Get Uncomfortable And STAY There

#1230: Why You Avoid Uncomfortable Conversation

Access not only these, but another 1,300+ MasterClasses just like these as a Game Group Member — in fact, I’ve created a FREE 14-day trial for you to get started with today: 

Get Started With Today

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