Dear Son – Dribble with your head up.

Dear Son,

Sorry to have dropped the ball on the Ultimate Tips postings.

Seems, among a lot of work and  – stuff, I was dribbling with my head down.

Tip #30 “When you walk, look straight ahead, not at your feet.”

This tip made me think of you and your brother because as athletes a lot of great tips are taught on the field, the gym, or the stadium.

Those tips are really taught during competition because no matter how hard we practice them, they become habits after failure forces compliance.

Son, in basketball and life – dribble with your head up. In life, you can go forward looking down, but you go forward faster –  looking up.

Basic dribbling has to become so repeated that the ball coming back up to your hand has to be a fact, not a question.

Once established that the ball will, in fact, come right back up to your hand, you can take a step forward. Then another. And another. Eventually you can run while dribbling. Zig zag running. Spin a 360.

Only if you are really good at dribbling.

But you knew this. Or at least you have come to know this.

Life’s a lot like that.

Conquer the basic skills and then you can move forward. Faster and then faster still.

The question is – what is the life skill comparable to dribbling in basketball?

I would have to answer that LISTENING is the skill to be crafted into art.

You and your brother are very skilled at being quiet and observing, but try to move to ACTIVE LISTENING.

Ask questions –  Tip #25 “Ask more than you answer. Everybody likes to talk about themselves.” Tip # 38 “Never stop learning.”

You’ll be surprised how much more you hear, observe, feel, and think from active listening. From that – you will move forward with your eyes up, shoulders back, and you will reach your goals MUCH faster.

It’s an easy skill to let slide. My active listening slides sometimes – as it has recently.

And it slowed me down. Or it let me catch up. Don’t know really…

Anyway – Eyes up. Listen up.  Move up.

Love you,


Chris Saxman

About Chris Saxman

Father of four, small business leader, retired politician, and Executive Committee member and former Chairman of an international trade association, Chris Saxman delivers strategy and insight as a political coach and keynote speaker. Contact Chris.

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