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Dr. Phil, Meet Jeff Walker

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on January 15, 2008

Doc’s Note: This is the latest in a series of columns on sports at Crichton. These columns will appear regularly until the end of the school year.

One of the great things about sports is the fact that the lessons one learn not only apply to the playing field, but other aspects of life as well.

If we want to look for inspiration when we’re facing the odds, we can look at the 2004 Boston Red Sox, who came back from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Yankees en route to their historic World Series win over the St. Louis Cardinals.

For bringing a community together, the perfect example would be the 1973 Memphis Tigers, who brought a racially divided city together by winning a then-record 24 wins to capture the Missouri Valley Conference and face heavily-favored UCLA in the national championship game.

But for relationship matters, or in my case, admitting to a very attractive girl that I like her, I have my boss, head basketball coach Jeff Walker.

For those who’ve followed the other blog I own or, for that case, seen me around North Highland Park, knows for a fact that I have my eye on a girl on the dance team here.

And while most of this has leaked out the same way that the news about John L. Smith leaving Louisville for Michigan State years ago, the only difference is the fact that no one, for the most part, is getting pissed off, the idea of applying what I’ve learned from being student director of basketball operations to the girl I’m starting to feel for from a distance, and being successful with it, is something that isn’t far-fetched.

One of the things that Coach Walker preaches to the team during the practices is having the mental and physical intensity that comes with playing college basketball.

“When you’re inside this 94 feet,” I remembered him saying back at a practice a few weeks ago to the backups, “you have to bring intensity off the bench. Elevate the game.”

If this was some self-help show on relationships with the opposite sex, I could only picture Coach saying this.

“Every moment you have with your significant other, you have to show that you care about her. Bring a level of intensity, show that you can be strong for not only yourself but for her.”

In my case however, the message that would be sent to me would be to keep the ball rolling in my pursuit.

“Intensity, Ryne,” he would say, “elevate the situation.”

And if for some reason a person or myself screwed up in some area with a pursuit, leading to rejection or the whole “just friends” spiel, Coach Walker probably would say the same thing he says to us at the end of every practice.

“Great effort. You made some mistakes, but the intensity was there with the girl. Let’s get back out there tomorrow and bring some more intensity to the pursuit.”

That is, if time nor golden opportunities doesn’t run out.


2 Responses to “Dr. Phil, Meet Jeff Walker”

  1. Aedhelgrim said

    Trust me. Even if she rejects you, the alternative is a special hell of not knowing, or even worse, not knowing what could have been had you had the courage to step up. Twelve years, twelve long years, I was interested in a woman, wanted to take a chance to see if we could be more than friends. Twelve years of cowardice, twelve years of futility, twelve years of waking up each day in that special hell for the weak. Now, she’s engaged to a man I wish I could hate but I can’t because I see how happy he makes her, and it’s not like I had a legitimate claim anyway, because I was too afraid. The saddest words are indeed “what might have been”, and that is what stabs like a knife, feels like a physical weight on my soul some days. I share my story with you as a warning. I’m 30 years old. Don’t let yourself become broken like this. If she says no, at least you’ll know, and that’s better than wondering what would have happened had you not taken the chance.

  2. Doc Hancock said

    I agree. Knowing is half the battle.

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