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Believe it or not, the process is more important

February 8, 2010
By MIKE MATHISON, Sports editor

Edison boys basketball coach Todd English talked last week about his squad, which was still looking for its first win of the season.

"We can't worry about getting a win. I told the guys we have to keep doing the little things right and the rest will take care of itself," said said after a loss to Indian Creek.

As much as his players really need a win, as do the boys at Brooke, English is right.

It's about the little things.

It's about the process, not the outcome.

Professional golfers say that all the time.

They do it through their pre-shot routine.

If they go through the same pre-shot routine in the 3rd hole on Thursday as they do the 18th hole on Sunday, then they have accomplished their goal, regardless of where the shot went - in a bunker or close for a tap-in birdie to win the tournament.

Not all shots go where intended.

Neither do passes, free throws, pitches or shots during a soccer contest.

It's not about whether you make it, it's about whether you give yourself a chance to make it.

Do you go to the free throw line concentrating on the process or the fact your team is down by one and making both free throws will put your team in the lead?

Practice is to go over things so when those situations arise in the game, reaction becomes second nature.

Practice is to learn how to maintain a 5-point lead in the fourth quarter when the other team goes into a press and begins to trap. Practice teaches you where to go and where to stay away from while the other team is playing pressure defense.

If your baseball coach calls for a bunt to move the runner over, your job is to lay down a bunt. Your job is not to look at mom and dad and have one of them mouth 'swing away.'

You bunt.

You don't bunt for a single.

You bunt to move the runner over.

When children use crayons and color outside the lines, it's not about the finished product, it's about the process that went through their young minds about creating something.

Forever ago, I watched my son draw something that looked like an orange lightning bolt. I asked him what that was and he simply said "a cat."

I had no vision of how that could become a cat.

But, he did.

And, he drew a cat.

It's about the process, not the outcome.

Taking care of the process and not worrying about the outcome is what math teachers have been saying for years - "Show your work."

When a children show their work, a math teacher can quickly find where they went wrong.

The same is said about running an offense in football or basketball. It's about the process and people doing what they are supposed to do.

You cannot worry about the outcome - that puts a kink in the process.

The best example of taking care of the process and not worrying about the outcome is Chesley Sullenberger.

Landing an airplane cannot be the easiest thing in the world, but landing a sick airplane in the Hudson River is something you simply cannot practice.

But, I am guessing years and years and years of practicing how to land a plane safely, came in quite handy.

It's about the process.

Tebow tackles mom

Boy, that Tim Tebow ad sure was controversial, huh?

Sure riled up all those idiots who talked long before they saw the 30 second ad?

CBS has said from the start there would be no controversy in the ad and CBS was right.

That 'abortion' word was never mentioned.

Pam Tebow never talked down to anyone.

The ad was good, non-controversial and wholesome.

That's so un-American isn't it?

Of course, some people will whine the commercial wasn't controversial enough.

Look, the bottom line is far too many people cried like Chicken Little.

Far too many people cried wolf.

The biggest issue in the ad was that Tebow proved he can be a good linebacker with the smack he put on Pam Tebow.

Girls basketball

The girls basketball sectional draw is out and there are some interesting games.

Steubenville Big Red and Indian Creek will play at 6 p.m. on Feb. 24 at Ohio University-Eastern. The winner will more than likely get Meadowbrook, although the Colts will not have an easy time getting past St. Clairsville.

OVAC tournament

With all of this snow and some four-plus inches coming Tuesday night into Wednesday, it's going to be really interesting to see what happens with the Wheeling Hospital Ohio Valley Athletic Conference girls playoffs games.

Some school districts have the policy that games cannot be played if school is not in session, while others do not.

School districts cannot bend their rules because it will open too many "what ifs" down the road with all extra-curricular activities.

I hope all the games get played, but what happens if some get played and some do not?

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at

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