The Physics of Dribbling

Dribbling a basketball serves as a wonderful life metaphor. It begins with potential energy converting into kinetic energy when we apply force. That force collides with a surface and Newton’s 3rd law enters: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

When practiced with patience and desire, this fundamental skill becomes part of our muscle memory. In other words: control is in our hands. We use our potential wisely so that it works for us. When standing still, dribbling is fairly effortless once our controlled initial force is applied. The ball returns, and we begin this rhythmic, graceful dance between wrist, floor and the space between.

However, this action gets complicated when we want to move, especially when we encounter obstacles. Therefore, we must learn to accept that spending the required time on the fundamentals is essential, so that when we choose to move, we can do so with the same control we have whilst standing still. We often get caught up being concerned about learning more, consuming as much new information and skill acquisition as possible as a means of taking leaps forward or to be flashy, instead of focusing on the basics. When we approach life in this manner, we rely more on luck than preparation. Practicing the fundamentals teaches us how to pivot with control and grace.


Provisions are “actions of providing or supplying something for use.”

Provisionary¬†means something that’s “tentatively accepted or adopted.”

Visionaries are persons with original ideas about what the future will or could be like.

Visionaries make provisions that are provisionary. 

We can play life like a game of chess, thinking several moves ahead. We have the ability to see beyond what’s right in front of us and consider multiple outcomes for the purpose of minimizing losses or maximizing gains. This is preparation.

However, we cannot afford to allow our egos to become tied down or overly attached to good ideas. We will always lose if we see our preparation as either the final outcome or guaranteeing an outcome we desire. Preparation, no matter how well executed, does not guarantee us anything. Look to nature for proof. The most masterful provisionary measures are no match for tidal waves and tornadoes.