Set Yourself Up Right

This originally appeared as a weekly Devo on

Monday night I attempted to teach some 5th and 6th graders how to post up in the block and utilize the drop step.

Now immediately I realize that there are two groups of people. Those of you who are shaking your head in disbelief that I would even attempt teaching that to that age boys. It’s not easy. It takes some coordination.

Then there are those of you who have no idea as to what I am talking about. In fact, you had to re-read that sentence a couple of times. Yeah – you still have no clue. For all you know, I’m teaching these kids how to catapult. (Which could be awesome…must look into that.)

The quick version is this – basketball player wants ball close to basket. When player gets ball, he (or she) is in position to take one dribble while moving one foot closer to the basket, pivot on said foot and dunk the ball. Or in our case, launch hit as high as you can and hope it hits the glass and falls in.

The trick to the drop step is positioning. The player has to make himself available to get the ball from a teammate. This means getting their shoulders square with their teammate. It means putting the defensive player on their back opposite hip of the direction they want to go. It means getting their hands out so that the passer has a great target. It means constantly adjusting and moving to the defensive player from getting in the passing lane. THEN – after all of that – there is the actual process of catching the ball, pivoting and shooting all the while keeping their bodies in a position that shields the ball from the defender.

Keep in mind – I’m teaching this to 5th grade boys. Want to find out if you are a clear communicator or not? Explain anything to a 11 or 12 year-old boy. Then have them repeat it back to you. It’s hilarious.

Any rate – we work on this drill for 15 minutes. Balls are flying everywhere. Kids are tripping over their feet, other people’s feet. It’s not happening.

One of the kids say to me – “Why is this so hard? I’m looking at the passer, I’m looking at the ball! Why can’t he get me the ball?”

And it hit me – The passer will never get him the ball if he doesn’t first set himself up right. It’s not on the passer to get square and set up to the player in the post. It’s on the player in the post to set up and get square with the passer. If the post player wants to get the ball, he (or she) has to set himself up right. That means getting square and open, presenting a big target to the passer.

I said to my guys – “Imagine that you are trying to have a face to face conversation with your teammate. You want to look your teammate in the eye. You want your shoulders square with his shoulders. You want clear space between you. And that’s on you to make that happen, not the guy with the ball.”

It clicked. They begin to get it.

It’s just like that for us with our heavenly Father. Why is this so hard? Why can’t I connect with the Father? Most of the time it is because we haven’t set ourselves up right. We haven’t put ourselves in position to receive from our Father. We haven’t gotten square with Him. We haven’t carved outfor Him. We haven’t done the work to be ready to engage him. Work like – reading and studying scripture, praying, worship.

I find that I am most distant from God when I treat Him like an ATM machine. I pull up, stick in the magic card, push some buttons then wait patiently for the money to come out. Somedays I may take longer at the ATM than others – but usually not.

So just some encouragement – get square with the Passer. Imagine having a face-to-face conversation with Him. Put those distractions on the back opposite hip. Give Him a big target to see. Then just wait. The pass will get there.

Now the coordination afterwards to make the shot is a whole other story. Maybe next time.

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