CHIN IT!

“CHIN IT” is one of many phrases you can catch me yelling with the kids on the court during one of my skill sessions / classes. To “chin it” would be jumping up to snatch a rebound and lock the ball right up under your chin with your elbows flared out ready securing the ball ready to make your next play to go score the ball on offense. It’s literally the move that seals, stops, a defense session and marks the very beginning of trying to score the ball (put the ball in the basket and do your dance). CHIN IT is the 1st step! The reason why I wanted to introduce this term has to do with the point and time in which we are sitting at the moment. Reflecting from my last blog, COVID will end! Once This virus passes, then what? What is your next step? You’ve snatched your rebound. You’ve got it locked under your chin (CHIN IT) secured, now what are you going to do with it? Where will you take off in life? The million dollar question is, are you ready for that?

The very next play after CHIN IT should be an outlet pass to the point guard (best ball handler) and then the team takes off on the fast break scanning the opponents’ defense looking for an easy, quick bucket. Now this doesn’t always result in that easy bucket, but it does lead to setting up your offense to run a play and find that basket. Using your teammates, passes, certain diagramed movements and schemes trying to catch the opponents making a mistake that leads to your teams bucket. Welcome to Basketball 101! But you, you’re still at the CHIN IT. You’re looking for your post guard and ready to make the pass that jumpstart your fastbreak. Are you ready to make the pass? Are you sure that your ball is secured? Or will it get slapped away. All worries moving forward but you can’t sit too long waiting and reading, the clock is ticking (most levels of basketball has a 10 second coin to have the ball cross the half court line) Tick. Tick. Tick. What’s next? What is it going to be? Tick, tock. Tick. Tock.

Basketball is a simple game. Read and react. the idea is that you’ve trained hard enough to step on that court and be successful. Your coach has the team ready to go and now all there is to do is go out there and do it. Simple. This post COVID life (Post CHIN IT) has many similarities to being in this exact moment on the court. The ball is in our court, we just have to go out there and make things happen. We have to be ready to play and make plays. COVID has given us ample time to self-reflect and figure out a lot about ourselves. Push comes to shove, confidence will play a huge role in our next read on life. The stage will be do we have the confidence to do blah, blah, blah. Will you go back to that job? Company? Or have you touched base with your dreams and what you want to leave that job you hated (probably treated you horribly during this virus epidemic). Eve before any of this work stuff, how do you feel about going out, mingling and picking up your regular routine? Mask? Hand sanitizer? Social distancing? Or switching it all up to adopt a new norm? Are you ready for this? Again, you’ve prepared / trained (or should have) and now you’ve got the ball in your hands with all eyes on you. What will be your next play? What will be the end result? I guess I’m just fired up to get rolling with this next chapter in our lives and would love to hear more about where others are with this thought concept. It will be hard. It is scary. But A) we (the world) needed this break and B) the best part about living in this beautiful world is that we have total control over our lives. Im not talking politics nor other bs concerning limitations (so we think) but the actual power in our hands. A lot of us do what is necessarily to survive. A lot fo us sacrifice. And a lot of us have the contrary and live well. But we all have not been able to begin from the very exact starting point at the end of the day. This game, our individual game of life (we are all holding that CHIN IT) we will be able to direct our lives in the very direction in which we want. For whatever the reasons may be, you can. The point guard can’t begin the break without your pass. The defensive effort doest even end without your scoring high to snatch that ball out the air and securing it with a mean CHIN IT…so what are you going to do now? Are we getting buckets or nah?

COVID “timeout”

Basketball is a game of runs. When a team is on a good run, they tend to have the MOJO and most likely are winning (or on a run to get back in the game, make it close, if they were losing). And on the other end of a good run is a bad run. A team is running up the score and well, just can’t seem to be slowed down. They are bringing that JUICE! Well during these particular types of runs, a good coach will call a timeout to gather the team, make adjustments or simply just put an end to the run flow; you know, mess up the MOJO. Well 2020 was on a hot run that is until COVID-19 decided to call a timeout on us all. Just like the game of basketball, life has its runs, the UPS are the good runs you know the ones we tend to want to keep riding out as long as we can. Then, there are the bad runs that we want to snap out of with a quickness. Also just like the game of basketball, timeouts are limited, coaches receive (depending on level of play) about 5 a game. Our timeout limits look a little different in life: jobs, children, family, stress, fatigue just to name a few. As in a game, we need to cherish our timeouts. Use them wisely.

2020 has been a much needed timeout. Life was on a run (good run) but it was time to slow that run down and make some necessary adjustments to get back in the game. You see, the game I was needing to adjust to didn’t necessarily have me losing, more of fixing the frame of mind I was in that was needing fixing. You see, the game plan I had approaching fatherhood, family and providing, yeah I had it all wrong. I was putting too energy, pressure and time into the providing (work, work, work) that I lost sight of what really mattered. I had no clue of what they, we really needed. I was so focused on my “good run” that as long as I was grinding with my ladies as my motivation (my WHY) then it’ll all fix itself. No sir! (or Ma’am). This COVID-19 adjusted my perspective. The time, being preset, is all that my ladies wanted. Yeah having groceries, a roof over our head and date night mean a lot but nothing compares to the assisting with diary diapers, teething 10-month old or dirty dish duty. Instead of coming home exhausted from the GRIND, quarantine has granted me the opportunity to be present and become apart of the day. This timeout I was able to sit my ass down (which I’m not used to) and listen for once. My wife to be set me straight and it’s changed all the dynamic of who I am. Just like back at SOU (Go Raiders!!!) during timeouts I just watched the board, drank water, looked for my snickers and well never really actually listened to what Coach was saying (half the time he was yelling at me for not being PERFECT even though he was punishing me by not starting me and playing me more due to my “attitude” well and huddle / timeout etiquette…hmmm now it’s all making sense) this virus, being slowed down and now having to listen (no distractions) I’m able to play my part better. I’m able to be the better man that I want to be. I’m able to focus on the things that truly matter most in my life and be in the every day moments instead of the thoughts. I’m able to bring the juice to my relationship and family.

COVID-19 thank you! Seriously, muito obrigado (Portuguese for “thank you very much”) What I was and who I am becoming are all in thanks to you and my soon to be wife. Without this timeout, my run would have ended quick and never been as good as the run I am on now with my team: my Rox, our Princess and the best version on the man they both love so much. This timeout gave me the time I needed to commitment to myself. I needed to be better. I have my team that depends on me, the very best version on me, but I can’t BE for them until I was better for me. I can’t be a better husband and father until I’m a better man. Being a better man makes me a better husband and a better father. And being a better husband and father helps me to become a better coach. And better coaches know how to effectively use timeouts and make the necessary in game adjustments that will lead to success on the court. Just like basketball, life is a game of runs. What adjustments have you made coming out of this timeout!?!

“Team on 3! Family on 6…1,2,3…4,5,6!”

Muito obrigado meu amor, you’re the M.V.P.!

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

TT the GREAT

Who is this guy that just blabs and posts his first blog without introducing himself? Uh, yeah my bad…that’s me, Terriel! My name is Terriel Thomas (now you get the TT thing). I am 31 years old. I was born in Chicago, IL (Big Ten fan) but I was raised in Boise, Idaho (Idahome). Yes, I do love potatoes! Just ask my wife, I am on her every day about when can I have her famous potatoes again (we do eat them at least 3 times a week, haha) I graduated from SOU, Southern Oregon University, a small school in Ashland,Oregon. I am unofficially married (Coronavirus curveball) to a very beautiful and strong Brazilian babe who’s name is Roxanne (ROXANNE ROXANNE!!) and we have the perfect little one year old princess in our Sofia. We met while working in China and the rest is history. Yes, an American and Brazilian fell in love in China. Great story too I will share later. We are currently living in Rox’s hometown in Brazil (super adjustment) awaiting our next move as the coronavirus does its thing.

I want to begin my story from China, I mean that’s where this idea and the whole “TT the Great” blew up and well its where I met my Rox. I grew up always wanting to be a coach. I wanted to be a coach back then for the simple reason that I absolutely have collared shirts. Polos, yeah they get all my love but I wanted to have a job where I could “play” all day and well, rock the beat sweats and my J’s to work every day. Also, I had some pretty great coaching mentors early on in my life that kind of put coaching on a pedestal. Coach Cada changed my life! Man, he was everything and anything I needed. Next to my Pops, I worked my ass off to impress this man to hope to only one day be as great as he was. There was Mr. Brown from my Thorp CPS days who was the very first coach to see my talent and play me up with the 5th & 6th graders. Plus, he was just so cool and everybody always wanted detention because that was Mr. Brown’s thing. Mr. Messmer from Whitney Elementary in Boise taught me my first lesson about confidence and being THE man on his 5th grade team. But the game changers, the cherries on top, these individuals are the reason I am the coach I am today (blog with Coach Cada) and they were Mr. Russell (South Jr. High), Mr. Ward (South Jr. High), Coach Grey (Borah High Track), Coach Koetter (Idk what he is doing these days but this man challenged me in many ways I want ready for at the time) Coach Mann (Borah High Football), Coach Owen (College of Idaho), Coach Snow (TVCC), Coach McDermott ( SOU, ooooh weee this man here) and the man I grew up wanting to be like, Roberto “Berto” Bergersen. I carry a little piece of all of these great men with me each and every time I step on the court to do what I love. They taught me how to not only respect the game of basketball, but a lot about being a man and developing the work ethic that I am praised for these days. To these legends in my world, I want to thank you all and let you know how much I appreciate what you’ve done for me. Also, all of you did the sweats and J’s (gym shoes) very proud. A lot of coaches these days praise the megastar coaches that they see on TV like the Coach K (Duke), Steve Kerr (Golden State Warriors), Phil Jackson (Legendary 90’s Bulls / Lakers) , Coach Cal (Kentucky) and I do have my favorites amongst this group, but these men about, yeah they are my idols.

So yeah, coaching is my thing. I’m very passionate about it. I really get a high from working out, training and the challenges surrounding personal development but then when you mix this high with kids, its one of the greatest joys in this world. There is nothing more thrilling than being in front of a group of 30-40+ kids bouncing a ball and sharing that love for the game of basketball with them. I’ve spent the past 3 years coaching in China for a company called U.S.B.A., United States Basketball Academy. We coach and train Chinese youth ages 4 up to 18 years while also introducing them to basic English surrounding the game of basketball. Its EPIC!!! I really just rock out with the kids and get lost in the sessions. I crank the music up loud and we just work. The atmosphere is electrifying. The fun, hard work and happiness is just so contagious. The kids just line up waiting to dive into their sessions with me class after class. This here is where the birth of TT and the “TT the Great” began. After a nasty injury to my leg, I chose to stick it out in China and yup, I showed up to my kiddos on crutches, knee immobilizer and all. Nothing could stop me from getting to the court and those sessions. The passion comes from the look in their eyes when they get to class and the excitement across their faces when they see me. Nothing else like it in this world. Some days (defense days because I know they hate step slides and closeouts) I can’t tell if its basketball of TT that they show up for; to them I am a ROCKSTAR. TT is the coolest coach (foreigner) and person on the planet. TT is great! TT is great because they made me great. Then I got here to Brazil, and I was eager to dive into the culture of coaching here, in soccer county and I was worried. But here the reaction was the same. the love for the game the same. The admiration for TT the same. And it is the same back home in the States. Kids just love me. And I love them back. I will continue to be great to them just as my mentors mentioned above were great to me. TT the Great is here to stay and my love for this game and these children will never change. Having my beautiful daughter has magnified that love. My babygirl has me wrapped all the way around her fingers and I am so ready (or as ready as I think I am) to guide her through life and be as GREAT as father as I can be. I work hard at being as GREAT a husband I can be too, because my Rox and my Princess make me a better man and being a better man makes me a better coach and this is why I too, believe that I am GREAT! (no Tony the Tiger voice).

Check up

I’m doing it! Yup, Ive officially began my blog. It’s okay, I am a little lost but this is nothing knew to me. I’ve grown comfortable being lost the past 3 years. I was lost the whole time living, loving, eating and coaching my way through China. I am really lost now adjusting to a new norm with my family in Brazil and you know what, I’m ROCKING it! I have not mastered the whole being comfortably uncomfortable and I am more than okay with that. These experiences have opened me up to my harsh realities and growth to a new understanding of who “ME” really is. These uncomfortable experiences have brought things into my life that I used to (and still do) dream of like marriage, fatherhood and yeah, Brazil (its actually better here than I thought and wanted it to be, side blog coming soon) . You know what, sitting here thinking, I’ve got this uncomfortable thing down. Being “lost” has really worked out for me but getting back to the point, I just wanted a platform to share some of these experiences. I want to share my thoughts and stories. I want to invite others to do the same. I want to continue to travel the world and connect with the many cultures through the game of basketball. I want to know who is thinking like me. I want to know who is laughing at me and with me. I want to know who is lost on a playground somewhere looking for somebody to come hoop with them and maybe teach them a thing or two.I want to travel to Belize and Singapore and eat my way through Europe one plate at a time. I want to learn more about Brazil, the culture and all that my beautiful wife is from. I want us to travel and experience life around the world. I want this blog to be that path connecting all this and all of us. Basketball has been very good to me. It has taught many of my life lessons. It has taken me places I only saw on a TV screen or read about in a book. Basketball has introduced me to a lot of great people, culture and has shown me the world. I can only hope that this blog can do something similar. Nonetheless, just another opportunity to be “lost” and uncomfortably comfortable while I figure this out. So just like in a game of 1’s (1-on-1 basketball) “I got next.” Kicks are laced. Shot feels silky and my handle is feeling really good. Confidence in hand and I’ve checked up sitting in my D-stance arms up, chest up, eyes on the waist and on the balls of my feet ready for whatever moves life (this Blog) might try to bring this way… “Not in my house, baby!” (as I wave stare down waving my Dikembe finger).

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.