Ascent Publication
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Ascent Publication

Don’t Be Paralyzed When It’s Time to Decide

Right or wrong? Only one way to find out: Make the decision.

Some ways are better than others, but you can still get there.

You may remember that a few months ago, I was assistant coach for my kid’s soccer team. Good times. Good times. Well, today, I’m assistant coaching his basketball team. Mostly the same kids and we’re having a blast. The teams are very alike, in many way, in that the challenges of coaching are very present but everyone is constantly in a great, fun-loving mood.

I recently noticed, though, that our team freezes a little bit when they’re on offense…and by “a little bit,” I mean completely and totally. They probably did this during the soccer season, too, but I am only now noticing it through the lens of basketball, probably because it’s the sport I know most about.

Chaos (noun) — A State of Utter Confusion.

Here’s what goes down: Someone dribbles up the court with the general idea of what needs to happen. Teammates are screaming their name asking for a pass. Parents are screaming their name telling them to pass or shoot or dribble. Coaches are screaming everyone’s name because that’s what we do. The other team’s coaches are screaming at who-the-heck-knows-what. And there’s always that dad over there that is randomly screaming what sounds like verbatim excerpts from The Game of Basketball rule book.

It’s chaos. The kind of chaos that would be difficult to handle no matter how old you are.

Understandably, that’s when it all falls off the tracks. Whoever has the ball is usually paralyzed with indecision on what to do next and/or how to do it. A few seconds ago, they wanted the ball, now…they desperately want to get rid of the flaming ball of fire that it has become.

So, they blindly throw it in any direction. If it happened to be near the basket, we’ll retroactively call it a shot. If it happened to be in the general direction of a teammate, we’ll retroactively call it a pass. But for real, 90% of the time they’re just chucking it and running. They’re in first grade. Whatever. It’s fine.

The Struggle of Indecision is Very Real.

On our way home after practices and games, I usually talk with my kid about what we, as a team, could work on a little more. He agrees that our team suffers from indecision on the offensive side of the floor. It’s good to notice and, as coaches, we can take steps to resolve the situation, but it got me thinking…do I do this, too?

Do I get paralyzed by indecision and then just chuck the (figurative) ball and run away?

Maybe. I’d like to think no, but…well, maybe. The good thing is that noticing that you might do it is the first step towards making sure that you don’t do it.

Make a Decision. Learn. Keep Going. Repeat.

You guys, it’s crazy how much running a business venture is just like youth sports. For me, the startup environment can be just as overwhelming as everyone screaming at me when I’m just focused on dribbling the ball up the floor to get in a good position to score. There’s a lot of distraction, and a lot of people with conflicting advice telling you what to do and how to do it.

You have to hear it all, process it, think what makes sense for you in that moment, make a final decision, and then do your best to make that one thing happen.

Then, you need to assess if you were successful or not, immediately react to your action’s effect, and somehow confidently persevere through all the people telling you that you did it wrong and that you should have listened to them.

Take what you’ve learned and use that the next time you dribble up the court.

It’s crazy difficult, but here’s the thing: there’s always a next time you dribble up the court.

We All Want Options.

But options complicate the issue, too. It’s like flipping through all 248 pages of a Cheesecake Factory menu. “Do I need a few minutes?! Yes, I need a few minutes. I need a few days. Screw it, I’ll just have the sliders. Thanks.”

There are bad decisions. There are good decisions. There are no-impact-at-all decisions. It’s usually clear when it’s time to make one, but making one is the hard part.

Make a decision. Learn from it. Sometimes you score. Sometimes you don’t. But it keeps you moving because either way, you’ll need to hustle back to defense and then get ready for the next time up the court.

This time, more ferocious and confident, armed with every single previous lesson learned.


Vijoy Rao || Founder // Magic Room Brand
When you’re doing something you love, you shouldn’t need to compromise.

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Vijoy Rao

Vijoy Rao


Drummer • Painter • Father • Founder of @magicroombrand • Lover of records, ballpark nachos, and bad puns — sometimes all at once.