Freeman Cebu Sports

Boards Don’t Hit Back

EVERY POUND COUNTS - Alan G. Choachuy - The Freeman

Growing up, I used to watch Bruce Lee movies over and over again, memorizing each moves and lines, from the movie “Enter the Dragon”, “Fist of Fury” etc… Bruce Lee continues to inspire millions of people worldwide and I used to believe that he could punch through solid concrete wall.


Bruce Lee gives modern sports enthusiasts a “solution” to being a faster, stronger and smarter athlete. Lee had a system called “Jeet Kune Do” meaning “the way of the intercepting fist”. His philosophy behind this system was to intercept the opponent's attack with your own. “Hitting your opponent before he hits you”.

Board might not hit back but this doesn’t undermined the importance of drills, training, lifting weights room but what is important is the translation of these training into actual game simulations. 

Forty five years after the dragon's death, his “Board Don’t Hit Back” philosophy offers solution to young and old athletes.  Take for example 2-time NBA MVP Step Curry. He has a massive basketball drills and strength and conditioning training. His training like the ball handling drill, shooting drill, layup drills are what we call solo drill, which typically involve a person repeating a movement again and again. Although solo drills have its benefits on perfecting the form, feel and timing, it does not have real time game situation, that’s why a solo drill would not be as effective if not coupled with a 2 person or 3 person drills which involve response training, as the opposing person provides game situation such as pushing, shoving and even hard fouls. Repeating these drills would help stimulate an athlete to be better in real game situation. In due time, the reaction becomes an instant habit of the athlete and during actual games, it will come in automatic just like how Curry reacts in dribbling the between the legs, behind the back with both left and right hand. Even shooting from way beyond the arc has caused bad habits to young basketball players, who idolized Steph not knowing that Steph practices those million dollar shot day in and day out. 

In a game like golf or tennis, it might be to master the drive, the putt. The forehand and back hand, and the drills one practices in a driving range, it maybe be the same movements you will encounter in real golf tournament. Although you are still competing against each other, but when time comes, it’s you and against the ball.

But again, there are other “boards ” that can trigger the success of each athlete or failure. Attitude and passion toward the game, attitude in practice, respect towards the referees, coaches and teammates. Some athletes also prefer to just to make it a show. So “board” is sometimes referred to the unrealistic world the kids grow up into now, the world of social media where in athletes post and post their training but in reality they are not doing it.

Common sense is a “board” that can’t be taught or learned in school. I remembered years before when I witnessed a local basketball that team trains hard in the morning, in the afternoon and even going late evening. Sadly when the actual tournament comes, the players are either injured or burnt out.

Presence of mind is another “board”. Remember what happened to Cleveland's JR Smith during Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors? That one was mistake caused the Cavaliers the coverted hampionship.

There is a missing link between practice and actual game application and there are other philosophy of Bruce Lee that can help sharpen you as an athlete and as a person.

1.Be water my friend: “You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”

2. “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who had practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

3.“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”

4.“Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless, add what is uniquely your own.”

5.“I am not teaching you anything. I just help you to explore yourself.”

Although these are just a philosophy of one person who passed away 45 years ago but these words of wisdom are ugly truths we all face in our daily lives including the profession we are trying to be in or in the sport we are trying to perfect. And again, this philosophy can be thrown into the garbage if we don’t actually do something about our problem. Talking about it, posting about it in Instagram, Facebook or Twitter will not help.

Let us all be part of the solution and not part of the problem because, “Boards don’t hit back”.

SIDELINE: Happy birthday to my greatest inspiration. The one who endured all my 'craziness' while growing up. To my Mom Doris Gotauco Choachuy, keep on smiling. From your favorite son, Alan.


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