A Little Bit of Knowledge is a Bad Thing

Chelsea - Ava, Missouri
Entered on February 20, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: change, sports
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe a little bit of knowledge is a bad thing. For many years in my life I thought I was smarter than everyone else and better at sports then anyone on the team. I knew just enough that I thought there was not a need to listen to advice. At the beginning of the basketball season my freshman year, I was considered one of the better post players. I was the first substitute on junior varsity and rarely played freshman. I was hot stuff. My opinions influenced me to refuse to listen to what my coaches or older teammates had to say. My improvement that year was next to none. However, my sophomore year I experienced a taste of my own medicine.

Every year the high school basketball players volunteer to coach a Pee-Wee team; grades third through sixth. I chose a fifth and sixth grade team. My players were exactly like me. They would not listen to me no matter how hard I tried. I benched them for part of a game and made them run during practice, but nothing worked. When they did listen, they smarted off a sarcastic response.

One Saturday afternoon I went home madder than a wet hen. I was fed up with their attitudes! So I sat down and pondered how to maturely handle my situation. It was at this moment that I realized that my players treated me just like I treated my coach. For the first time I realized I was not the best basketball player around, and no player does not need instruction from a coach. I became a totally different player. I spent all my free time in a gym practicing for the next basketball season. If I would have continued in my arrogant ways, I would not have improved as a player or person and most likely would have quit after my junior year. My playing time would have been limited, but since I would have thought I was the best, I would have blamed my coach. Instead, I changed my ways and became a much better player and person.

My little bit of knowledge was a bad thing. I knew just enough about basketball to make me think I knew it all and it almost kept me from becoming the basketball player I am today. I am now a full-time varsity starter and play almost the entire game. My hope is my Pee-Wee team, as well as other players, will see how an open-minded attitude makes you a better player, and you can always learn improve.