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I can't play, so I write.

Played in my first men's slow-break league game of the season today.

A few words might aptly describe my performance: soft, lazy, undisciplined. If any of the area's high school coaches saw the way I played today, I would have been in for some serious bench time and my ears would be ringing for days.

There has never been any question that I couldn't hang for even a few minutes against any of the local teams I cover. But perhaps one thing I could have done today was try to visualize success using the players I watch week in and week out.

Couldn't hurt.

There were more than a few instances when a positive example might have helped me in certain situations.

For instance, when I got beat for a rebound by a smaller player, it would have helped me to think of Hanford's Aaron Neary tipping away a rebound from a much bigger player like I've seen him to before.

Or when I lost my man on defense, or when somebody else lost theirs, I should have remembered the way Richland scrambles to help each out on the defensive end. Or the way Reggie Clinton of Kennewick squares up his opponent in man-to-man defense.

I passed up way too many of open looks — Matt Mendenhall of Southridge would have been shocked. I missed a pair of free throws, too — so not Case Rada of Kamiakin.

There were times when I didn't follow my shot or didn't work to get in position for someone else's shot. That's one of Jordan Downing's best traits at Chiawana — fighting for space inside.

You get the idea.

So maybe next time I'm out covering a game, I'll be thinking about ways to get better myself. There's certainly a lot of good basketball being played out there by players from Tri-Cities.

Definitely enough of them to help an old man out with his game.

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