If you have ever watched, or played a basketball game, there is a place on the court that is called “The Paint.” It’s the rectangular area on the court contained within the key. The key is the area that encompasses the middle of the floor underneath the basket. It is often shaded, which explains the origin of the word, and always has a semi-circle attached on the short side opposite the basket.
In a basketball game this is the area where the big boys play. It’s also one of the most important areas on the basketball court. There is lots of bumping, shoving, and pushing in the paint. It’s also the place where you can get rebounds and score easy baskets. If you can’t master this area in a basketball game, you are less likely to win.
Being in a marriage there is similar to Playing In the Paint. In marriage, there are seven qualities that make it similar to this important part of basketball.
- When You Play in the Paint, you have to know your strengths. Dennis Rodman knew he was a great rebounder, and he worked on his craft to make sure he was an asset to his team. In marriage, you need to know your strengths as well as the strength of your partner, to ensure you are pushing each other to be their best self.
- When You Play in the Paint, you have to be able to trust your teammate. The Boston Celtics of the 80’s are considered one of the top frontcourt tandem of all time. They had ferocious grace and skill, but their best characteristic was they had each other’s back on the court. When you are marriage, you are competing against so much; work, the kids, outside pressures, that you have to be able to trust each other no matter what.
- When You Play in the Paint you will get angry. Some of the biggest fights, visible or not will happen in the painted area. It happens when you are in close proximity to each other. Marriage is no different. You are in close proximity to you spouse for the rest of you life. It’s normal. The most important part is how you handle your anger.
- When You Play in the Paint you have to be able to talk. It’s the job of the other team to screen and shield you from their player, so they can score. In order to play defense effectively, you will have to be able to communicate. In marriage, communication is the lifeblood to any marriage in order to establish goals and avoid any obstacles that may get in the way of being fulfilled,
- When You Play in the Paint you create an identity. The Detroit Pistons of the 90’s where also called the BAD BOYS, because they were known for playing hard nosed basketball and inflicting pain on their court to help provide and edge. In marriage, you want to create a set of core beliefs and principles that you will live by. This will clearly help move in the same direction as your marriage progresses. It was also help you establish a set of principles to pass down once the kids arrive.
- When You Play in the Paint you have to be able to defend. Akeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson, aka The Twin Towers, made it almost impossible for offiensive players to score down low. In marriage you have to have a great defense if you are going to make it. In this instance, defense means the ability to handle your finances. If you struggle in this area, you will struggle in marriage.
- When You Play in the Paint you develop a special bond. The chemistry among the members that play in the paint can be very fulfilling. This play is taken for granted in a typical basketball game today, since centers are no longer the focal point of the team. In reality, these players are the unsung heroes of any team. In marriage, your sexual bond, is very important, but it is often taken for granted especially when the children, your career and take precedent. By paying attention to this important aspect can help you keep your marriage fresh and interesting.
Excerpts from this blog is taken from Coach Keith’s upcoming new book In the Paint, How to Win at the Game of Love. If you are interested reserving your copy, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.