Jeremy Lin began his tenure as Knicks starting point guard with quite a flourish, averaging about 25 points and 10 assists while, most importantly, leading a floundering team to 7 straight victories and an even number of wins and losses on the season.
The reaction was swift as this undrafted Harvard product showed he could play and win games in the NBA. Linsanity spread through the league and around the world to Lin’s ancestral Taiwan. It was Lincredible. The Knicks were Linning night Lin and night out. Pundits were even wondering aloud if Lin’s addition to the Knicks’ lineup put the Knicks on the path to a champiLinship.
And then for the first time in Lin’s tenure, the Knicks lost a game. In fact, now they have lost two of their last three.
Lin has continued to be good, but we Knicks fans are seeing that not everything he touches turns to gold (or even wins against teams that are among the worst in the league). In his maturation as an NBA player, he has experienced the first of what will be, we can only assume, several rough patches. All players go through them. They do their best to keep faith in themselves as their coaches continue to assert that they can learn from every opportunity.
As we help our students get on their own personal winning streaks, we have to remember that they will not progress in a linear fashion. They will lose some games in which they try valiantly to win. They will lose games in which it seems they never have a chance to win. They will lose the same games today that they won yesterday.
As we coach our students, we must help them understand that they will win some and they will lose some and that losses can be used as learning opportunities. Most importantly, we need to make each individual believe s/he has the ability to be a champion.