I've always thought that Dumbo, that old Disney cartoon movie has some important life lessons. A young elephant suffers from life's injustices (including losing his mother), then figures out how to make his disadvantage (his oversized ears) an advantage. With the help of a mouse, which represents his FEARS (elephants in the movie are afraid of mice) Dumbo learns to fly. To help him fly, the mouse uses a false belief (a magic feather). However, the reality is that Dumbo's feather has no magic at all; Dumbo flies because Dumbo can fly, he just has to make the necessary efforts. After having defeated one of the undefeated teams in the league, my friends faced the other team in the league that is undefeated. The team has former college players, including one guy with recent NCAA Division 1 Sweet Sixteen tournament experience. Our first timeout came after just 2:45 of game play in the 1st quarter and us down 12 to 0. Because of our quick success last game, I had the distinct impression that the guys thought this wasn't supposed to happen now because now they had a coach. Somehow, I became Dumbo's Feather. I was not convinced we were as overmatched as the score reflected. Our opponents definitely had some better players, but we are strong at every position and have a very strong bench. I thought we were probably beating ourselves. We were -3 in rebounds and +2 in turnovers, and were not even close to running the offense we ran last game. I wondered if some changes would make us competitive. However, because winning seemed implausible at that point, to get maximum effort, I changed the goal from winning to one they could believe in. I told them, "Forget about winning, let's use this game to learn about ourselves." I set two goals: a number for us to reach by the half, and a number to hold our opponents to. Both of those numbers had us losing at the half, but improving both offensively and defensively. We missed our numbers, but not by too much. Then in the second half we actually outscored our opponent, getting better with each quarter. In fact, we worried them enough with our chipping away that they burned all their time outs trying to regroup and stop our momentum. We lost, but we learned that we can beat them for two quarters and our opponents couldn't prevent it, and that is a win for future games. We know that if we face them again, we have a real chance to win. There is no secret to success: you just do certain things and get certain results. There is no fairy dust, no magic feathers; you have to do certain things to get certain results. If we qualify for regions, I am going to ask that team if we can scrimmage against each other to help each other prepare.