In Life There Is No Substitute For Experience

by Gary Davidson

Gary Basketball Team

This month saw the opening games of the Scottish Basketball Championships (SBC). CliniMed, SecuriCare’s sister company, sponsor the CliniMed Wheelchair SBC League – something I have been heavily involved in with.

Our club developed over the summer and we are now able to field four teams: two in the national leagues and now a masters and juniors team in the Scottish league. 

The masters team consists largely of players over 35 and those who are involved in the GB youth squads. There’s always a bit of banter and some trash talk between the players at the club, entirely in good humour, to encourage and bring out the best in every individual. Having played the game since 1975, I can tell you this is the norm in the sport, not the exception. This sort of thing reminds me of the following poem:

The old crow is getting slow.

The young crow is not.

Of what the young crow does not know

The old crow knows a lot.

At knowing things the old crow

Is still the young crow’s master.

What does the slow old crow not know?

—How to go faster.

The young crow flies above, below,

And rings around the slow old crow.

What does the fast young crow not know?

—Where to go.

John Ciardi, “Fast and Slow,”

I realise as I go through life that there’s no substitute for experience – and basketball is a great analogy for this. I know that no one is the finished article, no matter how long you’ve been playing. 

As a coach of the game I also learn from watching the youngsters develop. I can help provide direction thanks to my experience, tapping into their youthful energy and providing a focus for them. I aim to help them become wise in the game, encouraging them to be adaptable for the future of basketball.

We had a good game with lots of fierce action, with the ‘old crows’ emerging victorious, using experience to problem solve at various stages of the game and improve the entire team performance. It was all good fun, with the youngsters learning how to take it on the chin. It’s vital to learn good sportsmanship which includes learning that if everyone plays at the same level then no one should feel the need for heroic individual efforts.

I’m looking forward to the rest of the season watching the club and my team mates grow, and with continuing good fortune and consistent performances, we’ll hopefully pick up a few prizes by the summer. I have and will continue to enjoy playing and coaching wheelchair basketball, and we’ll see where the partnership with CliniMed takes us. 

There are big moves on the horizon for the club and I’m excited to be part of that evolution.

Gary Davidson

About the author

Gary Davidson is an active sportsman who has competed at the Paralympics for both Scotland and Great Britain over the years. Gary has spina bifida, and carries out self-catheterisation. You can follow him on twitter @rockswheelchair.


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