KA-BOOM... KA-BOOM...KA-BOOM went the deafening sound in the garage as Paul, my oldest son, zinged shot after shot off of the dent covered wall serving as his target. Hockey players need to practice shooting and I couldn't blame him, even if my garage wall was full of holes, since I was the one who told him the story of the 10,000 slapshots.

KA-BOOM... KA-BOOM...KA-BOOM went the deafening sound in the garage as Paul, my oldest son, zinged shot after shot off of the dent covered wall serving as his target. Hockey players need to practice shooting and I couldn't blame him, even if my garage wall was full of holes, since I was the one who told him the story of the 10,000 slapshots.

The idea was that if he repeated the shot 10,000 times in the garage, then one day during a real game situation, he'd be ready to make the crucial shot under pressure. That "day" finally came at the Myriad Center when with 20 seconds left to play in the final game of the state championships, he got the puck and…KA-BOOM…the 10,000th and one slapshot paid off with the winning goal.

I'm reminded of the passage in Hebrews 5:14 where the writer establishes the basis for this idea of practice,

But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

The ability to make the right decision comes from practice. We make 10,000 little decisions to tell the truth, be kind, do the right thing in the garages of our lives where things don't seem to matter much. But these prepare us for that time where we have to make that one decision that may change the course of our lives forever.

Paul learned that he needed 10,000 practice shots to score the winning goal. If we have lost a lot of games lately, maybe it's because we haven't spent enough time in the garage making those practice shots.

Discussion Questions

  1. Describe your personal area of "giftedness" and how you have used it.
  2. What quality of character or virtue do you most admire? Why?
  3. In your own life, what area do feel needs "work"? Why has it been neglected?
  4. What, in your opinion, is the best way to develop virtue in others? In yourself?
  5. Describe what a 10,001 slapshot moment would be like in your own life.