Being On The Bench Ain’t Such a Bad Thing

By Patrick McNerthney

The NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament is happening right now. Even if you don’t like basketball, it’s exciting stuff – mostly because these KIDS just TRY so hard it’s almost cute. Also, this herculean effort oftentimes means the underdogs beat the top-ranked teams. Plus being students, they aren’t PAID to do this, they don’t drive Ferraris, drip diamonds, have fancy little dogs stuffed into their Gucci bags or do any of the other stuff that comes with high salaries and corporate sponsorships, so there’s a kind of innocence, an authenticity, to the whole thing.

(Awwww, they’re so cuuuutttte.)

I played basketball in high school. I was okay, but I had this bracelet I always struggled to take off before the game which stressed me out to no end. But otherwise I enjoyed it. Every time I play now, I realize how out of shape I am, given I spend most of the game panting and wheezing and taking multiple water breaks (which involve me laying down on some grass, spread eagle, with a medicinal popsicle, in an effort to cool off). 

Anyway, most of the time I rode the bench, a.k.a. I was a bench player. Here’s the thing: Bench players don’t get much playing time. No one knows who they are (whether professional, college, or high-school players). Often, they don’t even take off their warm-up gear (those smooth, satin-like sweatsuits that remain pristine for bench players because, well, they never play, ergo they don’t sweat or otherwise soil their clothing). 

If you were to watch a game, you’d see bench players totally freaking out, hollering, and screaming for joy when the star players do something awesome. I’m sure if you were to see this, you’d think it was ridiculous. You’d probably think something like, “Hey, those bench folks aren’t really contributing to success here. They need to calm down.”

Aha! Gotcha! You, my friend, would be wrong. Dead wrong.

A really good basketball team (or any team, sports, business, or service; it doesn’t really matter) hones their skills and gets better by competing against other teams, especially the really tough, highly skilled ones. However, the truth is that a really good basketball team is only as good as the folks they play against daily, i.e. The Bench Players, a.k.a. the lynchpins to the whole thing.

So while folks may not care a ton about the bench players, the “starters” (the really good players) sure do. Because their success is due to how talented, driven, focused, and skilled the bench players are. What a trip. Success, in this case, is based on the expertise of the people who are never on the court during an actual game.

(See that guy? He didn’t get there by himself.)

Secretly, every bench player in college or pro basketball knows he or she could go find a different team and get more playing time. But they’d rather be an essential cog in the wheel of a better team. 

You’ve probably figured this one out. You’re the starting lineup in the fight against social isolation as you care for the elderly, children with challenges, and people who simply need assistance with their daily lives. Fine Art Miracles (FAM) is the bench. While nobody “do the voodoo like you do” (sorry, sports broadcasting phrase snuck in there), there’s an opportunity to keep getting better: utilizing FAM’s services to practice creative expression. 

It turns out Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Dance & Movement Therapy, ART2GO packages, and Multi-Sensory Sessions provide what your residents and loved ones need to fight off depression and anxiety: feelings of self-worth, a sense of mastery, and understanding of their relevance to their own community (as well as the outside world), confidence, and a chance to live life joyfully, with meaning, and hope. You’re the star players (even if nobody tells you that), and even though FAM is on the bench, we’re happy to be an integral part of your team. 

So what are you waiting for? Go! Go! Give FAM a call or drop’em a note!

Well, I was going to play some ball while it’s still light out, but my shoulder hurts, plus I don’t feel like passing out from exhaustion. And we’re out of popsicles. Maybe instead I’ll watch the tournament tonight, eat some pizza, drink some soda. Yup, that sounds way more like my kind of bench…I mean, sport!


Skip to content