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How to Handle Urges: A Basketball Metaphor

Uncategorized Jan 12, 2021

If an urge comes and all you do is resist it, your willpower will deplete. Then you will end up looking at porn and rewarding your brain for this pattern. The same thing over and again.

Urge comes -> resist with willpower -> willpower runs out -> give in to urge (look at porn) -> reward yourself for resisting the urge.

It doesn’t work in the long run.

I love basketball. I love to watch it, play it, talk about it. Whether they’re good or bad, I watch most of the Utah Jazz games, and have for years. I am truly an all-weather fan.

So I’m going to use a basketball metaphor to help teach about managing urges in a way that is effective in the long run.

A Basketball Metaphor

Posting Up

In basketball, there is something called posting up. When you post up you are on offense, you have the ball in your hands, you have your back to the basket, and you are close to the basket.

There are several options from posting up that can put you in a good position to score. Anyone can post up but it helps to be big.

When you do it to your defender, it is called posting them up.

Defending the Post Up

To defend the post up, you need to be between your man and the basket, and you need to provide resistance.

You can’t push with your hands (hand check with one hand, but not push), but if the guy with the ball backs you down, you need to push back with your body without fouling him.

Push too hard, you'll foul him. Don't push hard enough, you'll get plowed over and he'll score too easily on you.

Obviously, you want to do everything you can to make it harder for him to score.

When an urge comes, it is like it is posting you up.

Defending an Urge

As the defender, typically, you end up pushing back about as hard as your man pushes you.

If your man is Shaquille O’Neal, your pushing won’t make much of a difference.

Shaquille O’Neal, or Shaq (pronounced “shack”) is 7’1. At one point in his NBA career,  Shaq was 370 lbs. He was a beast! And he dominated, even against other 7-footers.

Most people respond to an urge by pushing back. But the urge always scores when we do this. You are the defender. The urge is Shaq.

No matter how hard or long you push back, Shaq will dunk on you pretty much every time.

We need an alternative approach for urges.

Pulling the Chair

As the defender in basketball, sometimes you can get away with a technique called “pulling the chair.” Here’s how it works.

As you and your man lock antlers in a post up, he pushes a few times and you push back, then suddenly, the next time he lunges at you, you anticipate and step completely out of the way.

Your man lunges while expecting you to push back. But since no-one is there to resist, your man throws himself off balance until he turns the ball over. Maybe he falls. Maybe he has a traveling violation or loses control of the ball.

Video: NBA Players pulling the chair

The first chair pull is about 10 seconds in to the video. Just watch it for 30 seconds or so and you’ll get the idea. Video goes dark after 3 minutes for some reason.

Click here to watch video.

Pulling the Chair Works Every Time on Urges

Pulling the chair does not work every time in basketball. Just every once in a while. People catch on.

But with urges, pulling the chair works every time.

When your next urge comes pushing at you, stop resisting, step aside, and let it sail right by.

You basically observe the feeling of the urge in your body and let it be there without rewarding it with porn.

We need to pull the chair on our urges. The urge does not score when we do this. We do not needlessly use up our willpower resisting it.

Remove the reward for the urges enough times and you recondition your brain.

When you do this enough times, the urge stops pushing so hard. And, eventually, it might even stop posting you up altogether.


The highest performing basketball players have coaches.

Cutting through all the layers of thought patterns to make your urge experience more effortless is the goal. For some, this is accomplished more readily and easily with a trained coach to guide you through.

If you want to get a feel for what it would be like to have a 1:1 coach, schedule a free consultation with me right now by clicking here.

And get to winning sooner.

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