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The art of passing

I used to get frustrated with my teammates for not passing when I play pick-up ball. I'm not saying I'm a particularly good player, it's just that the number of missed passes in a typical game is pretty astounding. Before I worked on the mechanics of my jump shot, passing used to be my go-to skill. It was a big revelation when it occurred to me one day that passing isn't easy. In fact, it's a skill to work on just like a jump shot or post move.

I think this sort of revelation has dawned on me in other areas of life. I used to think of myself as very average when it came to doing math in my head (I used to estimate our time to arrival every time my family traveled anywhere in the car), calculating odds at a poker table (cluster-counting poker chips!), estimating various quantities to an order of magnitude (let's see, could we make that observation?). Then I'd find out that, hey, not everyone can do that. These things are skills that I've acquired through practice and repetition. I was making assumptions about how other people find it easy, or that they could do these things at all. But while I was feeling insecure about my own abilities, by simply doing what I was doing, I was potentially impressing people around me.

Think on that the next time you're worried about how everyone seems so much better than you (if that thought ever occurs to you). Like I tell my students before they go out and give their first talks at other institutions: be the expert in the room. Don't assume that everyone in the audience has mastered what you mastered. It has taken you a lot of time and effort to get where you are, and it'll help the audience, and yourself, to just own your skills and tell people how it is!

So, um...yeah. All that to introduce this video of Lebron James' oft-overlooked passing skills. The dude is 6-foot-8, 260 pounds and passes like a damn point guard...


mama mia said…
impressive and uncanny does he know just where to get the ball in an instant, on the fly? and seemingly without looking in that direction? is that why he gets paid like he does?

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