This I Believe: I Believe in Passing the Ball

Feb 18, 2020

I see a timid, shaky-kneed freshman, eyes wide with fear for being on the court during the varsity game. She is the most open player to receive a pass. With a flick of my wrists, the ball zooms into her possession. 

Without thinking, she turns and shoots. Swish. The basket is made, and her teeth peek from behind her lips—she is smiling. A mere glance is all it takes to notice the evident change within this girl. Her confidence is glowing because I trusted in her. I would never once hesitate to hand over control of the ball to any of my teammates; my lack of belief would only further amplify their own. Each game, I witness the direct effect of my passing. Pass. Shoot. Score! The ball movement enables my team to climb the scoreboard bit by bit. I believe in passing the ball. 

For as long as I can remember, I have played basketball, and it constantly reminds me of the principles I live by. Basketball is more than just a sport simply for entertainment and competition: It actually holds a few valuable lessons. Specifically, the art of passing is an exercise of trust and cooperation. One player (regardless of skill) cannot win an entire basketball game—it takes the whole team all working together for the common goal. Passing the ball around shifts the defense, allowing splits to be taken advantage of. Of course, it is important to shoot the ball whenever possible since points are what ultimately win games, but a pass to an open teammate is much more effective than forcing a futile shot attempt, which can lead to a dangerous breakaway off a turnover. Although the person who is scoring points is the typical recipient of recognition, I pride myself knowing that passing is one of my best skills on the court.

This all relates right back into the real world. Basketball has been my life coach, teaching me how to enhance my mindset and actions to contribute to the success of myself and others. Trust. This is the key element for effectively passing the ball. The confidence I place in each of my teammates when I launch the basketball in their direction prevents me from hesitating, which would lose valuable time. Even a fraction of a second lost in basketball jeopardizes the offensive play due to the fast-paced action. Because of all this, in real life I have found myself to be trusting of nearly everyone, providing deserved chances and a sound environment for cooperation. This teamwork is the other vital aspect of passing the ball; relying on each other is essential to work together toward the common goal. For those who are not basketball enthusiasts, the art of passing is much like that group project assigned by the teacher: both practice the trust and cooperation needed to excel in the real world. The greatest minds have all turned to collaboration in order to advance the world into what it is today.