loading Loading... Please wait...

How Far Can Skill Take You?

Posted by

In the past, the sky hook and the 2 handed chest pass were the most enviable basketball skills among players. Most players in baseball were proud of themselves if they could field and run aside from knowing how to hit. They believed in practicing to make it perfect. But nowadays, things are very different. Today, developing skills and practicing hard is already a given. Kids at the playground are not exactly practicing bunting or hook shots. Instead, they are perfecting how to make a homerun and a monster dunk. That’s because they know skill is just a fraction of what they need to succeed in sports.

In 1966, the legendary NBA head coach, Pat Riley, led his team to win the college title game. He was just 6 foot 3. Yet he played the center position. Today, a player who is 6 foot 3 is considered a short guard and will be bullied as a weakling. However, he and his teammates were very good at precision passing and shooting the ball with the right form.

Doug Flutie was an amazing college quarterback who led his team to their victory win from a big fourth quarter deficit. He was very intelligent, very accomplished and has a strong will to win. Once he made it to the NFL, he struggled to say the least.

What I’m trying to point out is that skill no longer differentiates the good and the great. Everyone has their own skill but it only takes you so far. Nowadays, it’s breeding that determines if a player will make it to the top.

For example, take LeBron James. Is it possible for him to be one of the best players of NBA based on skills alone? How about Steve Nash? Can he possibly make a monstrous dunk past Tim Duncan the way LeBron did? LeBron is good because he is unique. He is bigger, faster and stronger than everyone else. There are NBA players more skillful than him but they will never be King James.

Another example is Vince Young. His throwing arm is not good and his IQ for football is not high. Yet no one can catch him when he’s playing the field. If someone did catch him, they can’t tackle him. Just like LeBron, he’s too fast and too big to handle. It is thru breeding that these men got to be that way.

In summary, skill was used as an important attribute in the past generation. But today, it can only take you so far. Some people were born natural athletes while others are born to be rocket scientists. Even if I was born 175 pounds and 5 foot 10, that don’t make me a star athlete.

Even if I practiced each day or acquired a brilliant skill, I won’t be able to match the top players of the sporting world. It’s surprising we did not realize that with all the father and son tandems all through these years. Ken Griffey Junior and Barry Bonds wouldn’t be powerhouse hitters if they it weren’t for their athletic fathers. And how about Rick Barry and his sons? Or the Manning family? There is no other way that they could achieve their ultimate level of success if it were not for superior breeding. Skills could only take you so far.