Passing is Communication

This entry is part 17 of 28 in the series Leadership

I have the ball.  I might want to throw it to you.  Are you looking at me?  Are you ready?  Are you open?  Will you meet the pass?  Can I trust you to catch it?  What kind of pass can you catch?  What kind of pass am I comfortable throwing? Should I be throwing it to someone else because they are more open, more ready, more trustworthy?

I have some extremely valuable information that I can only tell one person.  I might want to tell it to you.  Are you acknowledging that I might want to tell you? Are you ready to receive the information? Will you come closer to me if you need to so that I don’t have to talk as loud so that no one else will hear me? Am I able to communicate clearly? Can I trust you with that information? Do I need to tell you in a certain way so that you understand it clearly? Can I communicate information clearly? Should I tell someone else?

You have the ball.  I want the ball. Am I looking at you?  Am I ready to receive the ball? Am I open? Am I ready to meet your pass?  Can I catch any pass that you might throw?  Can I make the right decision when I catch it? Can I execute that decision well?

You have a secret.  I want to know that secret. Do you know that I’m willing to listen?  Am I ready to hear whatever it is you have to tell me?  Am I ready to work to clarify any misunderstandings before they become a problem? Am I ready to protect that information when you give it to me?  Do I know what to do with that information once you tell me?

Clear communication is a key ingredient to successful relationships.  Clean passing is essential to successful offensive basketball. Deflections at best throw off the offensive timing. At worst they lead to uncontested fast break lay-ups.  Poor communication leads to confusion and often ruins relationships.

Passing is a communication between the ball handler and the receiver.  Each have their own responsibilities.  We must work hard to make sure passes reach their intended target, accurately and on time.

How is that any different from a communication between two people?  I say it isn’t at all actually.  How can we teach players to communicate better by teaching them to pass better? How can we teach them to pass better by teaching them to communicate?


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