Teamwork: My Food For Thought

[Some passages from the books I read make me halt and think for a long time, sometimes for the beautiful way in which it is written, sometimes the sheer thought itself. This is one of them, I hope you like it.]

….. I met my coach, Jim Graham, a hulking, six-foot-four wall of a guy. He had been a line backer at Penn State, and was seriously old-school. I mean, really old-school; like he thought the forward pass was a trick play.

On the first day of practice, we were all scared to death. Plus he hadn’t brought along any footballs. One kid finally spoke up for all of us. “Excuse me, Coach. There are no footballs.”

And Coach Graham responded, “We don’t need any footballs.”

There was a silence, while we thought about that….

“How many men are on the football field at a time?” he asked us.

Eleven on a team, we answered. So that makes twenty-two.

“And how many are touching the football at any given time?”

One of them.

“Right!” he said. “So we’re going to work on what those other twenty-one guys are doing.” Fundamentals!

[From “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch]