Meet Titus, who is not yet two years old.
Titus makes some great shots here, but for me the best moment is his smile, and his jubilant body language. Because it invokes how it all must have started.
It went something like this: Titus was crawling around, watching his older sibs play (it’s no accident that he’s the youngest of four). One day, he picked up the ball and tried to make a basket. He missed, but just the attempt caused a happy riot in the house. The kids put the ball back in his hands. Again, again! Titus’s little brain sparks with a simple and powerful connection — and from then on, he keeps on repeating, trying, trying, trying. And then it happens: in a short time, he gets pretty good. Then really good.
These kinds of developmental accelerations often feature the the same set of ingredients — a motivational ecosystem:
- 1) A full windshield — lots of good models to stare at and follow, and a shared identity.
- 2) A good-size group of peers/parents to reinforce and celebrate the early attempts like crazy. Keep going! Do it again!
- 3) An ultra-clear game that teaches itself. Nobody needs to tell Titus that he succeeded or not — he can see the ball go through the hoop, and adjust his efforts accordingly.
Speaking of hoops: if you’re interested in great performers, you should tune into “The Tonight Show” Tuesday night. Our friend Bob Fisher of Centralia, KS, the world’s best free-throw shooter, will be showing Jay Leno his talents. Bob is incredibly skilled, and incredibly kind about sharing the impact that The Talent Code had on his skills. Best of all, Bob started training hard when he was 50 years old.
Now that’s the kind of prodigy we can relate to.
(Big thanks to RobNonStop for the heads-up.)