The NBA Playoffs: Signature Moves

nba playoffsThe NBA superstars on which the league has been built and marketed for decades are revealed in the playoffs.  In fact, that we recognize players from their signature moves.  Those unique moves are not only recognizable, but also effective. When I was a kid in the backyard, I wanted to shoot a turnaround bank shot like the “Big E,” Elvin Hayes, because he used it to score at will against my Bucks.  When I started coaching, we were all teaching post players the Kevin McHale Up & Under move because it not only worked, but it represented what it meant to be a hard-working, blue-collar post player. Signature moves are unique, they’re effective, and they leave an impression.  In life, as on the court, we develop signatures that represent who we are and what we stand for.

BASKETBALL – Signatures on display in the playoffs

Last night, San Antonio and Golden State opened their series with a classic Game One 2 OT thriller.  On display in that series are two players who have distinct signatures that players every where are looking to copy.  Manu Ginobli has his “Euro Step”

and Steph Curry has his “Between The Legs Rock” to create space for his lethal jumper:

>Not only are these signatures entertaining for fans, but they help these guys score against great defenders.   That’s what coaches and players can learn from them and, when appropriate, add their moves to their arsenal.  I recently heard Butler coach Brad Stevens explain that within the 40 minute individual workouts they do with their players, the majority of time is spent perfecting fundamentals, but ten minutes are reserved for stretching their players with new moves and dream moves to help expand their games – things like post players shooting 3’s and guards working on floaters and off-balance shots.  That’s exactly how Ginobli and Curry expanded their games.  Good players master the fundamentals, but then add distinctive moves that accentuate their skills.

LIFE – Developing your signature.

We live in exciting times.  The affluence of our country, the growth of technology, and the easy access to information require each of us to define who we are.  If you don’t, you run the risk of being lost in an ocean of overwhelming depth.  As I work with young people, I see more and more how important it is to establish an identity before the pressures of society define them.  In my own life, that happened too often and now as a parent of three teens I want nothing more than to help my kids define and master their identities.  Focus on the Family’s Six Ways to Build Your Teen’s Identity has some great advice.  By setting a family signature, Kara and I can help our kids define who they are by giving them the fundamentals from which they can expand their game.  We try to use standards like never quitting or giving up, being available to help other people, singing out in church, and always standing up for your siblings to provide a sense of family identity from which they can grow.  All of us can use signatures to improve in our work, in our families, and as individuals.

FAITH – The one signature that truly matters.

As important as it is to find your own signature, followers of Christ are given a common signature that stands out in a confusing world.  I’ve heard it said that our sense of smell comes with a strong memory.  Odors and smells stay with us for a long time and that’s what Paul referred to it as he discussed the signature of Christians as an aroma:

For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?  (2 Cor. 2:12-15)

It should be obviously apparent and memorable to those around you that you are a Christian.  Your signature move and your aroma should leave no doubt and should have an impact.  How are you doing with that?  Is it time to improve your signature?


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