Friday, November 21, 2008

Experience is the wheel that grinds and hones

After Stephen Curry posted 33 points and 9 assists the other night to lead Davidson by James Madison, his coach, Bob McKillop said:

"You can see him continue to grow and get better as a point guard. Decision-making, leadership, two challenges that point guards and quarterbacks always have to master, he's got the technical skills, clearly we understand that, but he's starting to master those other skills, the skills of decision-making and leadership."

There's an old saying: "Good decisions are the result of experience. Experience is the result of bad decisions."

Clearly, Curry has benefited from experience.

Let's go back to 2006. In Curry's first college game (against EMU), he committed 13 turnovers in 35 minutes.

Last December, early in his sophomore season in a game against Duke, Curry had eight turnovers in 34 minutes as the Blue Devils won, 79-73.

Now, fast-forward to late March to the NCAA Tournament. In 34 minutes against Georgetown, Curry didn't commit a single turnover in 36 minutes as Davidson beat the Hoyas, 74-70.

Curry's a perfect example of a player whose smart decisions today are based, in part, on poor decisions he made in the past. The difference is, while a lot of players make bad decisions and never learn from them, Curry's gotten better as a result of his experience.

As one executive contended recently as part of a Harvard forum:

"A person without experience is very unlikely to have good judgment; experience is the wheel that grinds and hones."