From my most recent article at WorldMag.com:
The longer I live as a Christian the more I realize that fundamentals are what lead to success. It holds true in just about any area of life: business, family, and especially faith. But one of the best places to see examples of the importance of fundamentals is in sports.
What do the Kansas City Royals, San Francisco Giants, San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat, New England Patriots, and Seattle Seahawks have in common? Two things: They are (or have been) highly successful because of their emphasis on the basics. You can see it in individual players too: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Derek Jeter, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant. They’re all supremely talented, but the talent is expressed in and channeled through a near-perfect execution of the basic, fundamental skills.
What sets all these teams and players apart isn’t a particular scheme or mere athletic ability; it’s the level at which they executed very simple skills and habits. Any scheme, no matter how good, is simply an arrangement of basic concepts and plays. If a team is bad at the fundamentals, no scheme will make up for it. And, of course, the athletes listed above are remarkably gifted, but at the professional level nearly all competitors are. What sets these men and teams apart is how they use that ability, the work they put in so that the basic skills became smooth instincts.
So often in our spiritual lives—and in our work or family lives—we try to make up for a lack of fundamentals by getting fancy and gimmicky.
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