Preparing for the future is a crucial skill, but a sobering statistic shows that most people in the U.S. are woefully ill-equipped for when life takes an unexpected turn: A new study shows that nine out of 10 Americans have no plan in place should someone on their basketball team ever pass them the ball.
This is not good!
A survey released this week by Stanford University researchers revealed that 90% of people in the U.S. have not sat down to figure out what they would do if a basketball teammate of theirs were to turn to them during a game and pass them the ball. The survey found that most people don’t bother planning for such an outcome, as there are usually a couple of ball hogs on the court who can be counted on to handle most of the action, allowing them to steer clear of most high-pressure situations. However, in the rare instance when a ball does end up getting passed to them, the vast majority of Americans are at an alarmingly high risk of looking like total chumps who have no business on a basketball court, frantically looking around for a more skilled teammate to come bail them out before inevitably surrendering the ball to the first defender they encounter.
“Most people we surveyed felt that there was no real chance they’d ever be passed the ball since there’s always someone else on their team calling for passes or shouting things like, ‘I’m open!’ and as a result, these people don’t bother to think of what they would do should the ball end up in their hands,” said lead researcher Carl Yeager. “But even if you feel you have zero chance of getting the ball, you should still talk about it with your family ahead of time and have a plan ready to go just in case—you don’t want to find yourself having to make a decision in the heat of the moment.”
“Even just having a rough idea of whether you’d want to shoot the ball or immediately pass it off to another teammate can be hugely helpful,” he continued. “All it takes is 20 minutes to get a plan in writing for what to do if the ball ends up in your hands. Taking those 20 minutes now could end up saving you a whole lot of humiliation in your intramural basketball league.”
Wow. It’s truly scary to see how wholly unprepared Americans are to handle these types of situations. Here’s hoping these troubling findings will motivate people to start working out a plan with their loved ones so that, should they ever find themselves with a ball in their hands, it doesn’t end in disaster.