“I Was Wrong” – Wilt’s Regret and Your Video Opportunity

Last Updated February 23rd, 2017

You’ve got a valuable video opportunity every day, but you’re likely letting it go by.

The opportunity: to be more clear, effective, and memorable in your digital communication and to enjoy better responses, outcomes, and results.

But if you’re in the majority of working professionals, you’re passing up this opportunity every day. You continue to type out most or all of your messages.

A common reason: You don’t like the way you look or sound.

You’re not alone.


In addition to other people who’ve felt the same way, basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain also let a natural vanity and vulnerability hold him back from his full potential.

Hear his story and learn how you can overcome your fear and take advantage of your video opportunity.

Read time: 4 minutes 40 seconds
Video length: 6 minutes, 6 seconds
Podcast length: 38 minutes, 8 seconds
Takeaway: Understanding your feelings better and making a path forward toward the video opportunity


Your Video Opportunity and Wilt Chamberlain’s Free Throws


Wilt’s Regret

One of the greatest NBA players of all time, 7′ 1″ Wilt Chamberlain was virtually unstoppable for more than a dozen years. Points, rebounds, assists, blocks. From Rookie of the Year to the Hall of Fame. Two-time NBA Champion. Named MVP of the NBA season and the Finals. Named to the All-NBA and All-Defensive teams.

But he had an achilles heel (both literally and, here, figuratively).

Though he made 54% of his shots from all over the court (field goals) during his career, he averaged just 51% from the free throw line, the third worst free throw shooter in NBA history (minimum 1,200 attempts).

If you wanted to slow him down and get the ball back, you just had to foul him and send him to the free throw line.


During the 1961-62 season, though, he achieved a career high 63.6% from the free throw line. And he did it, in part, by moving to the “granny style,” underhand free throw.

Though one of the best NBA free throw shooters of all time and a contemporary of Chamberlain’s, Rick Barry, shot the same way, Wilt abandoned a technique that significantly improved his results.

Though he hit a career low of 38% in the 1967-68 season, Wilt never returned to underhand free throw attempts.


“I felt silly, like a sissy, shooting underhanded. I know I was wrong,” Chamberlain later wrote in his autobiography. “I know some of the best foul shooters in history shot that way. Even now, the best one in the NBA, Rick Berry, shoots underhanded. I just couldn’t do it.”

He didn’t like the way he looked and missed the opportunity to overcome his greatest weakness.


basketball, video opportunity, video communication, NBA, lesson, Wilt Chamberlain


The Psychology Behind It

This post is significantly informed by Episode 3 of Malcolm Gladwell‘s “Revisionist History” podcast, which is embedded below.

I’m grossly oversimplifying it here, but Chamberlain demonstrates a high threshold personality, which allows the crowd to dictate decision-making and behavior. This personality type needs everyone else to do something different before there’s comfort and willingness to join in.

Barry, a 12-time NBA All-Star and Hall of Fame player himself, demonstrates a low threshold personality, which strives for better results and full potential regardless what anyone else thinks. This personality type has a stronger drive to innovate and improve than a worry about what others are doing.

The threshold here is to do what you think is right, which sometimes requires social courage and always requires honesty with oneself.


What This Has To Do With Your Video Opportunity

Since 2006, BombBomb‘s been leading, growing, and empowering a community of people restoring the human touch and all its benefits to their digital communication.

Simple video gets you face to face with more people more often. You communicate, connect, and convert more effectively with video than with than the plain, typed-out text we all tend to rely on.

When sending video emails, customers report better results compared to traditional, typed-out text.

  • More replies and responses
  • More clicks through their emails
  • Higher lead conversion
  • More referrals
  • Greater ability to stay in touch

I expect most people would agree that these outcomes would improve our ability to achieve and exceed our goals. And yet … so many people still sit on the sidelines.

One of the most common reasons: I don’t like how I look or sound.

And, again, this is both human and natural. Our vulnerability through video often comes with discomfort.

Most people in the BombBomb community winning with video every day started in the same place.

But they broke through. They lowered their threshold. They innovated the way they reached out to prospects, clients, and other people important to their businesses.

And they remind us of two key things:

  • People already know what you look and sound like – or they’ll find out when they meet you.
  • Practice builds confidence and confidence builds success.

Take advantage of your video opportunity. And if you need a nudge, grab the guide below.


Overcome Your Fear and Take Advantage of Your Video Opportunity

See and hear from other professionals who broke through their initial fear, anxiety, and discomfort and started taking advantage of the video opportunity.

Access our Overcome Your Fear Guide HERE


Revisionist History Episode 3: The Big Man Can’t Shoot

Listen to the full episode of Malcolm Gladwell‘s “Revisionist History” podcast. He covers Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry, and high and low threshold personalities.


Wilt’s Free Throw

See an example of Wilt Chamberlain’s standard free throw. Warning: it’s not pretty.


A Free Video Opportunity

BombBomb makes it easy to get face to face with more people more often through simple video messages. From Gmail, from the BombBomb.com online app, from our mobile apps, from Salesforce, and in a variety of other ways.

We also track every email open, link click, and video play so you know exactly who’s engaging, exactly when and exactly how.

Try it absolutely free for 2 weeks – with no credit card information required!

Try BombBomb Free for 14 Days.


Ethan Beute | About The Author

Chief Evangelist at BombBomb, host of The Customer Experience Podcast, and Wall Street Journal bestselling co-author of Human-Centered Communication and Rehumanize Your Business, Ethan Beute collects and tells stories of clearer communication, human connection, and higher conversion through simple, personal video messages. BA: University of Michigan. MBA: University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.

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