Strong link, weak link
I’ve finally gotten around to listening to Revisionist History. The episode My Little Hundred Million introduced me to the idea that team sports can be thought of as strong link or weak link.
Studies show that a soccer team’s performance has less to do with the strength of its best player (relative to other teams’ superstars) and more to do with the strength of the weaker end of its roster. Scoring in soccer is a team effort; the fewer weak links involved in that effort, the more likely a goal becomes.
So soccer can be thought of as a weak link sport.
Basketball on the other hand is a strong link sport. A star player’s ability to score once they get the ball is less reliant on the team’s weaker players not messing up.
The podcast goes into how this applies to university endowments in the US. It’s interesting and worth a listen!