Pausch’s last lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams


Fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals.

My dream was to play in the National Football League. And most of you don’t know that I actually – no. [laughter] No, I did not make it to the National Football League,but I probably got more from that dream and not accomplishing it than I got from any of the onesthat I did accomplish. I had a coach, I signed up when I was nine years old. I was the smallest kid inthe league, by far. And I had a coach, Jim Graham, who was six-foot-four, he had played linebackerat Penn State. He was just this hulk of a guy and he was old school. And I mean really old school.Like he thought the forward pass was a trick play. [laughter] And he showed up for practice the firstday, and you know, there’s big hulking guy, we were all scared to death of him. And he hadn’tbrought any footballs. How are we going to have practice without any footballs? And one of theother kids said, excuse me coach, but there’s no football. And Coach Graham said, right, how manymen are on a football field at a time? Eleven on a team, twenty-two. Coach Graham said, all right, and how many people are touching the football at any given time? One of them. And he said, right, so we’re going to work on what those other twenty-one guys are doing. And that’s a really goodstory because it’s all about fundamentals. Fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals.