A full bucket collects no water.

A full bucket collects no water. Pretty obvious right?  You can pour it but it will not and can not receive more.  I thought of this simple truth (not the first I know) while working with a player a couple weeks ago.  He thought he already had the move down, but it was missing something.  That little something that makes the difference between a good defender cutting you off or you getting by.  Ya know….the stuff that can decide a ball game?  Since he already knew how to do his version well, he didn’t want to take the extra effort and concentration it would take to do something new and perhaps not as well at first.

There are a few responses you can take here:

  • Keep pouring water in to the bucket hoping it will magically hold more.
  • Yell at/discipline the bucket for not having greater capacity.
  • Explain why what they’re currently doing is limited and how they can expand their bucket’s capacity.
  • Take your water to a different bucket i.e. use your limited energy elsewhere until the bucket is ready.

It’s important to understand why the learner is not learning in order to properly address the problem.  Is it pride, arrogance, fear of failure, they lack the physical ability to do what’s asked, they lack the understanding of how to perform the task, or is it a combination?  I believe this illustration can apply to our own capacity to learn as coaches and for our teams collectively.  Just a simple way to see a lot of issues and discuss them consistently.

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