Bucket Theory, part 5 of 10

Created for coaches. Applicable to all…

–Coach D.


A commonly misunderstood perception is the belief that coaching is primarily about play-calling. That it’s comprised of the X’s and O’s found within a magical playbook.

The truth? It’s far more complex than mere implementation of offensive (and defensive) schematic systems.

Championship teams are led differently.

Championship leadership guides in ways far too complex to be contained within a tangible playbook. They’re led and pushed with a trifecta of effective schematic systems, principles of integrity, and goals of individual, personal development.

Yes, coaching requires adapting on the fly. It means adjusting ball routes and placement. And certainly, calling plays is part of this. But, championship coaching integrates decision-making processes of adaptations and plays with an essential element of individual, personal development in all players.

Beyond plays and strategy, it requires making each player the best he or she can be. It integrates an in-depth social and cultural level of connection.

Championship coaching is acting as a diligent implementor of processes in an efficient manner. But it reaches deeper than that. Effective coaches also utilize intuition, perception and they stay tuned-in to players. Know your team. Push them. And, be aware.

Too often, it seems, social and cultural connections are elements of coaching that are underplayed. And in my opinion, these connections are imperative. Again, listen to your players. Know them. Push them. And, yes, call them out honestly as needed. Keep your players accountable.

Coaching is not just a locker room speech delivered. And it’s not merely implementation of offensive and defensive schematics. It’s a dynamic integration of systems and coaching philosophies, effectively combined with the interactions of teaching the habits of champions.

And then? Players will proactively fill their own bucket, thus developing the skills needed to face trials and achieve success beyond the field.

Want a winning playbook? Keep it balanced with more than the proverbial X’s and O’s. Develop your people. Help them achieve their full potential. Make them champions beyond the field to be the best versions of themselves. That’s a champion play.