Imagine with me that you are running to someone who is desperately thirsty. As you are running with a glass of water, just as the glass is about to touch the other persons fingertips you lose your grip and the glass breaks, the water spills unto the floor.
My mentor used this analogy with me to understand the importance of being an example. There are many athletes who, if honest, will report that they don’t really know how to deal with some of the problems they are facing in their student-athletic career, and we as coaches, faculty and professors can be a great example to show them what we’ve learned so far.
We go through our own set of challenges as well, but we have already passed the stage that the athletes are passing right now. However we could end up spilling the water(example) we ought to give in two ways:
1) when we don’t show them by example how to, so they can learn through vicarious experience
2) when we don’t take the time to talk and think it through with them because we don’t know how to as yet either
The truth is that we will always spill some water. We will always make mistakes. But my hope is that we could still hang on to the glass and be vulnerable enough to share this truth with the athletes we believe should see us as examples.
Let them know that progress in life is not seen minus your flaws or weaknesses…there are no perfect progressions.
There is only one thing that can stop you from passing on that water and that’s if you QUIT. Never quit!
Because then, What exactly are you passing on?