A Jack of All Trades and A Master of None

Jack

Lemme get my learnin’ stick out on this one.

The phrase “Jack of all trades” is currently seen in a negative sort of light. Point in fact, the original uttering of the phrase didn’t have the “master of none” attachment. Point in fact, it’s been used here in North America since around 1721, and sometimes in a little rhyme:

Jack of all trades, master of none,

Certainly better than a master of one.

And what does this have to do with bike polo, you ask?

Jack3Well, my curious and impatient friend, it has plenty to do with bike polo. Particularly with the kind of player who is the most favorable for a team.

The way I see it, there are lots of people who are really good at one or two things that our sport requires (speed, shooting, passing, drinking, complaining), but there are remarkably few you are good at everything.

And notice the little change I made in that paragraph: some people are very good at a few things, very few are good at everything.

There is a great benefit–and indeed a stronger one–in being capable in all aspects of the game rather than exceptionally good at just one thing. If you’ve got a shot that is simply amazing, that will only get you so far. However, if you have a decent shot, decent ball control and decent court awareness, you’ll go much farther (and be much more beneficial as a player) in the long run. 

Jack4“But Crusher,” I hear you say from the toilet at work where you’re reading this post, “a team is made up of 3 players! Surely, dear sir, this means people can specialize!”

First, why are you talking to yourself like you’re an Edwardian Dandy in a bathroom stall?

Second: yes, you’re kinda right. Having two other folks on your team can make a big difference in how well your lackings are covered for. But don’t think that your horrible passing is going to be completely made up for by the two other folks on your team. The truth is, you’re 1/3rd of the team all by yourself, and you need to do more than just one thing.

Teams that are very different in their skillsets might do very well,  but they won’t make it to the final games of a tourney. The more you’re able to do–even if it’s not anywhere close to what you do really well, the more likely you are to find yourself in the late-stages of a tournament.

So, polokins, when you find yourself relying heavily on your shot or pass or ability to cover goal, give a thought or two to what other skills you can be building up, and whether you’re a Jack of all trades or a master of one.

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