It's Sunday. (Father's Day, as it turns out.) Day 2 of a weekend scrimmage with the Red Legion in preparation for the PSP Chicago event coming the weekend of 24 - 27. The action on the field is a continuation and extension of the points played on Saturday. Overnight both teams reviewed their own efforts and those of their opponent. Part of the calculation today is to confirm effective tactics. To test final adjustments. To pare away all the choices, options, actions that don't quite get the job done. Eventually it comes down to who executes more effectively. Sure, you can win a point or two (or lose a point or two) with your breakout choices but this is an unforgiving field that only respects power paintball even though it will tolerate alternative choices. The Legion's biggest change over Saturday is their D-side breakouts, their experimentation at locking down the snake wire and the coaches encouragement that they play more aggressively, faster, faster, faster in the early phases of the mid-game. It's brutal, and to my mind, beautiful paintball with each point a slugfest of attempted knockout shots. (That doesn't mean there isn't any subtlety at play. Far from it. It's only that we're both looking for tiny advantages in the small distinctions that might provide the slimmest advantages. It doesn't change the basic nature of the paintball being played.)
I'm less focused on what the Legion is doing (I'm satisfied with our counters and more importantly our basic scheme) and more intent on our frame of mind as a team and I am pushing the guys harder than usual, being less understanding and more demanding. I also have in mind ways to follow-up on lessons learned this weekend as we meet to prepare for matches and do our usual post-match assessments and talk thru the next opponent.
I am concerned about one aspect of the field layout. The enormous wide open lanes on both sides of the field. A clumsy 8 year old who doesn't know one end of a paintball gun from the other can shoot these lanes and when teams are on and the paint is good--unlike practice--some teams will be very surprised at their sudden inability to do much of anything on this field.
We have to be prepared to play a game we don't want to and we have to be committed to making it work. At least one match somewhere over the course of the event will require us to grind out an ugly win and that is the match I have tried to prepare us for this weekend.
I'm going to try and post regularly throughout the event on the process and matches as they unfold and follow-up next week by breaking down the field and how we played it.