A while ago (quite a while ago) VFTD received a mailbag request to post on how players in support roles can stay (or become) the aggressor. So here it is--finally. I know now this is gonna go long so I'ma breaking it into two parts. One today, another (hopefully) tomorrow.
First thing we need to do is define our terms so we begin this discussion on the same page. What does it mean to be an aggressive player? Is it the guy who suddenly dashes downfield to bunker out two players and blow a point up? Is it the unopposed snake player who pushes past two or three knuckles without even looking to take a shot in order to get to his opponent's end of the snake asap. Is it the insert who sees his lead eliminated and immediately retakes the spot in order to maintain a position of advantage on the field? Is it the back guy who sees an opportunity to begin pushing a wire hard who rotates out to a corner from home? The answer is it's all of them--and the ability they share in common is recognition that results in instant action. And if either element is missing nothing happens. You can't take the proactive move if you don't "see" it when it is available and you can't make good things happen if you don't act on what you see. (Or, what often happens, is that players will "see" opportunities but over-think them as if they are having an internal debate over whether the opportunity they think they "see" really exists. And by the time they decide it doesn't matter 'cus its too late. More about that later.)
Okay, the aggressive player sees opportunity and acts--but that doesn't happen in a vacuum, especially for a support player. Whatever action you take will have an impact on your team and teammates and in the meantime you have a job to do. And here is where a lot of teams come up short and as a consequence leave their players hanging--and ultimately indecisive.
The aggressive player's mindset is to make something happen instead of waiting for something to happen and it is first and foremost a conscious decision. As a player you make the decision to act--and then you act on that decision.Over and over again until you no longer consciously question yourself, you simply act. (Practice the way you want to play because if you don't, you won't.) That is the basic step but this is a team game and while we all know the lone cowboys who will ride or die at the drop of a hat the loners frequently do as much harm as they do good. So we need to take some additional steps. (Next time in part 2.)