Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fitting the Frame

At the conclusion of  'The Reactive Mind' post I suggested the next post (this one) would have some practical ways to combat the reactive mind in the context of playing paintball. Now however it occurs to me there is a methodology that perhaps has a more universal application so instead of providing piecemeal bits I'm going to try and put all of it into a usable context. I offer no guarantee of success.
For our purposes the reactive mind is one that is constantly trying to process a stream of ever-changing inbound information (what the players playing the game are doing) in order to make (game play) decisions--and then act on those choices. When we are overtly aware of that process--when we consciously think about what to do next--it is a sign that it is taking too long. (Not so much at D4 perhaps but when we talk about the speed of the game accelerating what we're really talking about is the speed at which decisions are being made and acted on. Consequently any player with higher level aspirations must be able to move beyond the restrictions of the reactive mind.) And, as noted before, uncertainty (lack of information) and fear slow the process down even more.
Initially what is required is a way to filter all that incoming information, determine what's important and what isn't, make a decision and act. Our filter is two basic questions: 'What do I do now?' and 'What if anything is stopping me from acting?' By limiting our focus to our immediate goals we begin to filter out extraneous information and focus on what we need to know in order to act. But we're not done yet. We have narrowed the scope of our focus but we also need a way to mentally sort through the barrage of inbound information. After all, 'What do I do now?' remains an open-ended proposition that could have an almost unlimited number of answers. Here is where we erect a mental framework within which to answer both questions. The framework is constructed of knowing your role and executing the game plan. Within the framework when answering the question 'What do I do now?' most of the myriad possibilities are easily dismissed because they do not fit. When you know your role and focus on the execution of that role within the frame of the team-oriented game plan the "answers" from a much smaller pool of possibilities which speeds up the decision-making process tremendously and operating within the proposed framework serves the dual purpose of laying a foundation for effective teamwork. Conceptually we are pre-selecting the information we will consider important to making a decision that fits the criteria of our filter and framework.
This method for making game play decisions doesn't turn the reactive mind into the proactive mind but it helps get us closer to the ideal by drastically reducing the information we pay attention to when making a game play decision.

Next time, Seeking the Proactive Mind.


Liam said...

I think this is the biggest factor that creates a player who can truly play 'anywhere on the field'. If you don't know how a particular role works its impossible to execute it properly. I know personally that although i can gun fight with any player or shoot lanes properly, in a support role i struggle because i don't know what to prioritise from the back spots.

Mike said...

I think coaching also plays a big role here. If players are taught to look for and interpret specific visual queues that can provide a huge advantage. Also a broader understanding of how one role fits in with the rest and how the whole team works together is important in setting up the confidence action requires.

Baca Loco said...

It certainly can--and you're getting ahead of me a little bit. :) One step at a time.

ScotchMonster said...

Wax on...Wax off...

Anonymous said...

Great read!
Unrelated, but anyword on a beard length regulation coming down the pipeline after so many people seem to be growing out their bounce bush, hit hiders?

Seriously... what ref wants to go digging through that nasty Borstein Bush to see if it broke or not?

If no rule regs are coming, we hairless peach fuzzy types might have to start wearing fake beards to keep up.

Baca Loco said...

Thanks. If the beards get long enough that players could start wiping with them we may have to reconsider.