Thursday, October 30, 2014

How Speed Kills

This is probably the first in a short series of post delving into this topic. I say probably 'cus I've no clue as I begin just where this is going to lead--but I know where it begins.
It begins with the OODA loop. The OODA loop refers to the mechanics of the decision-making process and was conceived initially for application in the field of military strategy. It quickly was applied to other fields like business and in our case, sports. OODA stands for Observe, Orient, Decide & Act and can be used to describe an individual or group process. As we will apply it to competitive paintball it is both simultaneously. In it's military application the basic scenario assumes a conflict environment in constant flux; everything from strategic war planning to battlefield management and response. The similarities will become obvious. Phase 1, Observe is the information gathering phase. In paintball the input comes from direct visual observation and communication. Phase 2, Orient refers to how we organize and evaluate that information in order to make a decision. In this phase a number of potential influences (called filters) come into play. Things as diverse as training, experience, confidence and subconscious preferences. All our individual filters impact our decision-making. Phase 3, Decision is the process of choosing form among the options that present themselves when we Observe and Orient. Phase 4, Act implements the decision(s) made. The faster this process is completed the better.
Keep in mind too in a real world situation the loop is being reprocessed constantly (or a new loop is started) as new information comes in. This means incoming data is always interfering with both our decision-making and the action that follows. Endless reprocessing (or loop juggling) most often results in inaction which is a default decision and "action" whether intended or not.
Given the OODA loop how does speed kill? Our objective is to make faster decisions than our opponent, act on those decisions and force our opponent to act on an incomplete process. Every time our action interrupts the opponent's decision-making process in creates poor choices and/or confusion. Think of it like a fast break in basketball or the hurry up in football. The object is to take action before the opponent can react or force them into less than optimal responses.

Next time, Optimizing The OODA Loop For Paintball. (For those trying to keep score at home I'm presently juggling at least 3 series of posts I've recently promised to complete but haven't yet managed. If I should forget one or more of them feel free to remind me in future.)


Anonymous said...

Is that your way of saying we better bug you or else? Too busy taking notes to comment haha. Keep it up, these coaching/ game play etc posts are awesome

Baca Loco said...

Naw, just a short attention span. Something new is always coming up and I get distracted.