Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tournament 5 - Lesson 3 - More Trust

Last weekend at No Surf we played by calling balanced lines. We had 22 guys and we split into 3 lines that were balanced in many facets - height, speed, experience, disc skills, etc. I still called other types of lines, but our main theory is we want to develop as much chemistry on our team as fast as possible and doing this in smaller groups will be easier.

Pictured Above: Mike Lane (Grand Trunk) making a move on one of the Fossil defenders (photo courtesy of Neil Griffith and Nate Habermeyer).

During a game I was calling lines and was working between managing the game and our players. The main challenge was when to go to more experienced and stronger lines versus balanced lines, because the balanced lines developed very good chemistry over the weekend where as the power lines didn't have as much chemistry but had greater potential and experience.

Pictured Above: A great steal by Marc Hodges of Grand Trunk against Impulse at No Surf (photo courtesy of Neil Griffith and Nate Habermeyer).

In one instance, we went down 3-1 at the start of the game running our balanced lines. I made the decision at that point to stick with balanced lines trusting that they would pull us out of the hole and the experience overall would make us a better team. I had a side gamble that even if we lost the experience would be more valuable to all our players than trying to use tighter lines to dig out of a hole (which has no guarantees in itself).

Pictured Above: Norm Farb (GT) throws by a Fossil defender at No Surf (photo courtesy of Neil Griffith and Nate Habermeyer).

In this case, trusting worked out well, and the game was a little more valuable in the win column for the team since we all contributed equally. It's not possible to always do this, and at the Boston Invite next weekend I imagine I'll be calling more lines than just putting out balanced lines.

Team line management is a fascinating art/skill. Next weekend we might have 24 guys going to Boston so it will be even harder to spread the playing time, but fortunately, our team is somewhat balanced. When you call lines you need to gamble sometimes and trust your players to excel. It's pretty scary as a captain, and this is one reason I think the captain has to separate goals to win with goals to improve the team and individuals.