“If we can get there, we will win it”… That was Allan Trimble’s closing line before every semi-final game staff meeting. Every football season is a journey filled with storms of adversity and unknowns. Over Coach Trimble’s desk hung a reminder of what is takes to navigate through these trials. It was a painting of a 17th century ship caught in a storm. There are twenty-two sails harnessing the power of the wind. Each sail has the key word written on it.
Each week of practice became an experiment to hit a moving target as injuries and unforeseen obstacles kept presenting themselves. I spent some time researching for solutions during the off-season. One of the concepts that I spent a deep dive learning was the Pareto Principle. The Pareto Principal also known as the 80/20 rule was developed in Italy by economist Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923). Through his research he discovered a numerical pattern emerge between cause and effect. The proportion was that 80% of the results (effect) are generated from 20% of the cause (effort).
This is one of the biggest mistakes that I made early in my coaching career. I felt like I needed a contingency plan for every situation imaginable in a game. I treated football like a game of chess. Chess is a game of strategy that contains a “correct move” for each situation. However according to John Von Neumann, the creator of Game Theory, chess is not a game.
If your coaching and quarterbacking process is solely based on a pre-snap scan of static defenders, then you are dead. Football is a game of two sides pitted against each other. It is rife with strategy and planning, and on the fly innovation. It is a model of war, and from studying war, we can gain a new perspective. The defense is evolving…