Pitch Protocols: Tactics Talk—The Endgame!
“Begin With the End in Mind”—Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (and probably DreadBall coaches too!)
Every coach, every team, has some sort of strategy for victory. Now, not every strategy is necessarily a good one, and sometimes they may be mismatched, but it’s there all the same. The best strategies have a clear goal in mind, a very specific end of game scenario, or solution if you will, to the puzzle the other team will pose to them. So ask yourself, once the teams are lined up, and the ball is set to launch…how do you see the match ending?
If you have a predilection for violence, you may envision the pitch nearly void of opposition and their sin bin strewn with corpses. Fair enough. But you also need to pay attention to the scoreboard too, which mean that while scoring may not be your focus, you can’t let the points difference get out of reach.
The opposite, however, may be true if you have a preference for flinging the ball over flinging bodies. That’s great too. You need to prioritize scoring early and often, and your “perfect ending” may mean grabbing a landslide. Or even a simple insurmountable lead with a rush remaining. But you have to keep enough players around for that to happen!
So while having a clear picture of your ideal end game is helpful, it’s actually managed rush by rush. To efficiently and effectively achieve your goals means wise allocation of your precious actions. Therefore, each Rush must also have a clear “end” in mind as well.
Let’s use the example of the bashy team above. Eager to lay waste to their opposition, they spend almost all of their actions on slamming or getting in position to mark or slam. However, if this coach wants to get to their endgame, they need to not neglect the fact that they are down by four points at the moment. They need to spend at least one action to pull the score back and keep the match alive for their long game!
Basically, you must:
- Define your goal.
- Each Rush, prioritize actions based on achieving said goal.
Of course, it’s never quite that simple as your opponent is trying to do the same, and thus the conditions of the match are in a constant state of flux. However, the coach that best adapts to the situation and stays focused on their priorities will often come out on top. The “art” of DreadBall comes in making each Rush build of the previous toward your inevitable end game scenario. Good Luck!