Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Best Identity That A Competitive Team Can Have

From SF

Football is complex and increasingly, we know less about what makes a team succeed, because coaches are becoming more paranoid about concealing their game plans. So on a given play, fans and media know percious little about why a play was run and about the defense set up to stop it.
This ignorance makes us want to glum on to ideas like “identity” because that will help us understand what a team is doing. But what does identity mean really?
It has already been written that the 49ers got back their run-dominant identity in order to win a needed game against the previously unbeaten Eagles on Sunday at Levi’s. Yes, Frank Gore bulled his way for 119 yards on 24 carries, and yes, the 49ers controlled the clock for 42 minutes and 17 seconds. But identity?
Only fans and sports writers, and former players turned analysts worry about identity. The 49ers just want to win, and if that means throwing the ball 60 times a game and running the read option, pistol offense out of the no-huddle, that’s what they will do. If it means running the ball with their starting fullback and backup guard playing the role of second tight end, they will do that too.
The 49ers did just that in their 26-21 victory. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t do something completely different next Sunday when the Alex Smith-led Chiefs visit.
“Just because we identify with (being a physical run team), doesn’t mean we can’t do other things, like split 5 wide out. Pretty versatile,” tight end Derek Carrier said.
“I think the mystery of what we do each week is what we try to keep up,” center Daniel Kilgore said. “We don’t want teams to pick up on anything. You never know what you are going to get. If we win, it’s all good. I don’t care what we are doing.”
Left tackle Joe Staley called the offense, “fluid.” He also said the offensive plan in Arizona of playing four and five wide receivers worked well, and it did. However, that fact got obscured by the loss.
“We are all about creating an advantage for what we can do. That’s what I like about this offense,” Staley said.
So if others want to put labels on their offense, or even their overall team philosophy, go ahead. The 49ers, meanwhile, will remain, “fluid.”
- eof

Being fluid is the best identity that a competitor can have.

"Now the army's disposition of force (xing)  is like water. Water's configuration (xing) avoids heights and races downward. The army's disposition of force (hsing) avoids the substantial and strikes the vacuous. Water configures (xing) its flow in accord with the terrain; the army controls its victory in accord with the enemy. Thus the army does not maintain any constant strategic configuration of power (shi), water has no constant shape (xing). One who is able to change and transform in accord with the enemy and wrest victory is termed spiritual. Thus [none of] the five phases constantly dominates; the four seasons do not have constant positions; the sun shines for longer and shorter periods; and the moon wanes and waxes. ..."
- Art of War 6

Q: How does one be fluid?
A: It begins by assessing the Big Tangible Picture of one's self and the configuration of their grand setting in term of the levels and the factors.. After the assessment, the next steps are: positioning and influencing.

To be fluid, focus on being the tide, not the wave.

Side Note
Regardless of what the the Art of War (AoW) cult say, simple rules or easy simplifications have never work in highly extreme and complex setting. Competing in the high reward level of the global economy means that one must know the singularity (or the Big Tangible Picture) of their grand strategic situation and beyond, before ever making a strategic decision..

Fwiw, the AoW cult's magic formula of pseudo inspiration does not always work.  Life goes on. 

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