One of the grandest traditions in the game of coaching football is the practice of scripting one's offensive starter plays, for the purpose of identifying the motives and the methods of their opposition.
The originator of this moderately simple but innovative practice was Bill Walsh, the architect of the West Coast Offense and the former head coach of the San Francisco Forty Niners between 1979-1989.
Beside the implementation of the script, Walsh also innovated the short-range passing attack portion of the West Coast Offense and the ratiocination for building a world class organization.
Under the leadership of Coach Walsh, the San Francisco Forty Niners won three Super Bowl Championships. Some members of his football family have also won Super Bowls and many college bowls.
Click here on the brief history and the technicalities for scripting the starter plays
The Psychology of Scripting the Starter Plays
Before knowing the true motive behind scripting the starter plays, the smart strategist must know the following target points for scripting the starter plays:
- the technical weaknesses of the opposing defense (field players and sideline players);
- the confirmation of the tactical deficiencies of the opposing defense;
- the identification of situational proclivity of the defensive playcaller;
- the approach for staging the opposing defense for adjustment plays and
- the staging of plays that would exploit their true inefficiencies.
The Intricacies of Scripting Plays
To properly develop the script of starter plays, the offensive coordinator must have the drive to knowing each and every technical deficiencies of the defense and possessed the mindset to measure and manipulate the defensive play caller and the defensive team who are operating on the field.
When the script is working, the offensive coordinator and his scouting team begin to notice the confirmation of the targeted defensive player's base tendencies in various tactical situations (i.e., the "down and distance" situations, etc.) and their reactions to certain offensive formations, alignments, shifts and motions.
Connecting the principles from the Sunzi's essay to the process of scripting is a metaphysical challenge for the amateurs. Having the drive to seeing the Big Tangible Picture while possessing the technical foundation of strategic thinking is the key to building a good starter script.
The alpha fundamental to becoming successfully competitive is to properly assessing the strategic situation while performing one or more of the following points:
- Building the starter script and the master script of plays on the strengths and the weaknesses of players on both sides
- Implementing the starter script properly;
- Knowing when to adjust to and from the starter script; and
- Convincing the offensive team to believe in the tangibility behind it.
We will publish our "Scripting" book sometime in the future.