a few weeks ago i overheard someone give someone else a piece of advice
so now before the game i practice using that advice, and then as soon as the game starts i stop focusing on it and fall back on the thing that feels natural
(but it's not all bad, the advice was about the one thing that i'm actually pretty good at anyway)
it's a little rough because my execution, to extend the metaphor, isn't bad
but i have very little sense of what i should be doing outside of the most common scenarios
like generally there is a way that the game tends to flow and there's a specific situation that comes up a lot, like every game many many times you'll be on one side or another of this specific scenario and in that case i have an okay idea of what i'm doing
if something weird happens, like if someone makes a mistake, or takes advantage of someone else's mistake by going off the plan, i have no idea what to do. and instinctively i'd rather do nothing than do something wrong so i spend a good chunk of time standing around like a deer in headlights
over time i'm getting better about this and it's actually pretty funny that the more i play, the more exhausted i feel. you'd think it'd be the other way around because i'm getting more used to running around, which is true. but also i'm spending less time doing nothing at all so i'm doing more actual running around
to show you what i mean, here's like, the example you have to know. this is the scenario that comes up most often. if you only know what to do in one situation and it's this situation, that's a great start
imagine you're player E. your team has 3 of the five balls, so its your team's responsibility to throw. (the other team is allowed to if they think they have a good opportunity but it's your job to)
both players on the opposing team with balls retreat to opposite corners, because "whoever's holding the ball" is the most valuable target. your teammates with balls, A and B, are bunched together, so they plan to throw. they're going to focus down a specific player, likely 1 because they're holding a ball, but may go for someone else as a mixup. as E, your job is not to throw.
notice 5. they know they're not being aimed at (because it would be quite an awkward angle) so they're sneaking up a bit from the corner. what they're looking to do is, when A and B throw, immediately retaliate at one of them while they're still in their recovery frames
you can't stop this from happening. so as E here, your job is to terrify them. you want 5 to know that if they throw at A or B, you're throwing at them immediately to capitalize. you need to hold that ball to present a credible threat
5 may choose to throw anyway, in which case you have to try to back up your implicit threat. but most of the time, they'll back down, and you gain very little from throwing
that's one of the reasons you might choose to hold onto a ball you have instead of using it
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