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Planning for the conditions

The conditions in which you play and how you plan for them can affect the result. Paddy Upton discusses his experiences.
Soccer ball on a muddy field with the feet of two opposing players standing beside it
© Deakin University
The conditions in which you play and how you plan for them, in the corporate world or on the field, can be detrimental to the result.
Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu famously said, ‘Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.’ All well and good, but what about knowing the conditions in which the battle will take place? Snow, mountains, desert or jungle would each require very different planning and tactics. Playing a test match at the Eden Gardens stadium in India and at the WACA stadium in Perth would require a completely different approach.
In the previous video, I mentioned that planning should at least consider opponents, conditions and your own strengths.
Regarding conditions the two key areas to consider in the planning stages are the:
  • conditions under which the game will be played
  • situations that might occur during a game.
In business, the better a company understands the market in which it’s competing, the more accurately it’s able to direct their product development, marketing and sales efforts.

Conditions

It’s useful to have a checklist of what’s important to consider in your sport, especially when playing an away game. Examples might be weather, including wind, rain and temperature and the ground conditions or different playing surfaces.
Planning for these variables requires two views; the right-hand quadrant view, which might be how tactics, games, clothing or equipment might change according to weather, and the other is the left-hand quadrant view – how different players think or feel about different conditions.
We cannot know these thoughts or feelings unless we ask, and only then can we help players in planning.
Things that players report as affecting their game, either positively or negatively, include parents or partners watching versus not watching, playing at home or away, the game being televised or not and different weather conditions.

Situations

The second aspect is preparing for different match situations, specifically those deemed as key moments in a game – where managing that moment can have a bearing on the outcome.
Examples are: being marginally ahead/behind close to the end of the game or being well-ahead/well-behind. It might be having a rain interruption in cricket, being dealt a poor referee/umpiring decision or having an injured player.
An idea would be to bring up at least one such scenario per week and have players discuss what a poor response and what a good response might look like.
By planning for these situations, when they do arise, players have ‘been there’ in their minds and thus would be somewhat prepared for them. This won’t guarantee success, but it’ll give a better chance than not doing it.

Your task

Using a checklist is one way of ensuring you’ve considered everything in relation to conditions in your sport. In the comments, share items you’d include in your checklist.
Collate relevant items from your ideas and those of your peers to create a checklist that could be used in your planning for conditions.
© Deakin University
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