Thursday, July 24, 2008
Everybody knows that Communication on the field is important. Every one will tell you that you 'have to communicate on the field'. They will tell you to shout but they don’t tell you want to shout about. Newbies will be reluctant to say anything because they don’t know what is going on and they probably are inexperienced to make any calls. They would also be caught up in a gun fight to think about the rest of the team. But it is essential they get used to shouting and communicating to the rest of the team at an early stage.
Now the word is “communication”- not "shouting" whatever that comes to mind. Some of the local teams get into the game and just shout the bunkers the other side have occupied. There is one guy who is very good at yelling out the opposite bunkers – but he just yells the same thing over and over and over during the game. It is a one way communication with this guy – no one can get back to him. He doesn’t stop long enough to know if his team is responding to him or they’re all dead around him.
Communicating on the field is not just about shouting the bunkers at the top of your voice. You have to make it work for your team. This is where game experience comes into play- when I make my calls I am also thinking tactically- like what can my right corner or my front dorito guy see. I try to play the front guy to see if he can work an angle to get my mirror. Or when I see that the left tape is being pinned down by a guy in the right dorito- then I have to get the guys on the right to move up and shoot that dorito out. Because I know they will be busy shooting my guy on the left – there is a chance my right tape can bunker them.
The best game the Red Sevens ever played was a drawn game with Vendetta in the first MPOC1 is KL this year. We all stayed alive and the most satisfying part of the game was that we had great communication across the field- every play was countered by us we talked throughout the whole 5 mins and kept each other in touch. The left corner knew what the right corner was trying to achieve. I played the middle and related the information from side to side when one couldn’t get through to the other.
My philosophy in game communication is to have a dialogue between players. Not just yelling for the sake of yelling or giving a running commentary of who’s in what’s bunker like an auctioneer – that alone is useless. If you keep yelling the same thing in the same tone, after a while people will tune out and get caught up in their own gun fight. I want my team to have a dialogue- if I want Ben in the 30 Dorito to shoot snake 1- then I’ll yell his name and tell him what I want him to do. Ben will know I’m talking to him and I specifically want him to check snake 1. And with this - we will avoid having all 5 guns all looking tape at the same time.
Feedback is also important- if Jane in the front is being pinned by the back corner- she has to tell me which corner and I’ll organise someone to shoot that corner to give Jane some space to work on snake 1. Hearing the forwards its hard and for the forwards -yelling back is the hardest thing to do because you have to turn you head back and away from the time- but sometimes it’s important to stop shooting – turn back and make sure your message gets back to the back row.
It is very satisfying when it all comes together when everything and everyone works in synch. The pros play together so much- that they know exactly what each other is going to do- so they work to achieve the same move. When you watch Ollie and Nicky play side by side its like a watching 2 synchonised killing machines at work its pure poetry in speedball.
Ultimately- you want to play to a level that you and your teammates know you so well that a small thins like a hand gesture or a look will tell them what you intend to do.
When Nicky Cuba made up his mind to pull the game move on Son Dabilis in the carwash in game 2 of the finals- all he did was to wave his left hand over his right shoulder to tell Billy Wing who was his back that he was going to move and not to shoot him as he went around on the inside to bunker Dabilis. IT was a little hand wave that basically said “yeah yeah ok I’m handing this - don’t worry about it- just don’t shoot me when I’m moving up”