"You will take over and coach the Under-11 soccer team", I was told as a new teacher in 1995.
Truth be told, I had never been a good soccer player as my body-kinesthetic intelligence is very low. As a teacher taking over the team, I also found out that my school's soccer team had been trashed 3-0, 5-0 and 8-0 the year before. It had a terrible soccer culture. But fast forward a year, I brought this team to the Top 8 in the National Finals. We won all the District Level matches and this story was captured in the national newspaper - all this happened thanks to my Strategic talent theme.
I shall elaborate a common 3-phase utilisation of a Strategic talent theme, through this 1995 experience as the school's soccer coach...
Phase 1: What are some patterns I observe? (About 11 year old soccer players)
- Free throws that were thrown towards our own side were unproductive, and frequently added unnecessary pressure to our own team
- Most 11 year old goalkeepers could not kick the ball far; the ball frequently landed on opponent strikers who were nearby
- 60% of the play was concentrated at the middle third of the field; wing play did not exist
- ... many other patterns...
Phase 2: What are the most important factors?
With so many patterns, the above 3 were the most important factors. You can see that my Strategic theme is not interested to list down the rest in Phase 1 above as I am only interested in the most important factors.
Phase 3: What are some practical and convenient options to efficiently move forward?
- I drilled in 'only throwing towards opponent's half' at all training sessions
- I held special goalkeeper selection by observing their goal kicks. After selecting the 2 best kickers, I then invested in catching. This alternative way yielded better results compared to the usual 'select the catcher first'
- I picked the 3 best players and positioned them as central defender, central midfielder and central striker
The end result of using Strategic's natural way of 'quickly figuring out the best path forward without detailed analysis' is how I led the boys to the National Finals within a year.
PEOPLE EXCEPTIONALLY TALENTED IN THE STRATEGIC THEME CREATE ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO PROCEED. FACED WITH ANY GIVEN SCENARIO, THEY CAN QUICKLY SPOT THE RELEVANT PATTERNS AND ISSUES.
Below are my common Strategic applications:
- The fastest way to bring across a message: most important words
- The shortest way to solve a maths problem: jump a few steps by identifying and not writing easy-to-understand steps
- The best way to approach an issue: most essential factors