Victory, Defeat, and the Drama
Posted by Orrin Woodward on August 22, 2013
This is part two of four on LIFE Leadership summer fun. Apply the same principles to your life that were applied in this basketball series, and you will meet with uncommon success. To read the first segment click here.
Band of Brothers PDCA
Like winners do, the Band of Brothers (BoB) upped their game the second day, playing like there was no tomorrow! Day two began with us back in our man-to-man defense, with me assigned to cover Kirk Birtles. I use that word loosely, as he and Aron Radosa played like they were on pogo sticks! Every time I turned around, they were airborne for another rebound! The BoB simply killed us, as Birtles and Morgan hit nearly every shot, and on the occasional miss, Radosa was there with the rebound. Although I was personally shooting better than day one, the PC team was no match for the BoB freight train. Even though we squeaked out a second-game victory, it didn’t matter, as we were humiliated in game three. Without a doubt, if someone had recorded the day’s competition, he would have concluded the PC team was incapable of competing against the BoB athleticism and intensity. Fortunately, however, the PC team also had some experience with the PDCA process.
I hate losing—simply HATE it! But I had to concede to the BoB that they had earned their victory. Nevertheless, Thursday couldn’t come soon enough, as I found myself envisioning a different outcome and practicing daily in preparation for the upcoming battle. Bill and Holger felt the same way, and day three was a day of redemption. Our main PDCA was a switch from man-to-man into a zone defense. This allowed Holger to utilize his size as well as his shot-blocking and rebounding skills underneath the hoop without having to chase Aron around the court. Bill and I completed the zone defense by challenging every pass, discombobulating the BoB strategy. In essence, this hindered Morgan’s ability to drive to the basket, slowing his impressive playmaking abilities. We focused on stopping their inside game and forcing the BoB to beat us on outside jumpers. Our zone threw the BoB out of their rhythm and spacing, leading to poor shot selection. Furthermore, Holger’s defense denied easy layups to anyone entering his space. This was the perfect PDCA at the time, and we won both games to take a 2–1 series lead.
The BoB are champions, however, and would not take this defeat lying down. All weekend, they planned their strategic response. Interestingly, when either team lost, they seemed to dive into why and make adjustments. In contrast, when our team won, we seemed to stand pat, expecting what worked yesterday to work again. This, however, was a huge mistake and why I teach to find a victory in every defeat and a defeat in every victory to continue the PDCA learning process. In an effort to verify that knowledge isn’t wisdom until its applied, the PC team repeatedly neglected this crucial principle, and the BoB capitalized on our error.
Day four started with us in the same zone defense that had previously worked so well. But the same cannot be said for this day. The BoB made adjustments that tore our zone apart. First, they ran picks to clear Kirk and Aron for wide-open, mid-range jumpers and hit them consistently. Second, once we started overplaying the jumper, Steve drove in and hit shot after shot off the backboard! I couldn’t believe how well they were shooting, and Bill, Holger, and myself seemed powerless to stop it. Somehow, our team fought back and tied the first game but could not hang with the fresher legs of the BoB and lost in overtime.
The second game, our zone defense looked even more porous. Jumper after jumper from Kirk and Steve killed us. Holger attempted to adjust by coming out to defend the shots, which only led to Aron killing us inside. We lost 11–4 and were never in the game. I had to commend the BoB again. They had sliced and diced our zone defense with their PDCA and left no doubt they could handle our zone defense in the future. In fact, at the time, I had no idea how we could stop their new style of play. On a personal note, adding insult to injury, Steve Morgan switched to guarding me personally, refusing to let me shoot my long-range bombs. Indeed, he did not give me an inch of space and neutralized my ability to consistently score outside to spread out their defense. Meanwhile, Kirk stepped up his defense and blocked Bill’s shots repeatedly, proving their defensive switch was the perfect PDCA. We now were in a full code red as the BoB had evened out the series at 2–2, but even more important, had the momentum going into Thursday’s event.
To be continued tomorrow.