With time, our exploration of the world becomes more and more in depth. We reach a point where we can no longer experiment through our hands alone. At that point, we move into the realm of thought experiments.https://fs.blog/2017/06/thought-experiment-how-einstein-solved-difficult-problems/
This is about more than just RPO’s. This is about finding anything new and effective in the game of football that will result in more success.
In Zero to One, Peter Thiel says,
…it’s easier to copy a model than to make something new. Doing what we already know how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But every time we create something new, we go from 0 to 1. The act of creation is singular, as is the moment of creation, and the result is something fresh and strange.
If we want to improve our chances of success beyond incremental advances, then we can’t simply rely on copying what others do.
In order to create something that is new AND effective, we must experiment and measure the results. However, our time is limited. Before we actually conduct the experiment on the field, we should use thought experiments to discover and eliminate ideas we’d like to test.
…any sensibly designed real experiment should be preceded by a thought experiment that anticipates at any rate the possibility of its outcome.HTTPS://FS.BLOG/2017/06/THOUGHT-EXPERIMENT-HOW-EINSTEIN-SOLVED-DIFFICULT-PROBLEMS/
One of the most common ways football coaches conduct thought experiments is by drawing plays. I have thousands of plays in hundreds of notepads that date back to playing in high school. This doesn’t count all the plays that have been erased on the whiteboard. My guess is that you are similar in this regard.
However, simply drawing plays in a one-dimensional fashion will limit your creativity. One of the biggest problems with this is understanding how disproportionate the scale is. Ways to help with this include using a scale model, much like a military strategist, and going out on to the field by yourself and just getting a feel for the actual spacing.
You can also conduct if-then thought experiments:
What will X cause to happen?HTTPS://FS.BLOG/2017/06/THOUGHT-EXPERIMENT-HOW-EINSTEIN-SOLVED-DIFFICULT-PROBLEMS/
If Y happened instead of X, what would be the outcome?
If Y had happened instead of X, would the outcome be the same?
If X continues to happen, what will the outcome be in one year?
X happened, could Y have predicted it?
What caused X? How can we prevent it from happening again?
If X happens in one year, what would have caused it?
I’m not saying we shouldn’t ever learn from other coaches and copy some things that are successful. I am saying that I believe those who can also create new and effective advancements in our game have a chance at more success.