Playing at the speed of thought-A Decision-Action model for soccer-pt.3


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A look at the relationship between thinking, memory and action in soccer.

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Playing at the speed of thought-A Decision-Action model for soccer-pt.3

  1. 1. A Decision/Action Model for Soccer – Pt 3 Playing at the speed of thought A look at the relationship between thought, memory and action“Psychologists have been intensely interested for several decades inthe two modes of thinking… and have offered many labels for them.I adopt… System 1 and System 2. [13]Daniel Kahneman“Behind every action there must be a thought.” [20]Dennis Bergkamp 1
  2. 2. Meet System 1 & System 2 “A recurrent theme of this book is that luck plays a large role in every story of success.” [13]“When we think of ourselves, we identify with System 2, the conscious,reasoning self that has beliefs, makes choices, and decides what to think aboutand what to do. Although System 2 believes itself to be where the action is, theautomatic System 1 is the hero of the book. I describe System 1 as effortlesslyoriginating impressions and feelings that are the main sources of the explicitbeliefs and deliberate choices of System 2. The automatic operations of System1 generate surprisingly complex patterns of ideas, but only the slower System 2can construct thoughts in an orderly series of steps. I also describecircumstances in which System 2 takes over, overruling the freewheelingimpulses and associations of System 1.” [13]“But System 2 is not merely an apologist for System 1; it also prevents manyfoolish thoughts and inappropriate impulses and overt expression. Theinvestment of attention improves performance in numerous activities… includingcomparison, choice, and ordered reasoning.” [13] 2
  3. 3. Characteristics of System 1“Orienting and responding quickly to the gravest threats or promising opportunities improved the chance of survival… System 1 takes over in emergencies and assigns total priority to self-protective actions” [13] “Here are some examples of the automatic activities that are attributed to System 1:  Detect that one object is more distant than another.  Orient to the source of a sudden sound.  Detect hostility in a voice.  Answer to 2+2=?  Complete the phrase “bread and …”  Drive a car on an empty road.  Find a strong move in chess (if you are a chess master.)  Understand simple sentences.” [13] “The capabilities of System 1 include innate skills that we share with other animals. We are born prepared to perceive the world around us, recognize objects, orient attention… Other mental activities become fast and automatic through prolonged practice. System 1 has learned associations between ideas (my change; opponents corner = danger/opportunity to counter).” [13] “System 1 is generally very good at what it does: its models of familiar situations are accurate, its short-term predictions are usually appropriate, and its initial reactions to challenges are swift and generally appropriate… One further limitation of System 1 is that it cannot be turned off.” [13] 3
  4. 4. Characteristics of System 2 “System 2 is the only one that can follow rules, compare objects on several attributes, and makedeliberate choices between options. The automatic System 1 does not have these capabilities.” [13] “The highly diverse operations of System 2 have one feature in common: they require attention and are disrupted when attention is drawn away. Here are some examples:  Brace for the starter gun in a race.  Focus attention on the clowns in a circus.  Search memory to identify a surprising sound.  Maintain a faster walking speed than is natural for you.  Look for a woman with white hair.  Tell someone your phone number.  Compare two washing machines for overall value.” [13] “In all these cases, you are asked to do something that does not come naturally, and you will find that the consistent maintenance of a set requires some continuous exertion of at least some effort. The often used phrase “pay attention” is apt: you dispose of a limited budget of attention that you can allocate to activities, and if you try to go beyond your budget, you will fail.” [13] “System 2 is activated when an event is detected that violates the model of the world that System 1 maintains.” [13] “Intense focusing on a task can make people effectively blind, even to stimuli that normally attract attention.” [13] 4
  5. 5. Compare and contrast “What makes some cognitive operations more demanding and effortful than others? What outcomes must we purchase in the currency of attention?” [13]System 1: System 2:  Recognizes, responds to and utilizes  Recognizes and utilizes symbolic structures patterns, biases and heuristics. like complex language and logic.  Fast and frugal response can be wrong.  Slow and detailed response can be late.  Capable of innovation through loose  Capable of deep insight through tight coupling i.e. leaps over rationality. coupling i.e. well reasoned arguments.  Experiential, ‘large world’ in nature,  Idealized, ‘small world’ in nature, situated in practice. decontectualized in practice.  Incapable of ‘optimal’ solutions in  Capable of ‘optimal’ solutions in retroactive problem solving, close enough works. or idealized problem solving.  Driven and fed by peripheral vision and  Driven and fed by foveal vision and higher survival instincts i.e. fight or flight. cognitive functions.  The survival path of the ‘how’ dorsal  The enrichment path of the ‘what’ ventral stream. stream.  Carpe diem.  Look before you leap. 5
  6. 6. Boundaries between the two Systems“System 1 and System 2 are not systems in the standard sense of entities with interacting aspects or parts. And there is no one part of the brain that either of the systems calls home.” [13] There is no ‘center of gravity’ for either system. There is no hard ‘right brain/left brain’ split. They interact across a ‘soft boundary’ and ‘loose coupling.’ An example of a ‘soft boundary’ is the area between sea and sky during a hurricane.  “In violent storms there is so much water in the air, and so much air in the water, that it is impossible to tell where the atmosphere stops and the sea begins,” writes Van Dorn. “That may literally make it impossible to distinguish up from down.” [12] There is too much water to breathe and too much air to swim. The higher the level and greater the complexity of matter and energy flowing through the environments, (external/world & internal/cognitive) the ‘softer’ or ‘wider’ the boundary between S1 & S2. This creates a mismatch between conception and reality. The world is too fast, too complex to keep up with and one is too slow to influence it, change its tempo. Result; one becomes isolated from the world, left behind. Solution, find another world. This illustrates the relationship between the tempo of the game/actions and thought/decisions. Players need a boundary small enough to allow for survival i.e. the action is slow/simple enough; yet encourages growth i.e. fast/complex enough. This generates manageable tension. Tension in the game, especially temporal tension, is necessary for creativity i.e. resolving mismatches through unique combinations that solve problems before the opponent does, (Boyd’s ‘building snowmobiles’) while sustaining interest in the activity itself. 6
  7. 7. When do these Systems interact? “Simply put, execution never goes according to plan, and there is the rub.” [1]When and how to apply each one of the systems is a problem. An answer to the first part is; wheneverthe game/action level requires players to act within their ‘psychological present’ System 1 should lead.They act with what they have on hand i.e. bricolage based in their shared Teambuilding qualities,because to delay action surrenders initiative, never a good idea.  “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” George Patton.The length of a players ‘psychological present’ is variable. The interval is open to influence, i.e. friction.  A major constraint on it are the other players in his or her immediate attention network. How much support can one draw from others and how much friction is one open to? In this sense the ‘psychological present’ becomes the ‘sociological present.’ ‘I’ is influenced, for good or bad, by ‘we.’ The inter-subjective dominates the subjective through the process of emergent command and control.  At the subjective level this is the implicit ‘fingerspitzengefühl of the players. At the inter-subjective and higher levels, the other elements of Teambuilding come into play. Sun-Tzu’s “If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles” applies to these higher levels and their distributed networks. While a network is only as strong as it’s weakest link, these networks can move resources to relieve or create stress on any one of those links.The problem of balancing reason and context. The ‘leapfrog’ effect across the ‘soft boundary.’  “The world of decision making is about strategic rationality. It is built from clear questions and clear answers that attempt to remove ignorance [S2]… Sensemaking is about contextual rationality. It is built out of vague questions, muddy answers, and negotiated agreements that attempt to reduce confusion.”[S1][19]  “However for change to be effective, the cycles of planning [S2] and execution [S1] must be in synch with each other. Imagine if planning outpaces execution meaning planning is being informed by outdated information on the current situation.” [1]. And vice versa, taking action too far ahead of the plan won’t work for long, ergo the ‘leapfrog effect’ between the the planning/what and the action/how. 7
  8. 8. Introducing heuristics, how they work “A heuristic is ecologically rational to the degree that it is adapted to the structure of the environment.” [6] Both Systems have access to the same stimulus. S1 can act on it for short periods, the psychological present, without searching ‘deep memory,’ S2 when an associative pattern is present. Associative patterns are the heuristics that players come to live with and through. They often take the form of phrases of up to six words or simple, implicit pattern recognition. S1 utilizes heuristics, S2 creates them. When in the heat of battle, the psychological present, one is too busy doing to remember what’s been done. The solutions for S1 are the existing tools in the “adaptive toolbox,” slide 9. New, mutually shared tools have to be constructed by S2 when time allows. This construction takes place across a distributed network that includes others.“Sensory Memory holds incoming sensory stimuli. Such sensory stimuli can be external, that is, generated byThe environment, or internal, that is, generated by proprioception or other internal processes. Sensory memory alsoholds early feature detectors that begin to make sense of the stimuli. Sensory memory feeds into PerceptualAssociative Memory in route to consciousness. At a much faster time scale sensory memory also feeds multipletimes into each executing sensory-motor automatism (SMA) that operates without benefit of consciousness.” [5] 8
  9. 9. Building and using heuristics “Football is best when it’s instinctive, when it comes from the heart. You talk about things after: in the game you just play.” [20]“A heuristic is a strategy that ignores part of the information, with the goal of makingdecisions more quickly, frugally, and/or accurately than more complex methods.” [8]“Many but not all heuristics are composed of these three building blocks;  Search rules specify in what direction the search extends in the search space.  Stopping rules specify when the search is stopped.  Decision rules specify how the final decision is reached. [8]“The collection of heuristics and building blocks an individual or a species has at its disposalfor constructing heuristics, together with the core mental capacities that building blocksexploit, has been called the adaptive toolbox. Core capacities include recognition memory,frequency monitoring, object tracking, and the ability to imitate… Heuristics can be fast andfrugal only because core capacities are already in place.” [8]During the game, moments pop up when players can reflect, even converse on ‘what justhappened.’ In a team a shared vocabulary and team spirit, Einheit, helps understanding. Ashared goal, Schwerpunkt, anchors and frames the reflections. Mutual trust, vision andvocabulary helps to smooth the way for implicit learning to grow between players. Thathelps to amplify team cohesion and the Teambuilding process. Shared heuristics are animportant part. 9
  10. 10. Characteristics of Decision Training models“Permanent gains are only achieved when cognitive and physical training occur in concert.” [18] Decision-Training Model [18]Decision Training: System 1 Behavioral Training: System 2Instruction Instruction  Tactical whole training  Part-to-whole training  Competition like drills  Simple to complex drills  Hard-first instruction  Easy-first instruction  Technique within tactics  Technical emphasis  External focus of instruction  Internal focus of instruction  High use of video models  Low use of video modelsPractice Practice  Variable practice  Blocked practice  Random Practice  Low variabilityFeedback Feedback  Bandwidth feedback  Abundant coach feedback  High use of questioning  Low use of questioning  High use of video feedback  Low use of video feedback  High athlete detection and correction of  Low athlete detection and correction of errors errorsOverall: High levels of athlete cognitive Overall: Low levels of athlete cognitiveeffort effort Also: Teaching Games for Understanding[16], Games Sense[4], Tactical Decision Learning Model[10], The Dutch Vision/TIC[11,17] 10
  11. 11. Summary“For the KNVB, the communication building block is the leading component… because it initiates the optimal development of the player as he learns crucial information for the game of soccer.” [11] Of course no one can play at the speed of thought. If they could games would only last a millisecond, and then everyone would argue the result. What is important to remember is that both thinking and action, for individuals, groups and teams occurs across a soft temporal boundary between two Systems. System 1 allows for the fastest game actions. It does not require a search of deep memory nor the work required to create new ones. It’s the “Just do it” approach. The problem is that it’s limited in its preloaded responses. It’s “habit football” and the habits might not fit the situation. System 1 needs continual updating, i.e. learning, something that it can only do on a limited basis. This is where System 2 comes in. It can access deep memory. It can perform statistical comparison/contrasts, weigh options, recombine ideas and concepts into novel solutions and create deeper memory. It does this through the process of Analysis and Synthesis.[2] But this comes at a cost of time and effort which, in the heat of the moment may not be available or correct anyway. These two Systems are open to inter-subjective influences. What ‘I’ think, remember and do can be manipulated by others, friend or foe. Soccer is a game of continual dialectical conversations. Sometimes these are explicit requiring symbolic interactions, language, white boards, diagrams. Most are implicit, intuitive responses to vague patterns and cues such as a look or tone of voice. That’s how we learn.  “Respectful interaction depends on intersubjectivity which has two defining characteristics: 1) Intersubjectivity emerges from the interchange and synthesis of meanings among two or more communicating selves, and 2) the subject or subjects gets transformed during interaction such that a joint or merged subjectivity develops.” [19] To play at the speed of thought requires an appreciation of when and how to think with others. 11
  12. 12. References1. ABBOTT, J. 2012, A Universal Framework for Analyzing Complexity in Irregular Warfare (Unpublished)2. BOYD, J. 1976, Destruction and Creation3. ( CHOW, J. et al. 2007 The Role of Nonlinear Pedagogy in Physical Education (Review of Educational Research 2007, Vol. 77, No. 3, 251- 278).5. FRANKLIN, S. D’MELLO, S. HUNTER, A. 2012, How the Mind Works: A Cognitive Theory of Everything (Cognitive Computing Research Group: The University of Memphis).6. GIGERENZER, G. GOLDSTEIN, D. 1996, Reasoning the Fast and Frugal Way: Models of Bounded Rationality (Psychological Review, Vol. 103, No. 4, 650-669).7. GIGERENZER, G. BRIGHTON, H. 2009, Homo Heuristics: Why Biased Minds Make Better Inferences (Topics in Cognitive Science I, 107- 143).8. GIGERENZER, G. GAISSMAIER, W. 2011 Heuristic Decision Making (Annual Review Psychology, 62:451-482).9. GLADWELL, M. 2005, Blink, The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (New York: Back Bay Books).10. GREHAIGNE, J-F. RICHARD, J-F. GRIFFIN, L. 2005, Teaching and Learning, Team Games and Sports (London: Routledge).11. HYBALLA, P. & TE POEL, H. 2011, Dutch Soccer Secrets (Maidenhead, England: Meyer & Meyer Sport).12. JUNGER, S. 2007, The Perfect Storm, A True Story of Man Against the Sea. (New York, Harper Perennial)13. KAHNEMAN, D. 2011, Thinking Fast and Slow (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux).14. RICHARDS, C. 2004, Certain to Win, The Strategy of John Boyd, Applied to Business (Xlibris Corporation).15. STAHL, B. 2005, The Obituary as Bricolage: The Mann Gulch Disaster and the Problem of Heroic Rationality (European Journal of Information Systems, 14, 487-491).16. THORPE, R. BUNKER, D. ALMOND, L. 1986, Rethinking Games Teaching, (Loughborough University: VAN LINGEN, B. 1997, Coaching Soccer, The Official Coaching Book of the Dutch Soccer Association (Spring City, Pa: Reedswain).18. VICKERS, J. 2007, Perception, Cognition, and Decision Training, The Quiet Eye in Action (Champaign, Il: Human Kinetics).19. WEICK, K. 1993, The Collapse of Sensemaking in Organizations: The Mann Gulch Disaster (Administrative Science Quarterly, 38, 628- 652).20. WINNER, D. 2000, Brilliant Orange, The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football (London: Bloomsbury). 12
  13. 13. Thank you “I’ll live or die by my own ideas.” Johan CruyffPresentation created June 2012 by Larry Paul, Prescott Arizona.All references are available as stated.All content is the responsibility of the author.For questions or to inquire how to arrange a consultation or workshop on thistopic you can contact me at, subject line; decision/actionmodel.For more information visit the bettersoccermorefun channel on YouTube. 13