Chris wanted to open a discussion on an explanation he gave a reader about his "Effective decision-making" article. Feel free to jump in. Chris will be jumping in too. You may want to refer back to the flow chart on page 9 of the August issue.
Here's the question (anonymous, since we weren't sure if the reader would want us to post his name):
Read article with great interest. however, the decision-making chart leaves me with one nagging question drawing example with the sport of archery,where the objective is to hit the bull's eye any subsequent adjustment to the next shot will clearly be based on the result of the previous arrow!! ... with attention ALSO being paid to the prevailing environment. coming back to the said article in BTM Aug 2011; I was very surprised to see hitting pocket ... is ranked BELOW hitting the target(aka arrow) !!! So my question is this : hitting the target BUT missing the pocket OR missing Target BUT hitting the Pocket which is the MORE important objective? what is the correct emphasis in accuracy sports? whenever adjustment is needed and focus is on physical delivery; its NO wonder why bowlers think about release, ball speed equipment etc RATHER than looking to be in the moment OR be reactive to the situation; and make adjustment based on the outcome of the execution. besides "perfect" execution in sports don't always guaranteed perfect results; SIMILARLY bad execution don't necessary leads to unfavourable results too. in both instances decision-making is, generally accepted to follow the OBJECTIVE outcome of the sport. between the release at the foul-line and the impact at the pindeck; why is greater emphasis placed on hitting an intermediary "target/arrow" shouldn't decision process commence with result/outcome First...as in most sports?
Here's Chris's response:
Thank you for your very articulate and well thought out email. Regarding your question "hitting the target BUT missing the pocket OR missing Target BUT hitting the Pocket which is the MORE important objective? What is the correct emphasis in accuracy sports?"
The flow chart was merely to explain the sequence of questions to ask as a result of the order in the bowling process. I did not mean for any one question to be more important than the other. With that said, I guess one limitation in the flow chart is that it does not allow for intuition and "gut instincts" to help make decision which I think is an important part of the shot making process. Intuition may also play a part of whether adjustments should be made as well.
In accuracy sports, I would suggest the emphasis should be on achieving the desired outcome. In bowling, there are 2 simplified objectives that are emphasized, hitting what you are looking at (target) and successfully hitting the pocket. As you rightly point out, hitting the target may or may not result in hitting the pocket and vice versa. I would argue though that if you consistently hit the target, you should consistently hit the pocket as long as you are line up correctly and you have executed properly. As you know and rightfully point out, you can hit the pocket with poor execution and poor accuracy, but I would suggest that you won't be very consistent in your outcome (e.g.strikes) when you do both of these poorly each time.
As is gathered from the execution section in the article, I tried not to emphasize the shot making question because I know that some perfectionistic bowlers will never say yes to this question and thus will fail to move to the other questions on each shot, which will affect their decision making and adjustments during competitions. I totally agree with all of your comments and questions, but the flow chart was not to emphasize any one question, it was to explain the question in a sequence from shot execution to watching the ball hit the pocket.
Hopefully this clarifies any questions you may have, but if not, by all means continue the discussion and I'll be happy to respond with more information.