Monday, February 16, 2009

The Little Things

Today I read an interesting article on the NBA player Shane Battier. It made the case that while almost all of his stats run from mediocre to abysmal, he really is one of the most valuable players in the game. He doesn't make huge blocks or pile on rebounds, but he studies his opponents carefully and plays intelligent defense that frustrates even the big stars. He doesn't make a bunch of shots or assists, but he always positions himself properly to help his team get the basket or the rebound. His performance does show up in more nuanced numbers like, "difference of points scored and points allowed for the whole team while Battier is in the game."

I've played with frisbee players that emulate either Kobe or Battier as well. Obviously, you need some guys with huge throws and big D's, but how much do they help the team if the hucks end up being pretty low percentage, or if they are stubborn with regard to space? I think improvement in this way comes from discipline. Creating good space for your team on offense should be automatic. Moving the disc quickly should always be on your mind like an itch. Throwing down a hard mark should be biggest pleasure in defense. I think next indoor game I will start off every offensive point by telling myself, "create space, setup the continuation." As in every sport, the small improvements in frisbee add up to wins, even if your teammates only remember the layout score.