Beyond being used as a better tool for “Reading the Game” and teaching Volleyball Skills more effectively the OODA Loop is a powerful way for players and coaches to approach Volleyball Strategy.
Colonel John Boyd the military strategist who rewrote the book on modern air warfare and the man behind the OODA Loop believed that when at a disadvantage a competent pilot could still overcome that disadvantage by “Attacking the Mind” of his opponent.
Success in volleyball like modern air warfare relies heavily on human reaction time.
Human reaction time is defined as the time elapsing between the onset of a stimulus and the onset of a response to that stimulus. The O.O.D.A. Loop, which stands for Observe, Orient, Decide and Act, is Boyd’s way of explaining how we go through the process of reacting to stimulus.
Boyd training led him to a greater understanding of human reaction time and as a result his pilots had a 10 to 1 kill ratio over the superior Mig-15’s by the end of the war following his strategies. I believe volleyball players / coaches who follow similar strategies for volleyball can also enjoy far greater success on the volleyball court, particularly in sand.
Boyd’s strategy was termed “Getting inside your opponents loop” or as I and my students like to say: “OODA looping them!”
Getting inside your opponents loop (OODA Looping Your Opponent) means that you complete your loop processing quicker than they do. Ideally you should complete your full cycle while they are still in the orientate stage so that they get stuck in the observe – orientate phases: Always assessing, never deciding, and never acting.
Their loop is OO – OO (Observe Orientate – Observe Orientate), while you may have completed full OODA Loop (Observe Orientate Decide Act) once or more.
Shape The Mind of the Opponent
Another important way to think about operating inside the OODA loop of your opponent is when you change the situation (Shape the mind of the opponent) more rapidly than the opponent can comprehend. And keep doing it.
In beach volleyball where strategy is far more important than indoor volleyball this may be as simple as running a 3 block call where the player shows angle and at the last minute dives into the line while his partner starts line and runs the angle shot.
In this simple example the blocker “shaped the mind of the opponent to see that the angle shot was open and the hard line ball was open. Then at the last minute the defense switched so that the blocker blocks line and the defender runs from the line to the angle.
Over the next few months I will be sharing easy to use strategies for beach and indoor volleyball on how you as a coach or player can “Shape the mind of your opponent” to OODA Loop them.™
Also be sure to look at my article this week 4/9/15 on beach volleyball strategy using “Hicks Law” to OODA Loop your opponent. This is a powerful, easy to use strategy that works on most player even those at the top level. Please note, this is article 4 – Andor Gyulai OODA Loop / Volleyball Coaching Blueprint Series.
To read my most recent work (10/11/17) on the OODA Loop, please be sure to download my 25 page paper:
High School and Club Coaches! If what I am saying appeals to you and you are interested in learning a new approach to coaching let’s schedule a call. I will forward you a copy of my Three “What Great Looks Like” (™) Volleyball1on1 Posters for review. (Limited Time Offer!)
“What Great Looks Like!” (™) – The Volleyball1on1 Playing Standard
“What Great Looks Like!” (™) – The Volleyball1on1 Winning Culture
“What Great Looks Like!” (™) – The Volleyball1on1 Coaching Standard
These posters literally act as a compass for how kids play on the court, the team culture and the coaching standard. Please keep in mind these posters are copyright and trademarked and are licensed for use to coaches who run high school summer camps or clubs who run “Train the Trainer” Club clinics.