The always interesting Malcolm Gladwell has a piece in the New Yorker about underdogs and the techniques they use to overcome their stronger competitors. He’s profiling a girls basketball team from right here in Redwood City that was able to use clever tactics and exploit the rules of the game to gain an advantage over better teams. They employed the full court press to interfere with the time limits for the inbounds pass and for the other team to advance the ball past mid-court. If the opponents couldn’t get past their press, Redwood City would get the ball in position to make high-percentage scores. And they won a lot of games this way. The team didn’t possess a lot of basketball skills, so their training focused on building the endurance they’d need to sustain a full court press for an entire game. So they ran a lot. He says:
That was it! The whole Redwood City philosophy was based on a willingness to try harder than anyone else.
It’s nice to see that the next generation of Redwood Citizens is picking up the slack for us. Now I can return to my life of leisure.