Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Monday, March 20, 2006

Theory of orienteering


This quote about baseball, pretty much sums up my feeling about orienteering and ideas about how to train (i.e. a "theory of orienteering"):

My basic theory of baseball is that any theory of baseball will work if the talent is good enough. A "theory" or a clear idea of how you're going to win is extremely useful to a baseball team, because it organizes the work, clarifies the needs and goals of the team; it provides focus and direction among a dizzying array of options and alternatives.

The quote is from Bill James, my favorite baseball writer. He wrote it in his Baseball Abstract back in 1986 and is re-quoted in a new book by Scott Gray called "The Mind of Bill James."

Getting back to orienteering, what I think James' quote is getting at is the idea that you should have an idea about how and why you train. That idea, that "theory" or "philosophy," works as a short cut to help you decide what to do. And by following through on your ideas, you gain some confidence about your preparation and training. Far more important than the specifics of the idea is that you do the work to fit your idea.

James also stressed "talent," but I think this is where orienteering and baseball seperate. I think that natural talent is relatively unimportant in orienteering (especially in the U.S.). In baseball, having a theory but not the talent won't get a team very far. But in orienteering, I suspect that a theory and fulfilling the theory will go a long way.

posted by Michael | 7:07 PM


Comments: Post a Comment
March 2002April 2002May 2002June 2002July 2002August 2002September 2002October 2002November 2002December 2002January 2003February 2003March 2003April 2003May 2003June 2003July 2003August 2003September 2003October 2003November 2003December 2003January 2004February 2004March 2004April 2004May 2004June 2004July 2004August 2004September 2004October 2004November 2004December 2004January 2005February 2005March 2005April 2005May 2005June 2005July 2005August 2005September 2005October 2005November 2005December 2005January 2006February 2006March 2006April 2006May 2006June 2006July 2006August 2006September 2006October 2006November 2006December 2006January 2007February 2007March 2007April 2007May 2007June 2007July 2007August 2007September 2007October 2007November 2007December 2007January 2008February 2008March 2008April 2008May 2008June 2008July 2008August 2008September 2008October 2008November 2008December 2008January 2009February 2009March 2009April 2009May 2009June 2009July 2009August 2009September 2009October 2009November 2009December 2009January 2010February 2010March 2010April 2010May 2010June 2010July 2010August 2010September 2010October 2010November 2010December 2010January 2011February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013July 2013September 2013