The more of the World Cup I watch, the more I’m seeing trends in how the best of the best work – especially when we see groups of them. It’s easy to think “that’s not so hard” or “they sure aren’t scoring much” – but do we realize what we’re comparing ourselves to? Those of us who self-class as mediocre, or even slightly-less-than-the-best, perhaps expect to see greatness out of the greatest, without realizing why world class is what it is.
So what can we take from world class events like the FIFA World Cup?
Congregations of the best are deceptively flat on skill visibility.
They don’t score much because they’re all so good at defence. trade-offs in play, volleying – these things are marks of strategy, real knowledge of game mechanics, and experience. In blogging, this is the reason so few of the top ranks deviate and push for the occasional “goal-worthy” post or series; they know where the benefits of strategic consistency. The appearance of calm waters between opposing teams is a blind for the real skills that inform that calm behaviour. Thrashing is an effect of putting tactics (ie, goals) before strategy (ie, winning in the long game).
Persistence pays off.
Once you have the skill to play the long game, why would you put all your effort into blowing the opposition out of the water in the first five minutes? On the web, like in long-term timed games such as 90 minute football matches, being prepared with a long game plan is of far more benefit than a handful of short term tactics. Tactics can help in single instances, but can’t be confused with strategy. Tactics are actions; strategy is behaviour. Know the difference. Persistence is a strategy, not an action.
Strategic substitutions are a good idea. (Don’t be afraid to deviate)
Right. I just told you not to deviate. I lied. The lesson? Deviate; but deviate only when it benefits you – and know why, how, when and where to do so. It really confuses your competitors, but if you do it right, your constituency will thank you.
Good coverage is often as important as good play.
Growing a blog just by blogging is difficult. For the same reason, the World Cup wouldn’t have anywhere near the hype it does, if all we had was the game itself. Especially with the Vuvuzela going off this time around. FIFA has some of the best commentators available, a minute-by-minute feed of action on a number of sites, and a host of third-party coverage as well.
What has your blog got as its coverage support structure? A Facebook page? Twitter feed? FeedBurner? Pubsubhubbub? There are a lot of tools available for use to boost your blog’s profile in simple ways. Are you commentating on your blog? Keeping a play-by-play in more than just your comments?
Follow-up (post game show) reveals things missed during the excitement of the game.
Once you’ve made a post on your blog, what happens? Do you respond to comments? Do you welcome feedback? Or does the game just end every time, with no wrap-up?
Post-game wrap-ups are some of the most common, and popular measures sportscasters take to ensure well-rounded coverage. Highlighting the best, and worst parts of a given game can be essential to ensuring there are no problems with the play, and issues get disputed (like bad calls by officials) in an efficient and fair manner. It doesn’t always work. But it’s sure fun to watch. Sometimes better than the seventy minutes you just waited between goals.
Scoring the early goal brings massive advantages.
I don’t just mean hitting it big with your first blog post – though that can happen if you do some other things right first. Use test blogs as training – video post and podcast for cross training in your off season. Preparing for scoring big happens as much before blogs launch as it can in scooping other blogs on single events.
What else can we learn from professional sports’ biggest worldwide celebration?
photo by spacepleb.