Winning Games - Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda

I'm a pragmatist. I believe the following things:

  1. all competitions are homologous groups. That is, they are pretty even. Similar age and ability.
  2. it is possible to do everything you can do to win a game and still not have much chance of winning. That is, within this pretty even competition there are still a variety of levels.

Based on the assumptions above, there are three types of games. I use these to evaluate how successful the season or tournament was.

These are: 

  1. Coulda - these are games where you theoretically could win but really not likely to because the other team is just better. You COULD win these but probably won't. You move on quickly from these if you lose.
  2. Shoulda - these are games where you really SHOULD win. Your team is clearly better than the other. But sometimes you don't win these. These games hurt your heart if you lose.
  3. Woulda - these are games you WOULD win next time if you don't this time. They are 50/50 games. Two pretty even teams. You definitely can win this if you play a solid game but they might win too. These games frustrate you if you lose.
So, at the end of a tournament you divide up the games.
  1. Coulda - if you win one 'coulda' game this is a real positive. If you don't it is neutral.
  2. Shoulda - if you win all your 'shoulda' games this is a neutral. If you lose one this is a negative.
  3. Woulda - if you win more than half of these games it is a positive. If you win half it is neutral.
After this you have a feel for the performance that is not based purely on win/loss.

The real fun starts when you reflect on these over time. And look out, if you keep losing more than half your 50/50 games, you are not actually as good as you think you are ;)


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