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Old Jun 11, 2012, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by GaryO View Post
Tom keeps repeating himself, and it still isn't persuasive.

Now we are going to select for social skills?

Gary
Gary,

All I can offer is my past experience and what I've seen work and not work. Social skills, communication skills, the ability to compromise are all things that go to making a successful team. Without good team chemistry, or at the very least a functional solution to a bad team dynamic, the team will be distracted and not perform to its full potential. Some pilots are less distracted by bad team dynamics than others, but in my personal experience, teams with poor or marginal chemistry never perform to the full potential of each pilot on the team. I think if you talk to any past US team members (especially those that have been on multiple teams) they will tell you the same thing.

Unfortunately, our team selection process has no way of guaranteeing good team chemistry. I do believe, that when used correctly, team protection at the team selection finals is an indicator that a pilot is capable of forming an effective team dynamic with at least one other pilot. We still have to cross our fingers and hope that the selected team is capable of forming a good team dynamic. If they are not, then a functional solution needs to be found. In some cases, this means the pilot bringing his own caller. While this approach is more expensive, and may or may not be the best thing for the rest of the team, it is usually successful for the pilot that understands what they need to perform their best. Just about every German team I've seen uses this approach. Each pilot has their own team to support them. When Dwight Holly won the World Championships he had his own dedicated team. That World Championships was in the US so it wasn't unreasonable from a cost standpoint. Most of the World Championships are in Europe, so the Germans can afford to do it. In China, the German F3B team could only bring about 8 people (only one more than the US team) vs their typical group of 12 plus when the World Championships are in Europe. It appears that the Germans F3K team also uses a large team to cater to each pilots needs (7 people standing on the podium for the senior team). Since the US team has to travel abroad to attend the World Championships, it really helps from a cost perspective when the pilots have a good team dynamic and work well together. Most of the time the team can't afford to send a dedicated caller for each pilot. So hopefully, the team can figure out how to work together. If they can't, it will be difficult for them to overcome those challenges.

You may or may not find my argument persuasive. If you don't, all I can suggest is you go to a team selection or better yet a World Championship and watch closely how the teams work together. Then form your opinion on what you see/experience there.

Tom
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 09:23 PM
launch height can't fix stupid
United States, CA, Palmdale
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So who wants to team with me? As a shoe-in for the 2015 F3K WC, you all would be well served to start bidding for my services in this TS contest. Cash, food, and more food... Let the bidding war begin!!


Cory

Tom K, sent you a PM.
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 09:48 PM
Turn down for what?
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Originally Posted by Kiesling View Post
all I can suggest is you go to a team selection or better yet a World Championship and watch closely how the teams work together. Then form your opinion on what you see/experience there.
Joe said in his write up of the 2011 F3K worlds that he wishes everyone would have the opportunity at least once to experience a worlds. Truer words are rarely typed. I'm sure there are many roles that the F3X teams would gladly accept help. Certainly it would be a bit of a cost to a person wishing to experience this kind of thing but no more expensive than buying a few F3J planes.

Ryan
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 10:54 PM
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Tom,

I've been to Poway, all the Blue Sky contests (except Colorado), I've seen all the top fliers perform multiple times and none of them have any visible "social skill" deficits".

It's curious that almost all the people who are pushing "team protection" on hlg, against the majority of the hlg fliers, do not come from the hlg community. (Yourself excepted, of course.) And our favorite expatriate, JW, of course, speaks for himself.

There seems to be a suggestion from the other F3X community that says "trust us, we are experienced, it works for us", which is very patronizing to say the least.

Some have suggested that since the finals is planned with Team Protection, that it cannot be changed. Which of course, is nonsense.

I regret if this seems a bit heated and provincial on my part, but as I have said, the reasons for team protection are not persuasive nor for the most part pertinent.

It's probable, that in spite of the polls, nothing will change.

Gary
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 10:54 PM
Launch high. Fly low.
United States, CA, Lake Elsinore
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I can definitely vouch for this.
I know that people said it; my team mate even heard it mentioned, that I had some advantage for being in TFC (Team Fried Chicken).
Did that piss me off? Of course!!! I think it still does!
That's probably why TP gives such a bitter taste for me.

You know what, man... Bring it!

Soar!
Jun C.


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Originally Posted by tom43004 View Post
As a somewhat "outsider" looking in, I think the negative feelings toward team protection are in the potential for it's being used to dodge a serious competitor (teammate) in the prelims.

Sure, you can choose not to use it but you can't choose to NOT have it used against you. Our scoring system doesn't tend to have alot of separation at the top. Every little advantage is a big one, especially if the air even resembles easy.

I'm not sure I have any strong feelings either way but I thought I'd point out my somewhat emotionally detatched point of view.

On a side note... this "other" stuff doesn't really do us any good and has alot of negative potential. I hate to see my friends jabbing at each other for obvious reasons.
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 11:05 PM
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that I had some advantage for being in TFC (Team Fried Chicken).


Anybody that said anything negative is clearly jealous or immature. In my years in this hobby I have heard other stuff said about pilots regarding the money they have to spend on planes, the relationships they have with manufacturers, etc. It is human nature and a fact of life that people will say stuff like that. I know I'm certainly guilty of making negative comments in the past about a pilot's resources.

Ryan
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 11:11 PM
Turn down for what?
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Originally Posted by GaryO View Post

I've been to Poway, all the Blue Sky contests (except Colorado), I've seen all the top fliers perform multiple times and none of them have any visible "social skill" deficits".
People who are really good at things don't necessarily always mesh with other people who are really good at things. You can see this from time to time in professional sports teams.

It is one thing to go to the IHLGF but an event like a world or continental championship is a different animal. There are a lot of different dynamics going on. The most under-appreciated person is the team manager. Few people really understand how much work that is, really only those with the experience of doing it fully understand. It is like of like Red said about Andy's 600 yards of foulness that he can't imagine. Or maybe I just don't want to.

Ryan
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 11:28 PM
launch low, fly high
New Zealand, Hawke's Bay, Havelock North
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I'm going to step back in on this thread, in that I probably have about as much experience in the US team selection process as any soaring pilot in the US. That, and the fact that I think I have been a part of more US gold medal winning soaring teams than any other pilot may be another data point that suggests that I am an advocate of the best possible team result.

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Originally Posted by Kiesling View Post

Unfortunately, our team selection process has no way of guaranteeing good team chemistry. I do believe, that when used correctly, team protection at the team selection finals is an indicator that a pilot is capable of forming an effective team dynamic with at least one other pilot.

Tom
Some interesting inferences here... one is the implied viewpoint that one will benefit from teaming "appropriately". Why not just make the final step in this direction and just select the best three pilot team? If this is inappropriate, then why is the current half-measures approach the most optimal?

I've been on teams with poor chemistry. It turns out that the poor chemistry attribute is not very commutative, and very definitely not distributive. Pilot X and pilot Y may not work well together, but pilot X works well with pilot Z, and pilot Y also works well with pilot Z. Occasionally I've seen a pilot that just does not want to work with their peers, and it is unfortunate for the team. The team protection rule will not influence whether those types of pilots make it on the team in that they tend to select their team based on their team members being able to support them well in their team selection bid instead of picking the best possible flier to team with for the betterment of the pilots on the team.

A good clue is to look at the teaming from past F3J team selections. Look at the teams that put a high percentage of pilots into the top group, they tend to be good team players. This was especially an issue in the early team selections when there was a flyoff for the team selection. The pilot that surrounded himself with "developing" pilots such that there was only one pilot that made the flyoff may not be the type of pilot that is best for a team result. To minimize the effects of teaming with the best pilots, I strongly pushed for not having protection in the team selection events when I was the TSC chairman for US Soaring. This is still something that I feel is appropriate.

FWIW, the NZ teams are selected without team protection, not sure that this "failing" has hurt our performance. In reality, the dynamics and the realities here are quite a bit different than the US so the comparison may be a bit specious... I just do not understand the strong views for the team protection.

IMO if the pilots performance capability is so fragile that there is a strong requirement for a specific caller, I would be worried about how well that pilot will be contributing to the team performance.
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 11:43 PM
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Nice.

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Originally Posted by Joe W View Post
IMO if the pilots performance capability is so fragile that there is a strong requirement for a specific caller, I would be worried about how well that pilot will be contributing to the team performance.
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 11:48 PM
launch low, fly high
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jcats,

That comment was not intended to be reflective of any pilot that currently participates. It was intended to describe my worries about biasing a team selection process towards team protection for the reasons of using a specific caller. I feel that it is far better that the matrix is as fair as possible rather than to provide protection between specific pilots for the purposes of ensuring a specific caller.
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 12:25 AM
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Gotcha, Joe. Agreed about a fair matrix, too.

Jun

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Originally Posted by Joe W View Post
jcats,

That comment was not intended to be reflective of any pilot that currently participates. It was intended to describe my worries about biasing a team selection process towards team protection for the reasons of using a specific caller. I feel that it is far better that the matrix is as fair as possible rather than to provide protection between specific pilots for the purposes of ensuring a specific caller.
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 12:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe W View Post
jcats,

That comment was not intended to be reflective of any pilot that currently participates. It was intended to describe my worries about biasing a team selection process towards team protection for the reasons of using a specific caller. I feel that it is far better that the matrix is as fair as possible rather than to provide protection between specific pilots for the purposes of ensuring a specific caller.
Yes, I see the points, but how "unfair" is the matrix when shielded form a single pilot in a high caliber team selection? Remember, the team selection has a qualifying process, so the average pilots skill level is a bit higher than at a J or B TS event.
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 12:46 AM
launch low, fly high
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From my perspective, the number one item (after the basic flying skill sets) that one should be attempting to select for in a team pilot selection event is adaptability. A pilot needs to adapt to change quickly. This is more true for F3K than any other F3X soaring event due to the relatively low flight altitudes. These changes that require adaptation may be due to changing wind and/or thermals during the course of a contest (or even, a single heat of a single round). It may be a change in the tactics/strategies needed to better the overall team result. It may even be in the capability to change the calling strategy so as to better provide appropriate information for different pilots. Not so much for F3K but for other F3X, it is highly desirable to adapt to the usage of different equipment to better integrate into a team environment.
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 12:59 AM
launch low, fly high
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Originally Posted by djklein21 View Post
Yes, I see the points, but how "unfair" is the matrix when shielded form a single pilot in a high caliber team selection? Remember, the team selection has a qualifying process, so the average pilots skill level is a bit higher than at a J or B TS event.
The fairness of the matrix could be an issue if the top two pilots team together. From what I have seen, the large majority of all pilots that are wanting to seriously participate in the US F3K team selections have gotten qualified along the line. Getting qualified doesn't ensure that the skill level is at a super high level. As has been noted earlier, the qualification process has good benefits outside of restricting the number of pilots going to the TS. I'd suggest that the TS event is largely self restricting in terms of filtering the skill level due to inherent nature of a team selection.

I know for a fact that if I was competing for a spot on the US team when there is team protection that my desired teammate would be ideally one of just a few pilots in order to better optimize my personal result. And yes, my selection criteria would not be primarily for their calling ability... it would have a high weighting factor on performance/adaptability so that we could best adjust to changing conditions and depress the scores of the pilots that we are competing against. This provides the best possibility for our making it into the top three positions.

Add: it isn't only that I would be shielded against the best pilot if I could team with the "best", but that the combination of our two performances has us flying against the majority of the pilots in every round, and hopefully we cumulatively end up depressing the other scores such that we get an edge on making the team.
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 01:17 AM
Jim C
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I am qualified. I have a pilot lined up to team with. Teaming happens at every contest I have attended. Not protected but definitely orchestrated. Timers matter. If people are adamant about timers not being important than step up and call for a totally random timing matrix too. Do that with a completely open entry to make everyone happy. So what say you? No gaggle of top competitors working together. No qualifying, everyone is in at all skill levels and no picking a timer, one will be assigned. Yea, that is the ticket. Let's pole that, I think it would be interesting.

I have been looking forward to competing in my first team selection. I was pleased to be able to qualify by the rules. This level of acidic conversation is making me question the effort.
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