Still Talking About Timeouts

Posted by

I was thinking some more about timeouts. I am thinking about the reasons for taking them and the optimal timing for them.  One thing strikes me fairly strongly.
The most common reason for taking a timeout is to break the momentum of a team which has served some number of points (normally two or three) in a row.
If a team does not win the rally after a timeout then surely the reason for the original timeout still exists and logically the coach should immediately take another one. But he never does…


  1. Thinking about timeouts, I continued as well. Since I don’t run such a marvelous blog, I’m (mis)using this one to articulate my thoughts.
    I think the idea to think of situations, in which you never consider to take a timeout (e.g. you just had one, which didn’t work out) is quite promising. I guess what should be taken into account is that every timeout you take, is a timeout for your opponent as well. Assuming that important (maybe the only real?) functions of timeouts are to communicate new information to the team and to alter the emotional state of the group, it follows that you should never take a timeout, when you think the opposite coach has some urgent needs to do the one or the other. This line of thought to me offers some explanation, of why you cannot find a strong correlation between timeouts and the next points played, by just looking at score sheets with only your statistical goggles on: Good timeout-coaches simply cancel out with bad timeout-coaches. What would be really interesting to have is a study, that gives some theory-driven, qualitativ analyses of the quality of timeouts and correlate this with the success in the next points played (maybe in relationship to overall scoring-rates in the particular games).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s