Moderator: Van Canna
They all say that action always beats reaction. We've known this for decades. Centuries even. Reaction is a “curve behind the eight ball." There are big delay mistakes and little ones all in a scale. When you are completely surprised and/or ambushed, its a zero-to-sixty problem. A really worst case scenario. Not only was your head not in the game, you didn't even know you were playing the game! Ambush!
If you are in the game, head up and aware, you might still have drifts and distractions take your mind away for any periods of time, short or long. You're dressed. You're on the ball field. But, you failed to watch the runner on second base. You missed something even when looking right at it. That's cognitive drift. Mini-ambushes of the mind. On a mission, but you drift occasionally making the next event, a mini-surprise, not zero-to-sixty, but thirty-to-sixty response? It is like you are streaming in a movie, and the stream suddenly stops for a second. What mechanical thing happened?
Coaches use to shout at us...
“Keep your head in the game!”
Who, what, where, when, how and why. “What was I thinking at that exact second?” "How did I miss the ball? Miss the suspect escape? Miss the critical shot? Drop the pass? Forget the answer? Lose the race? Failure, failure, choke, choke, choke, etc., etc...
Well it is not just about that split second. There is also a "before and an after" that exact second that is very much involved in performance and the preparatory training. The subjects of cognitive delay, the cognitive drift, the mental distraction and even flat-out, daydreaming which can directly cause hiccups, mistakes and problems.
You see the first response in any situation is often connected to exactly what the person was thinking right before the incident itself. The second before. That is why ambushes are usually quite successful and have defeated the greatest militaries of the world. A person must get in the fight, in a zero-to-sixty escalation in a complete, cold ambush.
But...so, if you are staring at the stakeout, watching the heart chart during emergency surgery, whatever and you miss your move? I have also heard this called Cognitive Drift. The concentration drifts. The term fell into the emergency medical and hospital fields in 2008 when experts began to study mistakes in hospital care and surgeries. One of the big mistakes identified was this “cognitive drift.”
Personnel were not concentrating exactly on what they were doing, their thoughts ‘drifted' and as our governments would say in their best third-person, elusive defense - “mistakes were made.” Abstractly taking the blame in a new, mysterious, third-person framework. Handling this drift is a big challenge for people like surgeons, jet pilots, I hate to use the term, but here goes - "gunfighters," - to name just a few to must react like lightening.
Some upper echelon bodyguard companies won't even hire people they deem addictive personalities. People addicted to simple things like cigarettes or caffeine enter into this easily-distracted category because they might have a passing thought/fancy about a cigarette or a latte too much at the wrong times. Given the time length of many security assignments, this mission-only mind set is a real mental challenge.
Delays. Distractions. Drift. Daydreaming. About bills, shopping lists, movies, babes, hunks, cars, sex, cigarettes, coffee, clothes...all the "Who, what, where, when, and how that takes your head out of the game? Identify these things and these times and work to improve your concentration for when it really counts.
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