Progress starts with intuition

The world is changing. And that change is happening at incredible speed. Good decisions are required to make successful progress from one day to the next. And these are made, above all, when human beings allow themselves to listen to and follow a very specific gift: intuition.

06/16/2021 Reading Time: 3 min

Audi Q4 e-tron: Power consumption, combined*: 18.3–15.2 kWh/100km (NEDC); 21.4–17.0 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

Audi Q4 e-tron: Power consumption, combined*: 18.3–15.2 kWh/100km (NEDC); 21.4–17.0 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

Intuition – instantly right

Intuition is an ability that every human being basically possesses. Individual talent is about relying on it at the crucial moments, especially when you have a lot of traffic in your face and very little time to make decisions.

“Intuition is intelligence at excessive speed.”

 Italian proverb

Of course, we’re referring to football here. ‘Traffic’ is the term used by British sports journalists when they see a lot of opponents around a player on the pitch and little room for play to develop. What now? Come up with a creative solution to make space, or retreat and hold on to the ball? Or even lose possession? The game doesn’t stop so you can think about it. Even in the regional leagues, there’s hardly time for extensive reflection and weighing up decisions during the game. In the Bundesliga everything runs at full tilt, and when you are playing against the world’s top teams – well, forget it! Extreme speed puts everyone under noticeable pressure when making decisions. And you can only really avoid this pressure by transforming it into a creative idea through intuitive decisions made in milliseconds. At least that is the public perception that intuition creates in the event of success. “It all looked so effortless again” – exactly, because the right decisions were made intuitively.

© Imago

© Imago

“If you’re thinking about it, it’s already too late.”

— Gerd Müller, Bayern Munich legend

The shorter a decisive moment in the match is and the more dynamically it seeks to develop into the next game situation, the more clearly decision-making patterns are shaped by intuition at this moment. Because intuition deals not only with what is immediately in focus and observable, but unconsciously processes what you can just see developing out of the corner of your eye: opposing players moving into an attack formation. Spaces in your immediate vicinity that are occupied. Intuition doesn’t ask: will a teammate be able to play the final pass? Should you give up a position in midfield even if this drastically increases the chance of a breakaway by the opposing team if you lose possession? Intuition says one thing: that’s where it goes right now! Or as they say in Bavaria: “jetzat!” (“do it now!”). Lucas Hernandez is moving behind the halfway line. The midfield is moving up. Alphonso Davies with a cross from the goal-line, Leon Goretzka is unmarked and ready to volley the ball into the net. Three players who intuitively do the right thing. One-nil to FC Bayern.

Can intuition be learned?

Intuition has a lot to do with the fact that your professional expertise has been fully developed. Admittedly, that is sometimes hard – think tactical drills in the cold and wet – but achievable. It’s about training your own sensibility by being confronted with as many different game situations as possible and sensing the big, reproduceable patterns in them that work for you – patterns that separate correct from incorrect again and again and therefore distinguish the intuitively correct decision from “losing touch with reality”.

© Imago

© Imago

The quality of intuition in decision-making, however, always has something to do with individual talent and the ability to marshal everything you have learned for yourself as an overall experience on the pitch. What you can realistically expect comes from the maximum that is possible, along with the right decision. Or just the intuitively correct one – in milliseconds. A unique, creative, brilliant moment. Superlatives are on first-name terms with intuition.

Both in the youth academies and the associations, work is being done to give players a complete picture of their game and all eventualities, including the necessary self-confidence to listen to their gut instinct and be guided by intuition. Time and again, these ‘forges’ produce players who intuitively do something special – regardless of their position on the pitch, in defence or attack. But, of course, training can’t do everything, it can’t enable players to experience every conceivable game situation. This is where talent comes in and turns players into stars. Leon Goretzka takes possession superbly from the midfield because he not only has a concept of the course of the game, but because he intuitively backs the right outcome. Davies draws level with opposing players on the flank because he senses his opponent will lose the ball and has intuitively positioned himself correctly for the breakaway. Hernandez suddenly has a ball at his feet again because he was already obstructing the opposing striker when the latter didn’t even know how the next tackle would occur.

“... it’s precisely from this type of player that you form a top team who can achieve everything as a unit.”

— Oliver Kahn, Member of the Executive Board, FC Bayern München AG

When these intuition-driven individual decisions come together, something emerges in team sport that sticks in the minds of fans. A team that excels individually and dominates collectively. Intuitive, correct decisions, an edge over the competition, collective success and always electrifying moments of genius. Everything seems so simple. You couldn’t have imagined anything better. And there was no need to, because you have already done it right intuitively.


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Shaped by progress
Shaped by progress

Shaped by progress

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Audi Q4 e-tron: Power consumption, combined*: 18.3–15.2 kWh/100km (NEDC); 21.4–17.0 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

Audi Q4 e-tron: Power consumption, combined*: 18.3–15.2 kWh/100km (NEDC); 21.4–17.0 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km


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