Monday, November 23, 2015

Coup d'œil

Inspired by the insightful post of Alex Kirby at Life After Football , I wanted to offer feedback on this same process with an emphasis on developing a routine for interpreting live football broadcasts. The method I'll outline is one that I've used for years while being in the box for gameday communication.

What we'll outline here is how to assess the next play that is going to be run before that play starts.  The beauty here is this is a skill you can hone with hundreds of reps at your leisure. Likely, you will already be watching 12 hours of football each weekend that you can practice with.  Let's assume you watch 3 or 4 football games in a weekend. That translates to roughly 450 - 500 repetitions to train your brain with instant feedback to develop this skill. This allows you to stay engaged with any broadcast, playing this game (within a game broadcast) but also developing a skillset invaluable to football coordinating.  Watching games dispassionately, just focusing on formations and areas of the field,  allows you to develop an intelligence towards predicting outcomes.  Naturally, the type of plays called will depend on the play-caller, but those become exceptions to the rule.  The more you exercise this technique, the more scenarios you will have to draw from because you will receive instant feedback once the play is run (were you right or wrong? What did you learn from your hypothesis?).

When all is said and done, it really is the commander's coup d'œil, his ability to see things simply, to identify the whole business of war completely with himself, that is the essence of good generalship. Only if the mind works in this comprehensive fashion can it achieve the freedom it needs to dominate events and not be dominated by them. -Carl von Clausewitz