50 for 50 Idea #21: Watch your sport more

posted on: May 24, 2018
author: Brian Lomax

When Bill Belichick was a youngster, he used to watch a lot of football film. At the time, his father, Steve, was a coach at the Naval Academy and one of his duties was to scout Navy’s upcoming opponents. That meant a lot of watching of film, and young Bill was there by his side. While analyzing one part of a play, Steve would often ask his son what else was happening on the same play. And of course, his son would tell him exactly what happened. Bill was building his football IQ at an early age.

In 1975, Belichick got his first job in the NFL working for the Baltimore Colts and their new coach, Ted Marchibroda. With the coaching change, the Colts were installing a new system and they needed someone to analyze film, but there was a problem. They had no money to pay anyone for the job. Fortunately, Belichick had already told the Colts he would work for no pay (he just wanted to break in to the NFL anyway he could), so he became Marchibroda’s guy for film. Watching and analyzing so much football film/video helped turn Bill Belichick into one of the greatest coaches in the history of sport.

Idea #21 – Watch your sport more

How much do you watch your sport? If you do watch your sport (and/or others) on a regular basis, what are you actually watching? Are you analyzing what is happening? Are you studying the technique of the best players? Do you understand the strategies and tactics used?

Watching the best competitors in the world can teach us a lot. When I was 11 years old, my favorite tennis player was Bjorn Borg, and I loved his service motion. Every time I played, I tried to emulate that motion so that I could serve like him. I think that actually helped me play better. You’ve probably done something similar with one of your favorite athletes.

When you watch your sport, there is more that you can learn beyond technique. You can also learn patterns of play, strategy and tactics, and how to compete better. Intentionally observing elite athletes and teams doing these things in competition can raise your sport IQ. Seeing what the best do, and then practicing it yourself can then take your performances to a new level.

If you don’t watch much of your sport, commit to watching it more. Start with 30 minutes a week. If you already watch a lot of your sport, try to be more analytical about it. Pretend you’re a coach like Bill Belichick and you have to breakdown and analyze what you are seeing. Bringing this type of attention to watching video will absolutely make you a better competitor because you’ll be smarter than your opponents.

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About the Author

Brian Lomax founded PerformanceXtra™ in 2009 with a mission of helping athletes achieve their goals and their top performances more consistently through a progression of mental skills that enables them to focus on what is truly important.

Learn more about the author: https://performancextra.com/brian-lomax/

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