“If you don’t know where you are going,
you’ll end up someplace else.”—Yogi Berra
Legendary football coach Paul Brown receives credit for being the first football coach to use game film. He believed the film would help expose the weaknesses of his opponents. Today, game film is pretty much a staple with athletic teams. Not only can it help a team focus on other teams, game film directs a team’s attention on itself. What do its players do well and not so well? It is a tool for raising awareness.
How about you? Do you have game film? How do you know what you are really doing in any given space in your life? (No, I am NOT talking about a “selfie!”)
Just like the athletes, we would do well to take some time and watch what we do. The Japanese refer to kaizen—small adjustments for consistent improvement. But if we are not truly aware of what we are (or are not) doing, how can we make movement for improvement?
So, this week, let’s explore a few different “tools” we can use for our “game film.” These techniques allow us to reflect on what we have done—after we have done it.
Video recommendation for the week:
Once you have read the following, take a moment and post a comment about what you do to raise your awareness level. Let’s build a catalog of strategies!
Examples of “game film”:
- Video. We would be hard pressed to find many people who don’t have some sort of video camera in their pockets. If they have a smart phone, they have a camera. I have used video during rehearsals, in class, and on stage. Sometimes it is difficult to watch (self-conscious moments) but every time it has been helpful for me to improve my speaking and teaching “game.”
- Audio. When I rehearsed for my TEDx talk a couple of months ago, many nights I turned on my phone’s voice recorder. I then would listen to my delivery while in the gym or sitting in a quiet corner of my home. This helped me identify weaknesses in my delivery.
- Mentor. This is the wise person (or people) you trust. You ask for and they provide candid advice and guidance.
- Accountability partners. Find someone who will hold you to a high standard. This could be a mentor. Or it could be a close friend or associate who has permission to metaphorically kick your butt when you stray off course. A colleague of mine refers to these people as NOBS (No B.S. friends).
- Clearness committee. This Quaker practice helps a person seek answers from within. During this Socratic practice the members don’t “give” advice; they ask clarifying questions.
- Journaling. Consider writing your thoughts. Reflective practice (such as journaling) forces us to slow down and consider what we are doing/have done. If we pay attention to ourselves, we will do well to question our own stories.
- Read your archives. Story has it that whenever Harry Truman would write a fiery letter, he would then place it in his desk drawer for three days. He would come back to it then, re-read it, reflect on it, and decide whether to send it. As I remember the end of the story (apocryphal?) he often chose not to send the letter. Look back at some of your email archives, social media posts or personal videos. Are you pleased with your responses and posts? Were they “spot on” or reactive rants? You might find yourself saying, “Did I really say that?”
Take time this week to make a plan for how you will capture your game film. Without reflective time you may be missing a wonderful opportunity to raise your awareness of where you have been, where you are, and where you would like to go.
Or in the words of the New York Yankee Hall of Fame catcher, Yogi Berra, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”
Make it a wonderful week—H.T.R.B. as needed.
Information on my newest book, Choices for College Success (3rd ed.), can be found at Pearson Education.
(c) 2014. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.