As I’ve written about extensively, I enjoy my work with professional athletes as it allows me to draw many parallels to working professionals. Both are paid to perform to their best ability with the former being so in a microcosm of the performance time compared to the workplace where projects can take months if not years. One of the attributes of successful athletes and teams is film time. I am always impressed at the volume of video made during a game that is then spliced up per athlete or per play and processed for feedback. It is one thing for coaches or teammates to lament about their version of why something went well or not well, and another thing when the play can be viewed in film in hindsight processed objectively like evidence in legal court room. The same is done for opponents to help athletes prepare for who they will be playing against. The film room is a powerful learning forum.
During a college soccer game I recently attended as a sport neuropschologist working for team X, I watched a player from team X kick the ball directly to an opposing player. I quickly scanned the entire field and both coaches/benches. There were multiple interpretations of that play. For the player who made the errand kick, his narrative appeared to be “oh crap. What did I just do?” For his teammates, it could have been anything from “no big deal” to “what an idiot!” to “Can’t believe he just did that.” For the X teammates on the bench, it ranged from “Common, get it back!” to “Coach needs to take him out.” For the X coaches, it could have been “Are you kidding me?” to “We practice those passes every day!” The X home team fans had a sudden gasp of sounds while opposing fans cheered! For the opposing player who got the pass, it was likely “Oh man! This is awesome!” For the opposing teammates, it was a sudden infusion of positive energy and for the opposing coaches I could hear “Let’s go!” chants as they starting running down the sidelines. So what’s the point here? One play by one player caused a vast array of interpretations and narratives. That play is permanently etched in history. However, the narratives of that play will live for much longer, consciously and subconsciously, more so on team X.