Watching Film

Happy New Year everybody and welcome back to the best sports & lifestyle blog in the world, Carter's Call! Can you believe that we are already in a new year?!

I hope you all had the opportunity to spend ample time with family, friends and loved ones over the holiday season. I hope even more that you've had the opportunity to reflect on all of your accomplishments over the last 12 month as well as the many technological, economical, social and political moments that commanded our attention throughout 2017. From a sports business/sports law perspective, elements of all the aforementioned topics were present. From the increased number of platforms to consumer sports content, to the continued growth of leagues like the MLS and the movement sparked by martyrs like Colin Kaepernick, 2017 was surely a year to remember. In fact, this movement and its de facto leader are what sparked the inspiration for the first 'Call' of 2018. 

I know what your probably thinking, Christian is going to go in depth about the social injustices and systematic inequalities that plague our country and somehow connect it to sports and tell us to be like Kaepernick. Sorry to disappoint you, but thats not the only lesson I took away from the what has transpired over the last year and a half. While many saw an bold, fearless act, I saw a purposeful, research and calculated demonstration that aimed to spark conversation and evoke action. This demonstration did not begin and end with National Anthem, it begin days, weeks, possibly even months prior when the thoughts first crept into Kaepernick's mind. After careful consideration a game plan was executed. Just as Kaepernick prepared for his opponent on the field, he prepared for the opponents off the field that he would face as soon he finished the game. The approach and preparation are almost identical. Its as if Kaepernick had been 'Watching Film' and creating a game plan on more than just the opposing teams defense. I immediately realized this same approach to preparation could be replicated and implemented in a variety of situations. Hence, the title of this call, 'Watching Film'. 

To provide context, in an athletic setting, 'Watching Film' or the act of watching pre-recorded video, serves two major purposes; past performance review and future competitor analysis. I can recall spending countless hours reviewing practice and game footage with a critical eye. The review process enabled me to identify areas for improvement at a much faster pace than before, which ultimately improved me as a player. The competitor analysis process was equally as beneficial. It assisted coaches and players in forecasting the actions of our opponents to create an accurate plan of attack. This process also made our practice sessions more streamlined and efficient. When I analyze the decision made by Kaepernick, whether you agree with him or not, its clear to me that he used a similar process when deciding to sit for the National Anthem during a 49ers game in September of 2016. He reviewed the many  instances of injustices in both the recent and distance past and developed a plan of action based on what he believed would achieve his desired result.

Like all of the topics we've discussed over the last year, the process of 'Watching Film' doesn't have to be restricted to the sports arena. It is a more than just an act, its an approach and mindset that helps one become more efficient in their preparation/review process. I've implemented this approach in a plethora of situations in my life, including; job interviews, speaking engagements, etc. When 'Watching film' in other settings, its essential to maintain the framework and adjust it to that specific situation. For example, when preparing for a job interview, I always begin by reviewing my background and experiences to determine what I have to offer and or what I've learned from each experience. This is just another way of executing a performance review. The next step, would be to research the company, the desired position and if possible, the interviewer. Gathering this information allowed me to develop a strategy specific to the audience I was performing for. This step also helped improve efficiency during my preparation as I was able to focus directly on the strategy. Again, another way of articulating a future competitor analysis. 

As you can see from the examples in the previous paragraphs, 'Watching Film' is beneficial in many situations. This multistep approach can be the difference between execution and failure. I can think of countless examples when Watching Film served me well in the field of competition, in the classroom and in my professional life. Contrarily, the times I didn't 'Watch Film' and took an opponent, an interview for granted, the results were consistently undesirable. An professional athlete like Colin Kaepernick would never enter a game without 'Watching Film' on his opponent nor would he make a career altering decision like sitting for the National Anthem, without 'Watching Film' on the risks associated. You should never embark on a meaningful mission or make an important decision without 'Watching Film'. Not every film session will result in a life changing result, but incorporating this tool in your toolbox will ensure you're thoroughly prepared for every opportunity and putting your best foot forward. 

Thanks for reading, until next time.

- Christian A Carter