Wednesday, December 07, 2005

deep philosophy and concussions

This past weekend The New York Times Magazine featured a long article by Michael Lewis, "Coach Leach Goes Deep, Very Deep." I don't even like football, but I'll read anything by Michael Lewis, and this article was definitely well worth reading. Lewis specializes in people approaching familiar problems in wildly novel ways, and their successes not only inspire but provide insights into other fields.

Here's something about a problem familiar in our field, tempo:

[Leach] had been harping on tempo all week: he thinks the team that wins is the team that moves fastest, and the team that moves fastest is the team that wants to. He believes that both failure and success slow players down, unless they will themselves not to slow down. "When they fail, they become frustrated," he says. "When they have success, they want to become the thinking-man's football team. They start having these quilting bees, these little bridge parties at the line of scrimmage."

So many times in my own practice I've found it equally dangerous to pat myself on the back or kick myself in the butt - they both draw me out of focus. The article is quite long, but it's filled with little gems like that.

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