Day 466 – Creative Like Bill Belichick, Pt.1.

I’m not trying to alienate anyone here by mentioning the New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick. I understand that the franchise and the coach are like Marmite – you love them or you hate them.

For full disclosure I am a San Francisco 49ers fan, but as a sports coach you have got to learn from the best and the 6 Super Bowl victories simply make him the best.

I was listening to the Sky Sports NFL podcast, with the excellent Neil Reynolds and Jeff Reinebold, where they were finishing up their pre-season ‘state of the franchise’ thoughts and the final team being mentioned was the Patriots.

It occurred to me that surely the secrets of Belichick’s success could be applied to being creative.

Hear me out.

Players on a team are ultimately a set of skills and experiences. The coach uses those skills and experiences to craft a win. You get enough wins in a season then you get the big prize at the end; but even if you don’t, those wins remain achievements in themselves.

As a creative you gather together as many skills and experiences as you can. You use those to produce a piece of work. You put together a good enough body of work then you are often acknowledged/rewarded/awarded titles and prizes.

Let me be more specific.

You are a writer. You gather your group of players – in this case authors/books/characters/plots from across all your years of reading. You use this knowledge, these skills and experiences, to write a chapter – to win. You win as many regular season games as you can – you write as many chapters as successfully as you can. Losses and ties mean you need to do some revision. The post-season is where you hone it all down to that last championship game – the finished novel.

Perhaps, alternatively, the different games in the normal season are different types of writing. The post-season is your overall body of work.

The head coach is the natural editor in your brain. A little more of this. A little less of that. Those elements for that particular match, or these elements for this piece of writing, in order to be successful.

Hopefully, you can see where I am going with this.

Tomorrow, I will try and convince you of what Bill Belichick can bring to our creative endeavours.

Day 456 – Sunday Reflection.

For about twelve hours, the Welsh rugby team were number one in the world rankings. Then a poor showing against England saw them slip back to number two. Poor defence contrasted heavily with the one which secured them the Grand Slam in the 6 Nations. Too much reliance on training park moves saw players going to ground without even being tackled. But the real reason for the Welsh slip was the fact that I watched the first half of the match. I knew I should have just let it record and then watch the glorious victory later on, but caught up in the excitement of cementing that number one spot, I succumbed to impulse over over fair reason. As a sports fan, life is an endless journey of finely tuned decisions which can affect your team. If you don’t believe me, then look at the 49ers preseason win over Dallas – I didn’t watch it live and they won. Okay, I had no way of actually watching the match anyway but that isn’t the point. I didn’t watch the Wigan game and they beat Hull KR. I also didn’t watch the Canberra Raiders NRL game and they did lose. As I said, it is a fine line to walk.

Day 97 – The Sports Edition.

Several sports related observations:

Hope has returned to my view of Wigan Warriors! Castleford Tigers were beaten on Friday night, in the first round of the Super-Eight.

As a bonus, Saint Helen’s loss in the Challenge Cup semi-final and the first round of the Super-Eight, might cast cold water on my belief that they were going to clear up the titles and trophies this season.

The icing on the cake must come in the form of Shaun Edwards being named as Wigan head coach from the 2020 season!

The San Francisco 49ers beat the Dallas Cowboys in the first pre-season game of the season.

When I was first introduced to the NFL, the first team I watched was the Niners with Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, et.al, and they became my team for simply playing in red and being the first team I watched.

The biggest rivalry for the 49ers seemed to be the Cowboys, and it might only be pre-season but beating them at home seems to be a good omen for the season ahead.

I am still smiling at the Welsh cyclist Geraint Thomas winning the Tour de France!

There are some great sports documentaries out there at the moment.

HBO Sports and NFL’s Hard Knocks is a great behind-the-scenes look at how an NFL team prepares for the season ahead. This year they are with the Cleveland Browns. All I am saying is, it is emotional!

Amazon’s All or Nothing is equally as compelling, following teams through the season. The Dallas Cowboys are up for the 2017 season.

The ‘franchise’ has branched out into College football, with the Michigan Wolverines, as well as Rugby Union, following the New Zealand All Blacks through their encounter with the British and Irish Lions this year.

The sports book I am most looking forward to coming out is John Feinstein‘s Quarterback: Inside the Most Important Position in the National Football League, in November.