Do you remember when most all Americans, coaches included, thought ‘rondo’ meant this:
Now we’re a bit more educated, but still have a long way to go on the rondo front.
Today I want to introduce another topic, that of ‘checking your shoulder‘.
Many have been saying that phrase quite often but, much like the rondo, most are missing a ton of depth and nuance. As a result, we’re not correctly identifying this player attribute.
By far, most players [outside elite pros] you identify as ‘checking their shoulder‘ are doing it to see if there’s pressure nearby. By far, they are not scanning the field to assess what their next decision is – not to mention what 2 or 3 moves into the future could be.
That, my friends, is truly ‘checking your shoulder‘. That’s next level. And that’s what separates special from average. Well, let’s be careful; we’ve also got to consider what level the player is exhibiting this at. Context matters.
Learning to ID these players who are next level takes a ton of experience. But at least now we’re aware there’s more to it than witnessing a simple head swivel.
Below is a video to help illustrate.
The Player: Carlos (Charly) Anguiano (b. 9/28/2000)
The Comp Level: Highest global club (vs FC Barcelona)
p.s. Oh … and good luck with analytics, on its own, capturing this. Topic for another day. 🙂