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Self-Scouting

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It’s late January and this weekend the NFL conference championship games will be played, the winners moving on to compete in the Super Bowl LVII on February 12. It’s a great time for football fans, to say the least: there will be drama and compelling storylines to follow, predictions and wagers to be made, and, of course, parties to be held on the big night, full of food, drink and merriment.

I personally like to look at sports for lessons I can take into my business and personal pursuits. For a while I have been contemplating the practice of self-scouting, which top teams employ, and I think we can all engage in. Essentially it is a periodic look at one’s tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses to determine where one can improve.

What are things a football team looks for in self-scouting? There are obvious issues like penalties and mistakes players make, on both sides of the ball. On offense, third down and red zone efficiency are of importance. Which plays work and which don’t? For the defense, it will look at points and yards allowed, turnovers and sacks. Then one can delve into finer points, such as whether the quarterback has predictable movements (i.e. telegraphing where he is going to throw) the opposing defense can capitalize on, whether a defensive back tends to play out of position, allowing receivers to make plays.

In my view the process is all about gathering the data on these issues then deciding where there can be: a) improvement of current methods; b) scrapping of methods and/or c) trying entirely new and different ones.

Okay, so how am I doing with my own self-scouting? I think over the years one of my strengths with Soleares has been that of consistency, with certain areas of the industry (the monthly fund reports, product filings, the quarterly stock-traded insurers’ results) covered with regularity. As for mistakes in my commentaries and research I have made my fair share and when I do, I seek to address them promptly. In fact, I will go back and touch up prior reports, however slightly, long after publication.

But self-analysis is difficult, and I can do much better in that department; it’s on my list of things to improve upon in 2023. What I noticed in reading about self-scouting is that it’s something that teams do on an ongoing basis – not just occasionally – and they have personnel dedicated to doing it.

So moving forward I will make every effort to self-scout, take what I learn from the process, and act on it.

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