Shunsuke Nakamura, ''Reflection improves your sensemaking''


A few days ago, I was interviewed by a sports magazine about intuition. The publisher was very interested in how sports instructors (mainly for pre-schoolers and school children) can build intuition. I think any sports instructors and atheletes would like to know about some effective methods to improve intuition.

In my previous blog articles, I have talked about intuition of acupuncture doctors. To make you feel refreshed, let's talke about footall (soccer). To find out your new ideas, there are many hints and suggestions outside your specialty. In fact, we, NDM researchers, observe experts in various fields.

Shunsuke Nakamura is one of top Japanese professional footballers, who belongs to Jubilo Iwata as an attacking midfielder in J1 League. He used to play as a member of the Japanese National Football team and in Europe with Espanyol, Celtic, and Reggina. He won the awards of J. League Most Valuable Players (MVP) in 2000 and 2013, AFC Asian Cup MVP in 2004, Scottish Premier League through 2006 to 2007.

In 200, Nakaramura released his book about sensemaking. In this book, he shared his personal experience about sensemaking. He stated that, to outperform other top players, he needs to be aware of subtle situation changes, make right judgments and decisions. In the field of cognitive psychology, this thought process is known as sensemaking.

Here is a question: 'How can we build strong sensemaking?'

Nakaramura recommends taking so-called 'My Football Notebook'. When he was a 11th grader, his coach told him and his teammates to take notes before and after every match. Nakamura recalled only he kept taking notes after a while. He wrote anything he noticed in his notebooks --his strength, weaknesses, teammates, rivals, next purposes, training, etc. He is now 40 years old, he is still taking notes after the match. He points out that such his habit improves sensemaking.

In cognitive psychology, reviewing the past events and personal experience is called reflection. More importantly, we should reflect ourselves and action critically and objectively. When you reflect yourself, ask yourself like these, 'What did you think at that time?' 'Why did you choose this course of action?' 'What would have happened if you chose other course of action?'

Practice will not necessarily make you perfect. Perfect practice makes you perfect. To make your practice perfect, reflective note taking would be one of good methods to build your sensemaking and intuition.

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