Game: Titans at Steelers AND Falcons at Seahawks
Play: Two of the very best in the game showing off their sixth sense of skill
What makes this the BTS Play of the Week?
Given enough time (weeks over the course of a season and reps within a game), the highest level of perennial performers of the NFL will shine bright for all to see. Often times, this happens in the same week (or sometimes even the same game) and sometimes, the plays that they make, are eerily similar to one another in the movement attributes and problem solving characteristics that they flowed from. Of course, this is precisely the case this week! Because of this, two players are awarded our Movement Play of the Week for Week 11.
Maybe the player who has been a mainstay at Football Beyond the Stats more than any other in the League over the years is week 11’s first standout performer who just so happens to be our 2015 Mover of the Year, Pittsburgh Steeler WR, Antonio Brown. Annually, AB84 is on our short list to be standing at the end of the year as the most skilled doing it and this year is no different. Click here below to see our 2015 write-up on AB84.
Not to be outdone, we find a guy that has also gotten love here before in our Super Bowl preview last year as well as being named Third Team on our All-Movement Team for 2016 (note: Brown as our First Team WR). This also marks the second week in a row that an Atlanta Falcon was given our Movement Play of the Week. You can check out what I had to say last year about one of the most athletic guys in the game during last year’s Super Bowl movers to watch. NOTE: Yes; I am aware that the pics included in this breakdown are not of Julio’s catch on Monday night, but I was unable to find a clear pic of it online yet…so bear with me!
What happened movement-wise on the play?
I frequently discuss how important the sensory and perceptual systems are in the coordination and control of movement and sport skills. Without them (the sensory and perceptual systems) being highly attuned to the task-relevant information at-hand on the particular play, the self-organization of movement solutions that emerge will be far from optimal. It’s because of this that I always attempt to understand where the individual’s sensory-perceptual skill level resides and how the processes of these systems are integrating in the display of movement to determine how the player is connecting with the environment.
When we think of sensory and perceptual skill, we almost always gravitate towards discussing the visual system. To a certain degree this is rightfully so, as our visual system brings in a vast majority of the informational input to guide the decisions that we make and the movement actions which emerge. However, we are complete sensory beings! And the information that our sensory systems bring in is highly rich if we learn how to use all the systems together…from the visual system and all the way through the other four of the five senses…and along with what I refer to as the sixth sense of skill coordination and control; kinesthetic sense & awareness. In a nutshell, this characteristic is essentially the possession of a supreme understanding (whether it’s a conscious understanding or more subconscious one) of where one’s body is in time and space and what is occurring as they are performing a respective movement action.
The examples of when we can witness the contribution of kinesthetic sense & awareness on display are endless on any given play on any given Sunday. However, there is probably no better time to see it than when a guy has to go up and assist his quarterback in a highly contested situation and attempt to snag in a ball in a unique and novel fashion. Another former All-Movement Team member, Odell Beckham Jr, is known as a recent master of those individuals who routinely make these types of grabs and end up on highlight reels across the league. That said, our two performers today are right there with Beckham in this category as we are about to find out.
I am going to do things a bit out of order here so you can see what I am referring to. Thus, go ahead and watch these plays now.
Click here to see our past Mover of the Year in action:
Next, click below to watch see Julio trying to on up his past performances and AB84 here:
As you can see from the plays, the sixth sense of movement was prominent and reigned supreme! In fact, I think we can say that kinesthetic sense & awareness was the key performance indicator leading to the success of the movement organization of Brown and Jones. Sure, they needed to be the right place at the right time in relation to the opponent and the ball. They also needed to have extraordinary confidence in catching the ball in various extreme fashions especially when it’s not exactly where one is expecting it to be. Additionally, of course, it could also be argued that both of those two aforementioned features are influenced by one possessing the highest levels of kinesthetic sense & awareness!
Often, I will hear coaches say that this aspect of one’s movement and sport skill is un-teachable and innately given by nature. However, I just don’t believe this to be true. In fact, I believe it is a quality that can be developed over time if we attempt to prioritize it accordingly and place our players in environmental situations where they must sense & perceive where they are in space constantly and have to control their movement actions in unpredictable problematic situations (such as guys knocking them off-balanced, or catching the ball one-handed at various angles & speeds, etc). Thus, though we should marvel at what Brown and Jones did on Sunday (and what they frequently do), we should also use them as an example of where we should head with our own athletes.