03: Slow down
Biggest learning this week was to remember to slow down. Time moves faster as you get older, just slow down.
Sivers book notes: Courage to be disliked
Ton of tidbits from Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga’s book, Sivers notes are great.
Notes that stood out with my own perspective:
Meaning to experiences: we are not determined by our experiences, but by the meaning we give them.
Something doesn’t go your way, you label yourself a failure, not always true.
Anger: personal anger is nothing but a tool for making others submit to you. Anger is a form of communication, and that communication is possible without using anger.
When you’re angry, explain how you feel and ask questions, don’t shout or scream. It’s silly.
The past: no matter what has occurred in your life up to this point, it has no bearing at all on how you live from now on.
Emphasis on how you live from now on. You get to choose.
Relationships: forming good interpersonal relationships requires a certain degree of distance. You can’t read a book if you push it up against your face, nor hold it too far away.
Distance. Moderation. Balance. All of it’s needed. Be grounded, be centered.
Judgement: you see only a part of things but judge the whole.
You generalize. Got to hear both sides.
Happiness: Happiness is the feeling of contribution. If you really have a feeling of contribution, you will no longer have any need for recognition from others.
If you’re feeling down, try contributing in a positive way and you will feel better.
Change: no matter what moments you are living, or if there are people who dislike you, as long as you do not lose sight of the guiding star of I contribute to others, you will not lose your way, and you can do whatever you like.
Stats by Lopez
Michael Lopez runs data and analytics for the NFL. This series of posts is fascinating, and almost feels like an epiphany reading it.
- there’s no single piece of public information that is more accurate and informative with respect to a professional sports game than the closing odds
- luck plays an enormous role in sports outcomes, randomness happens a lot, especially in NFL and MLB
- don’t just look at standings, betting markets tell more predictive story
- in the playoffs, the best team doesn’t always win, NBA is an exception
- single elimination tournaments add noise
Couple more posts are in the works for this series. Curious how this would expand to college markets, Michael gave some insight there.
Bill Connelly and Bill Walsh
This football therapy post is super interesting. It felt almost like reading Basketball on Paper. Didn’t realize Walsh wrote ins and outs of football.
Most important factors:
- Normal down and distance in the open field
- Backed-up situations near the goal line
- Third downs
- Different levels of the red zone
- Blitz situations
Importance of success rate is huge. All about down and distance:
So, if you get 50 percent of necessary yardage on first down, 70 percent on second down, or 100 percent on third or fourth down, it’s a successful play — and accordingly, success rate becomes an on-base percentage type of measure for football.
Want to dig in more on this post, and it changes way I watch the game.
Upside podcast with Dean Oliver
Good conversation with Dean Oliver on state of basketball analytics, and he hints a new version of Basketball on Paper is coming soon.
Four factors are still where it all starts. It gives the sport a framework on how to improve and what wins in the game.
There is danger in using plus/minus and lineup combinations because the amount of time players are on court together is usually not long enough. Sample size is too small. Competition plays a huge role here. You simply don’t have much data, and it’s tough to capture interactions.
If something jumps out as surprising, be careful because it could just be something random.
Models are always approximations of reality. Oliver references how he couldn’t project Steve Nash right. When you tweak a model, you improve ones you got wrong, but lose the ones you got right. A lot of intangibles are involved, qualitative data.
Steal percentage is a good indicator of who is going to be successful. Some players go for steals too much though.
A weekday newsletter with top stories in sports. It’s delightful to read. Feels so honest, and simple. Cool project.
This abstracts of baseball abstracts is fun to read. So many tidbits about how to think a bit differently.
- be specific - why not separate fielding from throwing when looking at errors?
- looking at player performance, access team age - be specific, a player is 29.8 years old, not just 29
- runs scored and prevented is a valid test that correlates with winning
- it’s good to be an outsider, there is a different perspective than an insider
- context is really important, park effects is bigger influence than you think
- whenever you talk yourself into needing a player, you pay too much
- things that can’t be measured easily are still incredibly important
Want to read more of these summaries of the abstracts.
Also, found his post from 2017 really interesting - multiple things can be true. Controversial subject, but a lot of objectivity and common sense.
Quote that sums it up
- We’re overlooking the root of the problem. The root of the problem is enforced patriotism. Forcing people to go through patriotic gestures has always been a poor idea.
Metaphor that made sense
- Bill James asks if you can tell the height of a tree by standing beside it and looking up. “No, of course not; it’s too big.” He says you must stand back and look at the tree from a distance to get an idea how tall it is.
- wrote article on Julius Peppers, best defensive end in college basketball
- fooled with football statistics some, charting games and success rate
- interest in creating site that remixes classic games, yesterday’s games today
No real developments working with R this week, need to explore it more with data in future.
- Ask why, and ask why again
- If you want to someone to do something for you, use the word because or tell them why
- Slow down, breathe
- A proper distance is necessary for all relationships to work
- Be objective