When former Cal star Jordan Kunuszyk was beginning to take football seriously back in high school, he’d take the time to watch film just because he believed that’s what he was supposed to do.
“I didn’t know what I was watching,” Kunaszyk now admits.
That has changed. Kunaszyk watches game tape these days with passion and understanding, and an appreciation for how it impacts his performance.
During game week the past several years at Cal, Kunaszyk on his own would watch perhaps two of three hours of opponent film each day plus an hour of Cal tape.
Players have the option of watching film on their iPads at home, but Kunaszyk also kept home life and football separate. He’d settle in at the football office and know it was time to work. At home, he said, there could be too many distractions.
Besides his coaches at Cal, Kunaszyk gives credit to a couple past coaches for helping him understand what he’s watching on film and how it can impact his performance on Saturdays. He said Tim McDowell, his JV coach at Roseville High, was a big influence, as was Lou Bias, the defensive coordinator at American River College.
“There’s still so much I can learn. Each year I get better and better,” he said this week, while sharing a film session with five reporters. “There’s a lot of smart football players out there. But I think I have a real high football IQ.”
Kunaszyk has become convinced that the mental side the game provides him a potential advantage.
“God blessed with me with what I have. I just continue to work hard on my body and my preparation and I know that some people aren’t willing to put in more time,” he said. “Football is very important to me. It’s one of my top priorities in life and I want to be great at it. I know that’s not easy to do.
“So what can I do to allow myself to be a better football player? I can watch film. I can get an extra edge. Let’s say I watch 15 hours of film in a week, even if I can make just one play to impact the team and help us win the game, the it was worth it. There’s so many plays over the course of the year if I didn’t watch film I wouldn’t be able to make.”
In the video above, Kunaszyk talks in more detail on what how believes film study benefits him.