We’ve all heard the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Like all aphorisms, it may be overly simplistic, but it springs from truth. First impressions can be dangerous.
But, approached correctly, first impressions also can be powerful. Come in uninformed, ignore the contextual factors impacting the player’s performance, form a concrete opinion based on one viewing? That’s a recipe for disaster. Do homework ahead of time, keep an open mind, use what you see to generate further questions for investigation? The first impression can tell you a lot. It lets you understand the player more holistically and begin to map out the next steps of exploration.