By Joe Jessop
For high school basketball coaches, breaking down game film can be very frustrating because of the demands of teaching in a classroom as well. After all…basketball coach isn’t your only job. Here are 6 quick tips to help you break down game film more effectively so you are not spending so many hours staring at a screen.
- Start by watching the defensive end of the floor first. It is amazing what you will learn about your team and the over-all game by focusing on the defense aspect of the game. I will literally fast forward each possession to the defensive side so that I don’t get caught up and side tracked by the offensive side of the floor (this is very easy to do). When I fast forward to only one aspect of the game I become very focused and it only takes about 20-30 minutes to break down the defense and have some solid notes written in my basketball coaching planner. Next, I will do the same thing with the offensive end of the floor.
- Don’t get bogged down in every single possession. As coaches we have a tendency to read too much into the breakdown of each possession. The game of basketball moves too fast and there is very little if any transition time. Therefore, if you focus on each possession you will get slowed down in details and it will take hours upon hours to finish watching game film. The key is to look for overall important tendencies. For example: When I am breaking down the defensive end I may notice that my team is not taking away the baseline drive. I will note that in by basketball coaches planner and make sure I implement the drills in practice planning to fix the problem.
- Watch the game film with your players. Come up with 3 defensive principles and 3 offensive principles for your team to focus on during your film session. Make copies of your blank film break down pages from your basketball coaching planner and hand them out to your team to use while they watch. Ask them to make their own notes regarding the 3 offensive keys and 3 defensive keys as they view the film.
- Do not watch the whole film with high school athletes from start to finish. Use the same technique with them that you did when you were breaking it down. Only show them the defensive end and then the offensive end. Again…this will allow them to focus in on what you want them to get out of the film. Only pause it and further break it down on 4 or 5 possessions so they don’t get sick of watching the film.
- Your film session with your players should be no more than 45 minutes long. Players will lose focus then the session becomes a waste of time rather than a productive and positive learning experience for you and your players. Tell them it will only be 45 minutes and then stick to it. Learn how to become clear and concise. It will become your most important skill in becoming a successful basketball coach.
- Keep track of your filming notes in a place that you can easily access and review them. This will make breaking down the next film even quicker and easier. I use my basketball coaching planner. It’s a great way to keep myself organized with practice plans, game plans, scouting reports, and film sessions.
If you will follow these basic tips for breaking down game film it will become fun and easy for you resulting in more success for you and your team.