Whether you are watching yourself, your team or your opponents, much can be learned by taking a closer, second look. This is why reviewing film (of your practice, your games or of higher-level teams) with your basketball players is so important, and why I am giving you five ways to enhance your film sessions to maximize their benefit.
1. The why and how meeting
The first way I would go about improving film sessions is making sure the coaches and players are all on the same page as to why and how we watch.
As coaches, we watch film to evaluate and analyze our offense/defense. We watch to see which players are putting forth full effort and which are struggling. We celebrate what works and learn from mistakes. We don’t watch so we can go back to the team and say, “I told you so” or embarrass anyone. The ultimate goal is to improve both ourselves and our players.
Why do players want to watch film? Because they desire to get better.
How do we watch film? As a student of the game. As someone who can’t wait to get better and is excited about seeing mistakes because it will only lead to improvement.
2. Be efficient.
We all know what it is like when you get that substitute teacher and they pop in the movie…nap time. To keep your players attention and maximize their retention of what is being reviewed, you would probably be better off watching 10 minutes of video a day versus having a marathon film session.
It is easier than ever to gain efficiencies by using a system like HUDL. All the work we used to have to do, HUDL can do for you. This should free you up to be tight and precise for your players.
3. Three-point rule
Try and narrow the focus. If possible, cut the film to focus on one or two things. If you are sharing 35 things for improvement per film session, that is probably overload. Try and keep each film session to three main teaching points. It will stick more.
4. Film to floor
If you want those teaching points to stick with your players, go straight from seeing it to doing it. Review film sessions right before practice or show them during basketball practice. Some people learn by watching, others by doing. We all can learn best by doing both.
5. Be creative
Rather than talking at your players, engage them. Add questions or polls to your film. And don’t always tell them what you want them to see, make them tell you by asking them probing questions. Actually, why not have one of your players lead the film session?
One of my favorite things to do with game or practice film is to add movie clips that become triggers for remembering specific things. You can also add a highlight reel to enhance your film session and pump up your players before they hit the court.
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