In my 3rd and final segment of Film Breakdown, I am going to discuss my thoughts on the important aspect of watching film with your players individually. If you happened to miss Part 1 or Part 2, click over and check them out.
Meeting with your players on an individual basis is just as, if not more important than bringing in your entire team for critique. As a coach, you are mentor first, X & O’s come second; meeting with your players 1-on-1 allows for that special time of bonding and showing your players that you care. As a high school coach, it can be difficult at times to schedule frequent 1-on-1 meetings because practice is typically right after school and there is little time in between to meet. Furthermore, most players jet out of practice as soon as the huddle breaks. It is important to MAKE time to meet with your players; even if it is just for 5-10 minutes. If you can’t find 5-10 minutes, then utilize your down time in practice to strike up conversations (i.e.- Pre/Post Stretching, Water Breaks, Free-Throws, etc.)
One of the famous quotes in coaching is, “Film doesn’t lie”. Meeting with your time and showing them their mistakes on film, rather than trying to explain them, is and will always be one of the most impactful ways you can help your team improve. However, it is only effective if it is done the right way. There are numerous ways to watch film with your team, and those methods can vary greatly depending on the level your program competes at. I am going to share what I have found to be the most effective approach to watching film with our team.
The most significant piece of keeping your players engaged is to be prepared. This means making sure your computer set-up, projector, tv, however you watch film, is powered on and ready to go when the film session begins. The last thing you want is your team sitting in silence while you try to queue up the film. If you are in a program that has a video coordinator or a coach designated as the video specialist, they should already be in the room preparing the video before the team (especially the other coaches) walk in.
The second aspect is having a game plan for your film session. Have you ever played for or coached with someone whom after a loss especially, would sit and make their players watch the entire game. Meanwhile berating the team for every nonsensical mistake made. While this may be effective for some teams, is it really the best use of your time together as a team? In my opinion, no. I prefer to pick out the clips from the previous game(s) that are teachable moments that our players can learn from; and make sure those clips are marked or in a separate play edit to reference in an efficient manner.
Additionally, place the clips in an order of importance; viewing the essential clips first. We all know that film sessions tend to go longer than expected, especially if there is a lot of teaching taking place and the players are asking questions. If you designate 30 minutes to your film session and only get through half of your plan, by placing the important clips first you ensure that the point(s) you want to emphasize are addressed.