Upon several requests, I have put together a three-part series of posts discussing how to watch film as after the game, with your team, and with individual players. Today I am going to discuss the process of watching and breaking down the game film individually as a coach to provide feedback for yourself and your coaching staff.
This post is going to about the process of how I break down film after a game every each night. The analysis below takes place after every game we play and it takes approximately 2 hours once I get home.
After each game our coaching staff meets in the head coaches office and we discuss the game for 15-20 minutes; What went well, what didn’t go well, and other thoughts about the game. As a staff, we try to reserve judgement with performance until watching the game film. During this time, I will reference some notes that I wrote down during the game about some aspects that I think would be good to look for when breaking down the film (i.e.- Transition defense, defensive rebounding, rotational breakdowns, etc.) and also gather thoughts from my head coach on things he would like for me to focus on while watching the film.
After gathering our post-game perspective, I head home and start uploading the film for breakdown onto our editing tool. During the upload time (usually takes about 25 minutes), I analyze and input the data I have on my Offensive and Defensive Efficiency Chart and look for any positive and negative trends from the game. This chart will also factor into indicators while watching film. Once all the numbers totaled, I will start typing up my Post[Game Report for my head coach. I got this tremendous idea from the LA Clippers’ Kevin Eastman. Eastman took it upon himself each night after their games to write-up a post-game report and slide it under head coach Doc Rivers’ door for reading the next morning. I am not sure what Kevin’s looked like, but in my report I include the following:
- Quarter by Quarter Scoring with +/-
- Rebound Comparisons each half and game total (Out rebounding the opponent is a huge component of our program)
- Offensive and Defensive notes referencing the Efficiency Chart I mentioned above
- As well as any notes I gather from the film in regards to our performance (Good and Bad)
- Any ideas or recommendations for upcoming practices that I think will help our team
If you are interested in a sample of what mine looks like just drop me a note and I would be glad to email you.
I believe the most important aspect of doing the Post-Game Report is working for a head coach that does not have an ego and is always open to suggestions or your thoughts. I am very fortunate that the coach I currently work for at Fort Myers is always open to new ideas and suggestions; as long as there is not a personal agenda behind it and it fits in our system. The second most important aspect of doing the Report is not having a personal ego. The Report is for your head coach and the coaching staff to view your feedback and perspective on the team’s performance and gather as much information as they can. As the Assistant Coach, it is not my role to ask him every day, “Hey, did you read my report? What’d you think?”. Typically you will know if the coach read it because they will discuss it with you or derive some aspect from it to use with the team in the following practice(s).
Once the film is uploaded, one of my main goals is to clip up the film into offensive and defensive possessions so if my head coach wants to just watch our defense, he can do so in half the time. While doing so, I will also focus on the components we discussed as a staff in the post-game meeting and look for good and bad examples on the film. It is extremely important to not just flag all the negatives of the game, but also the positives (I will reference this in a one of the next posts). Either mark each of these clips to reference later or include them as examples in the Post-Game Report so your coaches can relate to them immediately when reading the Report. If you do the latter, make sure you not only include the clip number, but also the reason you included it.
Breaking Down the Film
In terms of what to look for when watching film for the first time, I believe it will vary for every staff depending on what you focus on and your style of play. The main thing is to not get caught up in the game and allow the result (win or lose) to hinder your ability to analyze the video with an unbiased opinion. If you watch the film in a bad mood or are still angry with your players, this will affect your ability to offer constructive criticism. In my The Trained Eyes of a Head Coach, I also discussed the ability to not follow the ball and to focus more on the action happening off the ball.
Below are the components that I try to focus on when reviewing our game film:
- Transition Defense: Are all 5 guys sprinting to the paint before matching up?
- Our angles with on the ball defense; we do not allow middle so focus is on the angle of feet and hips towards the baseline.
- Is our help side defense in the correct gaps and line(s) of the ball. On the White Line.
- Hands up on the ball and not allowing uncontested shots.
- When shot is in the air, are all 5 guys “hitting and getting”? (Our term for making hard contact on the offense and tracking the ball)
- Is our 5 sprinting the rim? Are 2 and 3 wide sprinting lanes? Is 1 looking up the floor to advance the ball?
- If an Early Offense action is run, how is the execution?
- Are all 5 guys reading and reacting correctly? How is our patience and timing?
- Are we making the extra pass and taking open shots?
- On the shot do we have 4 guys crashing the glass and 1 back consistently?
The last component I look for on a consistent basis is the players’ body language on the court and on the bench. Are they encouraging teammates or are they throwing their arms in the air after every mistake? Are players on the bench pouting because they’re not player or celebrating the on-court successes and talking to their teammates?
Once I have gone through the entire game and finalized my Post-Game Report, I will send the Report and the Efficiency information to our coaching staff for them to read first thing the next morning. The next morning the head coach will usually watch the film (depending on teaching schedule) and provide additional feedback to my Report and the film itself. At that time, he occasionally requests for specific play edits to be complied to show our team later that day before or after practice. This will be covered in my next article…stay tuned!