Film can be a great tool for coaches to help players learn concepts, philosophies, decisions as well as learning about opponents. Being effective and ensuring the film session is transferring to improved play can be a challenge. Here are 7 ways to create a more effective film session:
1. Keep sessions brief
I have been in film sessions that have drug on for 45-60 minutes and when I look around I see players unengaged and no longer paying attention. That is why I think keeping sessions brief and specific is so important. Try to keep sessions in the 10-20 minute range and keep it specific to 2-4 things you really want to drive home to your players.
2. Good and Bad
Keep a balance between showing good and bad clips. It can be difficult for players to watch themselves on film and many players can put themselves down or shut down completely if film is entirely a grill session. Have 5 good clips and 5 poor clips of each specific thing you would like to drive home.
3. Ask Questions
Don’t give your players all of the answers or tell them what they are seeing. Ask players questions such as: What did you see during this play? How was the defense playing a specific offensive action? What could you have done differently? What was the correct play/read? When the defense is playing us this way what do we want to do? What are our options?
4. Allow Players to Ask Questions
A lot of times we don’t give players the time or allow them a chance to ask questions. Players must be comfortable enough to speak up during film sessions when they need clarification or have questions. Allowing players to ask questions will help individual player understanding and overall team understanding. A lot of times this can create dialog and other players can answer the question.
5. College/Pro Example
When introducing a new concept to your team or one they are struggling with it can be helpful to show them clips of college or pro teams using the concept. This can increase engagement and attention when watching film from some of the best players in the world. There are plenty of clips and videos on YouTube that you can easily pull up if you do not want to create your own.
Give players a notebook for the season. Have them take notes during film. You can structure how players take notes or give them the freedom to be creative with note taking.
7. Hit the Court
After showing specific video clips on what you are trying to improve and what you want to do, immediately hit the court to work on what was shown and discussed. It can help to go over the concepts and ideas on the court as they are fresh in the players’ minds.