When I was a small boy growing up in Connecticut, the local news out of New York City featured a sport’s guy named Warner Wolf, who would intro a game and call “let’s go to the videotape” before showing the highlights. If there is a God, Warner Wolf and his call are in the grave.
I am a firm believer that you cannot fully evaluate the performance of your team without video. The video is the truth. It shows whether you stopped the ball, ran your sets, defended and played the game you intended. Video is emotionless and inescapable. It will not allow you to overvalue a subjective “gutty” performance, and undervalue a “quiet” one.
After each game, I make post game notes to myself. These typically involve notes relative to the ebb and flow of the game and any specific turning points, individual player performances, tactical scenarios, and possible personnel adjustments. I will often text my players with my feedback the night of the game.
Then I will look at the video tape. I will review once to do stats on the team shooting percentages, turnovers, transition points, rebounds, etc. Then I will review again for game sequences that turned the game and execution. At that point, I am ready to address the team with why we won or lost the game, and identify 2-3 things from that game that we can emphasize in the next practice.
I recently reviewed our scrimmage against the freshman team on video. We were not as bad, as I believed as I walked off the court. Turnovers were a bit lower than I imagined, but we missed seven lay ups. We were also the victim of some fortunate shooting by the freshman who banked in two 3’s and got two more threes from peripheral guys.
When I present the information to the players, my goal is to break the game down into things that we can control going forward. We can make lay ups, we can align ourselves right defensively, space and share the ball better offensively. I will tie the mistakes directly into points conceded or scored and essentially reconstruct the score with how things may be different. It’s vital that you reconstruct both ways especially when playing an opponent for the second time after beating the soundly. This will instill in your players the fragile nature of a result.
I find it illustrative to breakdown exactly where an opponents points come from. If we have a goal of holding opponents below a threshold score of 40 or 50 points, the breakdown can explain how we got there or how we failed. For example, we give up 59 and of those points 8 came from offensive rebounds, 4 in transition, and 11 at the foul line. You can give your players the mentality of shaving those points.
Video must be used to create accountability. It’s a great educational tool.