Film Breakdown Can Take You to the Next Level

When I created what is now my Next Level Basketball Performance Academy it was more than just a name.  Each word had meaning.  The Academy concept was to indicate that we are about more than just what we do with our players on-court but that we help to develop them off-court as well.  I frequently use the saying “training is done from the neck down but COACHING is done from the neck up”.  That’s why Gabby and I refer to ourselves as Player Development Coaches because we develop our players as much from the neck up as the neck down.  Don’t get me wrong, training and working hard – “grinding” as the players like to say – is an important piece of the development puzzle and we certainly work our players hard.  But that training is only so effective if players don’t know when and how to apply those skills in game situations.

One of the best ways I know to help players develop their mental capabilities and basketball IQ is though film breakdown.  We recently received a quote from Mike Thibault, Head Coach and General Manager of the WNBA Washington Mystics.  Mike’s daughter Carly (now an assistant coach at Eastern Michigan University) and Gabby were college teammates at Monmouth University and during their 4 years together Mike and I (and our families) became very good friends, talked a lot of basketball and even did a couple of basketball clinics together.  Mike is a 3 time WNBA Coach of the Year and the winningest Coach in WNBA history.  He was also a longtime NBA assistant and on the USA Basketball staff.  You can read his entire bio here:

Here is his quote:

“In today’s game of basketball, there is no reason for any player who wants to be great, not to watch and evaluate him or herself with video. The easy technology available allows players to see themselves as they really are in order to improve things they are working on everyday. They can correct mechanics, add to their repertoire, and see the game from a different vantage point. Many players are visual learners and video review is a fast and simple way to improve one’s game. No excuse not to!”

Coach Thibault touched on several extremely good points when it comes to film study.  First, he talks about wanting to be great and using film to evaluate yourself.  We know not every player will be great and become a pro, but the key is that you will not be as good as you can be without film study.  The second great point is that today’s technology makes it easy to do, so there is no excuse not to do it.  So, tying those two thoughts together, if there is no excuse not to do film study, and if you won’t be the best you can be without the benefits of film study, then if you are not taking advantage of film study, you really need to question just how good you want to be.

I’d like to add a couple of other points regarding film breakdown.  One, is that “film don’t lie”.  When you breakdown film you must do it with a critical eye.  Most players enjoy watching film to see themselves knock down a clutch shot or make a great pass.  However, they have a tough time accepting constructive criticism from coaches so seeing it for themselves right there on the film helps them visualize what the coach is looking for.

Which brings me to my next point.  Film study can be used in several ways.  You can film your shot or other skills to improve mechanics.  You can prepare a scout on your opponent by breaking down their game film.  However, from a player development standpoint, I consider what I call the self-scout to be the most important thing you can do with film breakdown.  A self-scout is exactly what the name implies, you are putting a scouting report together on yourself.  In order for the self-scout to be effective though you have to know what you are looking at.  That is where Gabby and I can help.  You can bring us your game film and we can prepare your self-scout and go over it with you.  With the season soon coming to an end, now would be a good time to gather game film if you haven’t done so already or you don’t have access to your team’s game film via HUDL or something similar.  The great thing about a self-scout is that it helps to create the blueprint for your off-season improvement plan.

Gabby and I truly believe that film breakdown is as important as anything we do with you on the court.  If you plan to play basketball at a high level it is a must!  Please contact us about how we can implement film breakdown to take you to the next level.  Now is the perfect time to do it.  As Coach Thibault said “no excuse not to”.

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There are several ways that the Next Level Basketball Performance Academy is unique. One, is our emphasis on individual player development. We are not an AAU organization and we will not be forming teams for the purposes of playing more games.

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Phone: (717) 979-2602
Address: 1005 Briarsdale Road Harrisburg, PA 17109

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