View Mobile Site

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos


Sports Crazed: In the film room

Coaches can spend a lot of time breaking down game film

Posted: August 19, 2014 10:32 p.m.
Updated: August 19, 2014 10:32 p.m.

College of the Canyons quarterbacks, running backs and receivers break down film as they prepare for the upcoming season. Film study has gotten easier as technology has advanced. Signal photo by Dan Watson.

The film don’t lie.

It’s a phrase most every athlete has heard at some point.

And it couldn’t be more spot on.

“It’s hard to argue with the tape,” said West Ranch’s head baseball coach Casey Burrill. “We’ve had some players make really big improvements by just showing them what they did and how they could’ve done it better.”

In today’s sports world, nearly everything is up for review.

Cameras are everywhere to help get players and coaches multiple angles of plays in order to review and perfect them.

It gives coaches a chance to go over things with players and reinforce what they were saying on the field or court.

“When a game is going on it’s hard for kids to realize exactly where they are on the court, especially in basketball because the game is so fast,” said Hart High’s head basketball coach Tom Kelly. “So when they see it on film later they realize what I was trying to tell them during the game. It’s a great teaching tool. It gives us the ability to go back, slow things down and really teach them.”

Film study isn’t new, but with today’s technology it certainly has gotten easier.

“I grew up in an era when film wasn’t as assessable,” said College of the Canyons head football coach Ted Iacenda. “You couldn’t get everything. Now Hudl makes things limitless. You can break down scenarios as much as you want. You can cut films and focus on formations, specific plays and what each player is doing individually.”, a website and app that allows coaches to upload, edit and highlight sections of film, has streamlined the process and made film study much easier than it used to be.

Coaches would spend lots of time driving back and forth, trading film with other coaches, in order to prepare for their next opponents.

With Hudl, all they have to do is send a link.

“It’s there instantly,” said Kelly. “No driving around. As soon as you ask for it, it’s there. Now we can spend more time breaking it down.”

That’s where the real work begins.

Coaches and players will spend hours breaking down film from every angle.

They’ll watch a single play over and over again, making sure each player was in the right position. And when he isn’t, what he should have done differently.

“I would say we spend about 40 hours a week on film,” said Iacenda. “At first it’s very general, just looking at what a team will run versus this or that. Then as the week progresses we’ll get more specific. It’s a process. Very intricate and very valuable.”

With coaches now able to break down every frame of practice or a game, it’s easy for them to overdo it.

“It can be a hindrance as well,” said Iacenda. “I know there are some guys that look at so much film that they forget to coach. It can consume you if you let it. You have to be very careful not to get too deep with it.”

It’s all part of the balance coaches have to find when deciding how much time to dedicate between film study and actual practice.

Film study can be invaluable but only when what is seen on film can be translated to the field or court.

“The biggest benefit that film provides is that there aren’t too many surprises anymore,” said Kelly. “If we’re scouting somebody and we tell the kids that everyone on this team can shoot, they really get the message if we put together a segment where they’re knocking down everything. It makes much more of an impact if they’re seeing it rather than us just telling them.”

Film study as a tool for coaches to use to get an advantage on their opponents is constantly evolving but it will never take the place of work on the field.

“We’ll show the players how things look but then they have to apply it in practice or a game,” said Iacenda. “It’s a great tool but we have to make sure that it’s all going toward making us a better team.”


Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.


Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...