Nowadays one of the best-known roles of the coach is undoubtedly basketball analysis of games. In Portugal, there are few training coaches (U14 and U16) that I know who analyze their own games. Maybe because they do not have time or because they do not know what to analyze, or because they don’t have the game film.
Thus, today write about the analysis of games in the youth levels.
The first notion that it is necessary to have, is that basketball youth levels should not look for the opposing team to its movements or analysis of player A, B or C but to our team, observe the basketball technical aspects (pass, dribble, shooting, footwork, …), tactical (ball screen, off-ball screens, zones, …) or physical.
How to make Basketball Analysis of Youth games?
Correctly this game analysis role should be delivered to an assistant coach or in the case of a large structure an observer of data. Unfortunately, many basketball clubs and coaches do not have this structure, which, however, does not make it impossible to do it. There are enough cases of teams in ProLiga (2nd Portuguese National Basketball Division), that the main coach is responsible for self-analysis and observation as well as analysis of the opponent.
So to facilitate this whole process, I follow some steps with or without an assistant coach.
Positive and Negative Points
Right after the end of the game, after the final speech, it is important to write down the positives and negatives points of the game without looking at the video and without getting anyone’s opinion. These points can and should focus on what were the contents covered during the practices of the week.
Ask the assistant coach for an opinion
If you have an assistant, you should ask or agree with him that he should do the same exercise as in the previous point, that is, ask for an opinion report of the positive and negative points of the game without looking at the video.
Positives and Negative Points with video
After writing the positives and negatives of the game, it is time to watch the video. Try to understand if these points of writing are in fact positive or negative and if there is any other point you want to add.
Ask the assistant coach for an opinion, with access to the video
If you have an assistant, you should do the same exercise as the previous point, but with access to the video. Try to understand if those points you wrote are in fact positive or negative and if there are any more points, you want to add.
With the homework done, both head coach and assistant coach is time to sit down and discuss what were the good points or bad points. If in fact the contents covered in the practice during the week were involved in the team.
At this meeting, coaches should ask questions so that in the next step they will get the answers.
Example: Content: Defensive Transition – Questions: Was the 1st pass line pressed? Was containment the player in the midcourt? Do the 3 players recover into the paint and distribute the defense?
After the questions are asked, it is time to realize in which phase of each content that we have failed. The moment that we are trying to answer these questions we must analyze the video, stopping and repeating whenever we see this content in the game. To help with this part, if you have an assistant coach, you can agree with him to tag all the contents. In this way, you can improve your productivity and speed in analyzing the game and focus on the content that you want.
Example: Content: Defensive Transition – Questions: Was the 1st pass line pressed? Was a containment player in the midfield? Do the 3 players recover into the “home” and distribute the defense? Answers: We do not press the first pass line, but, nevertheless, we always manage to contain the ball in transition. We were also able to quickly recover the 3 players into the “home” and distribute the defense.
How to present the information to the players?
After completing the scouting and reflection tasks, it is the moment that we use the video to show the players. There is much different software for analyzing and scouting basketball games, the one I use is LongoMatch. Through this software, it is possible to divide the game by periods and create markers with the name of the content that we want to analyze.
To make this process as fast as possible, the bookmarks with the name of the contents must be already created. This process must be done at the beginning of the basketball season.
To show the players I always follow some rules, to create an interaction with them.
Rule – No more than 15 minutes
This rule is fundamental, youth players generally have classes before practice and if we make the video sessions longer than 15 minutes they hang up and stop capturing information.
Rule – Select information
When we are going to present the video session, it is the same thing as planning a practice session. We should be prepared with what to say and how much time to spend on each clip.
Rule – Do not give answers
When I am doing a video session, I always try to make sure I am not the one who talks and the players listen. The purpose of video sessions is for them to know what they have failed, how they should do it. If I ask them questions so that they arrive at the correct conclusion, they will be better able to read these situations in practice and in the game.
Example: (Before showing the clip) Guys, we were not 100% correct in the defensive transition. This video is about that and I want to identify what we have failed (show the video).
From here, we can also start to build the way they think the game, and we start to endow them with game IQ.
Ready to analyze your Basketball games better?
I hope you have understood the steps to follow to analyze the games at youth levels. More important than any methodology in-game analysis, self- analysis, and self – reflection is more important in youth levels than analyzing the opponent.
If you have already used this methodology, or use another methodology, or have any more ideas to add to those presented, leave your comment and share it with the community of coaches.