As the head boy’s basketball coach at Crystal Lake Central (Crystal Lake, IL), I have used Krossover to break down and analyze our game film for several years now. Since switching to Krossover, it has made me a better coach because of the additional hours I have per game to plan and practice what is seen in the film, rather than having to cut and tag the film myself.
Here are 6 tips for coaches of any sport at all levels.
1. Think outside of the box
I believe that too many coaches stay within the systems they learned during their playing days or early in their careers. If all coaches focus on the exact same aspects of the game and don’t innovate, things get stagnant. Flip your thinking. Try to identify what your team is focusing on defending, then make sure you’re good at exploiting the same thing offensively.
For example, many coaches instruct their defense to defend the 3-point line and prevent easy lay-ups. This leaves a huge strip in the 10 to 15-foot range that serves as a great opportunity. If you work on hitting those jumpers, you’re taking advantage of something that most other teams don’t work on stopping.
Approaching the game in this way allows you to coach smarter. Why spend all of your energy working extra hard on things that you know your opponent is working extra hard to stop? Why not find unexpected ways to score and defend?
2. Scout your opponents
The biggest advantage Krossover gives us at Crystal Lake Central is when we are going to play a conference opponent for the second time in a season, I like how we can use the game film to identify where the other team’s made baskets are coming from, and figure out how to take their opportunities away. It helps me to know exactly what to focus on in game planning.
3. Don’t burn out or get distracted
Coaches who try to keep stats during a game are doing themselves a disservice. You should be able to focus on what’s actually happening in the game, not how many points each player has. Using Krossover’s game film breakdown service allows us to stay in the moment and trust that the stats will be accurate and waiting for us to review later on.
Forcing a coach to do all the video prep work alone can be exhausting. I highly recommend Krossover as a way to prevent escalating stress levels that can lead to burnout. Athletic Directors should give their coaches the tools and resources to succeed so that their quality people stick around longer.
It’s important to balance work and a personal life. Sure, coaching has its fair share of stress. But don’t call it a grind – at the end of the day you’re teaching kids to put a ball through a hoop. Keeping things in perspective is key.
4. Favor transformational coaching over transactional coaching
Demanding specific results or outcomes from a player is much less effective than focusing on the process of holistic player development. Coaching players to buy in to their role and the team mindset is the goal, not simply hitting statistical benchmarks. Stats and video are there as a tool to help get the kids to buy in. When you can show them supporting evidence to back up your lineup decisions and overall strategy, you’re more likely to transform your team into more complete players and more responsible people.
5. Game film isn’t just for the coaches
Being able to easily share highlight reels and game tape makes it easier to help players get recruited. I used to have to burn DVD’s to put in the mail, or even drive to go meet recruiters and coaches at the next level. Now I can use Krossover to do all of that with a few clicks of a mouse and help his players’ chances even more.
Fostering a culture that encourages watching and learning from game film prepares players for the college level, where this kind of behavior is expected. I like to show my players the most important clips during team meetings, but empower them to login and watch things in more detail on their own. It gives them an opportunity to take responsibility and be more invested in the team.
6. You still have to coach
Having access to game film, analytics, and technology is great, but it isn’t everything. At the end of the day, these things are tools that help him to his job better. Coaches still need to foster relationships with players, develop their athletes, challenge them, and create a winning culture. Coaches need to step back and think about what story the numbers are telling them. There could be several factors contributing to poor rebounding, for example.