Video Games: The Role of Film in Scouting Basketball
Coach of Guangzhou Long Lions (China CBA)
About Coach Turchetto: Andrea Turchetto (Turk-etto) is the head coach of the Guangzhou Securities Long Lions in China. Coach 'Turk' is of Italian decent and, like most good coaches, he's a basketball junkie! He's fully submerged in all things basketball. But as a professional coach, he is a standout video recruiter. In 2016 I played for Turk as he was the assistant coach of Palacanestro Ferrara in Italy's A2 professional division. He helped to scout and sign American players to the team. Because there are just so many players looking for professional contracts in Europe 95% of scouting is done through video. Coach Turchetto had to gauge a players skill, will and overall fit to the team based off of college stats, highlight tapes and overall fit to the team. No small task.
How do you us video to your advantage throughout the season?
Video is vital, there's just no way to scout players from the U.S. or improve yourself or your team without it. I use film of opponents to figure out their strengths and weaknesses. Knowing that the first step is to build a solid and effective game plan that counters the opposing teams strategies and individual characteristics of players.
What's the process like before signing an American before the season? Is there a certain number of games that you watch?
Before signing a player there is no exact number of games that I usually watch. I would say the minimum is at least 3 games. If possible, I would prefer to watch a game where a player has bad stats so that I can understand if he can be useful even during a bad day. The best possible film for me when scouting a player is a close game against a tough opponent. Besides that it's very important for me to get more info about him from talking to coaches he has played for, former managers (GM's, agents etc) and former teammates. That will tell me what I need to know about this players character.
Talk about the watching video as a team vs watching for individual improvement.
I think watching video is important for both the coaching staff as well as players. There are different kinds of video sessions that coaching staff can show the players to align the players mindset with the overall goal of the team in that particular moment of the season. In Europe when the team plays once a week I have more time to watch video and it's important to approach that strategically. We watch the team's game video collectively, we have to watch a few games of our next 2-3 opponents as well. It's important that we watch individuals videos to see how we can put players in position to impact the game positively.
This is especially important for young players (Italy is huge on developing youth, not just playing but learning to play the right way). Video isn't only for correction or to point out the bad, it's also a great way to build confidence in young players. (Again, Europeans are constantly grooming young players to prepare them for coming years. It's the San Antonio Spurs approach, keep producing, keep developing.) For young players and veteran players, we build confidence and help encourage a certain style of play. Our goal is never to embarrass a player or single them out, the goal is improvement. We want to make you aware of your mistakes and make sure everybody is on the same page.
Video is a tool that people at the professional level use often. We are always looking for that competitive edge. After a bad loss it's motivation to warrant a response from players. After a big win it's an opportunity to point out areas of improvement and keep players humble and working. Get familiar with the process of watching video addressing both positives and negatives. Special thanks to Coach Turchetto for your input.