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What Is The Right Age To Start Watching Game Film?

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This resource stems from a question submitted to the Ask PCA blog. Responses come from our experts including PCA Trainers, who lead live group workshops for coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes.

"Is it normal, productive, healthy or wise to have a 6th grade boy's basketball team review their game film? Our coach seems to think so. We already practice twice a week and have a game on Sundays so this would essentially be a 4th weekly team event. The nature of the team is a 'competitive' environment."

PCA Response by Eric Eisendrath, PCA Lead Trainer
There is nothing wrong with occasionally watching film in order to show the kids some pointers (plus kids like watching themselves play), but at this age it should focus on showing positive things players are doing. As any of us who remember first seeing ourselves on video can attest, it can be a bracing experience to have other people critique our performance on film.

Coaches should also set clear expectations for an Emotional Tank filling atmosphere in watching film. Players should be reminded before the session that they're watching film to get better and they should focus on filling each others' E-Tanks.

That said, given the fact that this team already practices twice and plays once per week, this fourth weekly team event seems a bit over the top. One of the biggest problems that plague youth sports, and travel teams in particular, is the notion that they are the "lowest division of the NBA!" They aren't. They are 12 years old. Basketball is not their job. Having them involved four days a week runs the risk of burnout and overuse injury.

Download a printable version of this resource, including any additional commentary from PCA, by clicking the PDF below. To read more questions and answers like this, or to submit your own question to the Ask PCA blog, click here.

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