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Valencia Basket: how do they prepare a game?

Valencia Basket: how do they prepare a game?

*Read Time: 4 minutes

Wednesday, October 4th. Today it’s gameday at La Fonteta. Three hours before facing Obradoiro in the second game in the Spanish basketball top tier Liga ACB. Jaume Ponsarnau answers our phone call. He is now seemingly relaxed as the pre-game work has all been done. Now it’s time for the players to put into practice what they have learnt from the video analysis during the week, to get another victory.
Jaume Ponsarnau, Juan Maroto and Javier Vilaplaza are the three assistant coaches in Valencia Basket. They all use Nacsport Elite licenses to carry out video analysis workflows. Their team is the current Liga ACB and SupercopaEndesa champions –the last two official tournaments held in Spanish basketball. Both titles have been won in less than four months with two different head coaches: Pedro Martinez and Txus Vidorreta.

The three assistant coaches are especially focused on scouting and analysis work. It’s an essential part of their daily work as conclusions reached from videos will influence the basis of the game plan.

The game plan is built up from the information obtained from different videos. Coaching staff follow two ideas: opposition insights to be taken into account and own game style. Regarding this second idea, they analyse both team and individual aspects.

The week before

There was another game last Sunday but they had already started preparing today’s game against Obradoiro last week. Javier Vilaplaza is responsible for this preliminary video analysis. He uses as much footage as possible but in general he works with last three games played. As a result, he ends with a first analysis.

Monday

As stated before, there was a game on Sunday so another analysis with actions from this game is added to the video analysis work. On Monday, before starting the first training session of the week, there is a video session. Players are presented clips from the last game: what needs to be improved –from a learning point of view- and what was done well to reinforce their confidence. They are also shown clips from their next opponent to design the following training sessions before the game.

Video sessions are made before training. “It is really important for us that players go into the court to train with information about which goals are being followed and why we need these goals”, explains assistant coach Jaume Ponsarnau.

Tuesday

The weekly structure is not fixed and will depend on many circumstances (amount of information, part of the season, opponent conditions, how important will the game be...) but, for this example, Tuesday is the most important day before the game as far as video analysis is concerned.

Juan Maroto makes the second filter and will consolidate the information received. He will reorder content to prepare the final presentation which will be shown to players. Lists will include opponent strengths as a team but also player skills individually both from a defensive and offensive perspective.

There is another step before sharing information with players: Ponsarnau and the head coach will review this presentation and if necessary, will add a few finishing touches. This will be the basis for their game plan.

Wednesday

Valencia Basket will have another video session on gameday. It will be some hours before the game and it will reinforce what has been worked in the previous day and some instructions about how to perform in defence and attack during the game.

Extra work in parallel

Apart from their daily work which is focused on extracting information from their corresponding opponent, there is another parallel work going on, which is deeper and looks for other kinds of insights. Ponsarnau is responsible for this work. “We are really focused on our game from a statistical point of view. From our performance in attack, we create a database with clips from our games which will turn into the basis to improve our team performance”.

Ponsarnau is also responsible to show results to players in video sessions during the season. Also, he meets players individually or grouped by positions to show them how to improve their performance from the conclusions he reached.

*Note: When this article was published, Valencia Basket was one of the leaders in Spanish top flight league Liga ACB. They have won the three games they’ve played this season including the game against Obradoiro (80-67) which was used as reference for this post.
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