Film studies can be the key to success

Film studies can be the key to success

Senior wrestler Kevin Ryan watches film on an upcoming opponent last Thursday in a Sports Center office

Nick Roth, Staff Writer

Many fans see a picture-perfect jump shot or a skillful takedown and may think that’s all there is to sports. Behind the scenes though, there are many hours spent staring at a monitor or television screen.

Athletes and coaches study film to gain advantages against their opponents.

Advantages may come from studying the slightest details, which could ultimately be the difference between success and failure.

Collegiate athletes are not ony students in the classroom, but also students of their sport.

Pitt-Johnstown wrestling Assistant Coach Shane Valko explained the importance of film study for the Mountain Cats grapplers.

Film study is crucial for match preparation, Valko said. Each wrestler spends about an hour studying film for each opponent they face, Valko said.

In the mat room, screens are hanging in from the ceiling for wrestlers to study film while remaining on the mat.

“We look for flaws and research tendencies of their upcoming opponent,” Valko said.

The wrestlers also break down previous matches to fix their own flaws, Valko said.

Pitt-Johnstown men’s basketball Head Coach Bob Rukavina said he spends four to six hours watching film on each opponent.

“Points of emphasis, in watching film, are the opponents’ tendencies, both offensively and defensively,” Rukavina said.

Defensively, he examines how the opponent defends ball screens and the defense’s ability to pressure the ball handler.

On the offensive side, players study their upcoming defender, so they know what to expect, Rukavina said.

Film study is also important for recruiting.

It is difficult to watch potential recruits live because both high school and collegiate basketball is played during the winter season, so game films are sent to Coach Rukavina.

Weekly, Rukavina receives around 10 films of potential recruits.

“We like to view a couple of game films to better help us evaluate a potential recruit,” Rukavina said.

Film study is not often talked of, but it is an effective UPJ tool for both coaches and athletes.