The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

Film fanatics

MV athletes share how watching film of their opponents affects their gameplay

Before the football season starts, MV Football Head Coach Ceazar Agront begins watching films of previous games and filling the holes left by seniors for the upcoming season by finding new people to replace them. Watching films of past seasons was a tactic that Agront learned when he was a part of the football team at Homestead High School. He notes that watching films is vital to the success of the team, but he does not want to take extra time from his student-athletes, as they already have heavy workloads. He notes that it is difficult to watch film every day because other teams, such as band or field hockey, also use the field house.

Therefore, instead of having the team gather after practice, Agront utilizes the app “Huddle” to track that his athletes are watching the film he sends out. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Agront began recording lessons on how to play against opposing teams through Zoom and posting them on “Huddle” for the athletes to watch on their own time.

Senior and Varsity Girls Basketball center Sophia Lu says the Varsity Girls Basketball team also uses “Huddle.” She mentions that her Head Coach Sara Borelli posts film of opposing teams on “Huddle” for the team to watch and take notes on. Lu adds that the team usually watches film before big games, such as the Central Coast Section (CCS) games.

“Before more difficult games, we would watch film reviews and try to gauge the opponent,” Lu said. “If we played the opponent before, we would review that game, point out our weaknesses and strengths and try to work on that.”

On “Huddle,” Agront notices that some students would watch films for hours on end while others wouldn’t at all. However, Agront notes that when the entire team consistently watches them, he can see a difference on the field since the team is more prepared.

“It’s imperative to watch film because how else can you know who you’re going to go up against and their tendencies?” Agront said. “It’s pretty much a blueprint and it shows you that the better the team is, the more prepared they are. The way it’s been to our students is, ‘This is your cheat sheet. This is your study guide to what you’re going to see in that game, so the more you study, the better you can be prepared.’”

Junior and Varsity Boys Soccer center Justin Chen also notes that watching film has allowed his team to improve in various ways. The Varsity Boys Soccer team watches films three times throughout the season when it has an upcoming game against a team at the top of the league. Watching the play-by-play takes an entire practice and sometimes additional time. Chen believes that this helps the team raise awareness on where it is weak on defense, but says it is not as beneficial for improving offensive play.

After watching films, Agront finds ways to implement the team’s critiques into plays by emulating real games. He gives his players scenarios or what he calls “shadow-boxing,” where the players attempt to replay what they watched on film. He notes that for football formations that are big, he can determine many different aspects. For example, he can determine what plays the opponents run when in a certain formation and which one of these plays is the best, creating a plan afterward for countering that play.

“Say we’re playing Cupertino,” Agront said. “I know that they run these plays. I know that some of these players are still playing. We have old film and I have two new films from this season. ‘What’s the difference from last year to this year? Who are their main key players and who was in last week? Who was doing well? What do I think that they’re going to do now against us?’ If I’m watching a film on us, ‘Where do we suck? And how are they going to try to kill that?’ So I’m like, ‘Alright, so now how do I curb it a little bit and protect us but also put us in a situation where we can have an opportunity to win?’”

Lu says it is interesting to watch opponents they have never seen to determine their strengths and weaknesses. According to Lu, Borelli would send a summary of videos to watch. Then, before games, the team would go over their thoughts and plan strategies in the locker room, specifically focusing on the other team’s good players and shooters.

Agront, Lu and Chen all agree that watching film helps them perform well in games, as the team can implement specific drills to improve on what the team is lacking. Agront mentions that in addition to practicing based on the film they watch by incorporating new strategies, they mentally prepare for games by watching film, making them more confident in their plays.

“You can’t just go out there like, ‘We’re gonna go play,’” Agront said. “‘Let’s try it out, try to give it our best.’ You have to actually prepare. If you don’t prepare, that’s preparing for failure.”

About the Contributors
Arjun Dhruv
Arjun Dhruv, Sports Editor
Arjun is currently a junior and a sports editor for El Estoque. In his free time, he enjoys watching TV Shows and playing/watching sports with his friends.
Lily Jiang
Lily Jiang, Sports Editor
Lily is currently a junior and sports editor for El Estoque. In her free time, she enjoys playing her violin, binging shows and playing with her dog.
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