Thursday, June 28, 2012


1. Always have a practice plan written on paper for each practice.  Writing out your practice plan ahead of time means you have given thought ahead of time for your practice.  This will keep both you and your players organized.  Write out your practice plan in a way that makes sense to you.  Some coaches need only the time and name of the drill on paper to get them through practice in an organized fashion.  Others may need the time, drill, diagrams, and many notes to keep them organized.  Do what is best for you.

2. Make your practices competitive.  Create an environment that allows for competition in practices. Some ideas to keep your practices competitive are:
  • Any drill that forces players to compete against each other.  This could be anything from 1-on-1 up to 5-on-5.  Have a winner and a loser within your drills and put a reward for the winner or an activity for the loser.  It could be something as simple as the losing player or team has to do 5 push-ups.  You would be surprised at how much harder players compete if they get the pleasure of watching their opponent do 5 push-ups. 
  • Do things that are measurable.  Example A: If you are doing an individual shooting drill have players keep track of the number of makes.  Players can remember their score and then the next time they perform the same drill each player will have a personal best to try and beat.  Continuing with shooting, Example B:  During team shooting drills set a goal for number of makes in a certain amount of time.  This pushes the players to work hard in an attempt to beat the desired goal.  Example C:  When performing a traditional box out drill players need to get two consecutive defensive rebounds to be out of the drill.  Continuing with rebounding, Example D:  During a rebounding drill keep track of offensive rebounds. The player with the most offensive rebounds gets recognized in front of the team.  Remember that number and the next time the drill is performed the players have a goal to work for.  Having players work hard for offensive rebounds forces the defender to work at best effort when attempting to box out.
  • The coach should set the expectations for each drill ahead of time.  Players should know exactly what is expected from them and why they are actually performing the drill.  This will prevent less hesitation from the players, and give your team the best opportunity to go all out in the drill.
3. Drill the fundamentals.  It doesn't matter what level of basketball you coach, the fundamentals of basketball will be the foundation for every team.  Dedicating fundamentals time to each practice is crucial to the continued development of your players and team.  Drilling the fundamentals can at times seem tedious to your players.  That is not always a bad thing because a coach can really gauge which players are mentally tough enough to continue working hard and not just go through the motions while working on the basic fundamentals of the game.  Coaches can create ways to make fundamental work fun and/or competitive.  Be creative!

4. Teach Whole to Part to Whole.  When introducing a new skill, concept, or an offense/defense use the whole-part-whole method.  Show them the end result first, then break it down to its smallest part, drill it and build your way back up to the end result.  Teaching this way gives your players a chance to truly understand what you are teaching.  The better a player understands the less time they need to stop and think about what is to be done.  This allows them to react and play rather than stop and think.

Tomorrow:  Tips For Running A Great Practice - Part 2

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