continued from yesterday...
1. Maximize your gym space. As a coach plans for their practices it is important to use as much of the space and/or baskets as possible. By doing this the coach is creating a practice that will allow players to stay active and prevent them from having to stand in line for periods of time waiting for a rep during a drill. During drill work players should spend more time "doing" rather than "waiting".
2. Create an environment where players will want to work hard. There are two key factors in helping create this type of environment. One is the coach setting expectations. When setting up a drill or scrimmage session in practice the coach needs to communicate clearly to the team what the expectations are. Don't give the team a list of ten expectations, keep the number low to give players a chance to focus on what the coach feels is needed the most. The second factor is the coach needs to be firm but fair with players. Every coach has their own coaching style that is a reflection of their personality. Whatever the coaching style a coach can be demanding of their players. Demanding does not have to mean the coach has to constantly yell at their players. Demanding means the coach pushes their players to meet the expectations set prior to the drill, scrimmage, or game. How the coach goes about doing this is a reflection of their own personality.
3. Have a good tempo to your practice. No matter if your team's style of play your practices need a good tempo. One way to create a good tempo is to maximize your gym space (see #1 in today's blog post). Another way to create good tempo is to shorten up your transition time in practice. Transition time is the time between drills in practice. If the coach is organized for practice this should not be an issue. The more stand around and wait time the players have during transitions the worse the tempo to practice will be. Obviously coaches need to allow time for their players to get water to keep hydrated, so this could take a bit more time during a transition. But the quicker you can move your team from drill to drill the quicker the tempo will be. You can get a lot more accomplished during a practice with a quicker tempo.
4. Recognize a time when things can loosen up. Every coach wants their team to show a great work ethic in practice. But a coach needs to recognize when things can loosen up for their players. The practice environment doesn't always have to be as serious as a tax audit every single minute your team is on the court. Creating a fun drill or activity for your team can have a big boost for the overall mentality of the players.
5. Use other coaches. So many times coaches feel they have to do everything on their own. This is wrong, wrong, wrong! If you are a staff of one, then you have to do it all on your own. But if there are other coaches on your staff, use them.
6. Remember what you want your team to be known for. Every coach should establish what their teams are absolutely going to be good at. Do you want to be a defensive team? A team that is great in transition? A team that shows patience on offense? A great rebounding team? Whatever it is for your team, then practice it...every day. It should be a big focus to all that you do during your practice sessions.
If you have any questions, comments, or ideas to share with me regarding this post feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.