You may be tempted to try and cover too many things. Remember that a basketball season is a marathon - not a sprint. Practices should rarely, if ever, last longer than two hours. Players have a difficult time maintaining focus beyond that time. You will end up accomplishing less by going longer.
Always take practice seriously because the way you practice is the way you are going to play. If you donŽt put much effort into practice, those habits will show on the court during the game. Practice hard and you will play hard in the games. As often as possible, make practices competitive. Games are played to be won and lost, so the more competition you can have in practice, the more used to competition your players will be.
Have an idea on how you want your basketball practices to flow. There should be a natural progression to what you do. Practices should start slow, for warm-up purposes and gradually get more intense. Try developing a chart or checklist to make sure that you cover skills and strategies as often as youŽd like. A sample of one can be found at:
A good practice should be well organized and well run. One of the best ways to achieve this is throught the use of practice plans. Decide what you want to accomplish in your practice, how much time you will devote to each thing you want to do, then the drills you will use and how much time you will need to complete them.
When running drills, break your team into groups and spend no more than five minutes on a drill. You want to keep practices fast-paced and this will help. By breaking down into smaller groups, you keep everyone active and give them several repetitions in the exercise. By keeping the drill time short, you keep their interest.
You might want to try doing your teaching of new plays during a pre-practice walk-thru before the team is stretched and loosened up. Their minds will be more focused on learning. If they stand and listen too long after warming up, they will get tight and it might be hard to get them going again. Your very first walk-thru at your very first practice should be the one thing that you feel is the MOST important aspect to your teams success. Remember - you only get one chance to make a first impression.
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