ORGANIZING YOUR PRACTICE TIME

    PREPARE TO WIN

by

       RICK WALROND
              FORMER ASSISTANT BASKETBALL COACH
                  BETHUNE COOKMAN COLLEGE, DAYTONA BEACH, FL

 Time on the floor with your players is very valuable. Much time and thought should be put into each practice session. The quality of your practices will eventually determine how many games you win or lose during the season. Talent level of players, number of players, time, facilities, and equipment are all things to consider when putting your practice schedule together.

 The following is a collection of ideas that will contribute to more organized and productive practice sessions.

PRACTICE CONSIDERATIONS

1.  Each day ask this question: What do I want to accomplish this practice session?

2. Certain aspects of the game should be performed every day: (i.e. - ball handling, shooting, defense, rebounding, 
    passing, setting picks, etc.)

3. Be a teacher on the floor and assume nothing when teaching. These four points are important when teaching:                                                 explain, demonstrate, perform, critique. Use positive comments.

4. Teach new concepts early in practice sessions when players are most alert.

5. Once new ideas have been taught, repetition is the key.

6. When showing a new concept to the team, walk through it first so players can see what is expected. (Whole-part-whole concept).

7. Follow demanding drills with free throws or less demanding drills. Shoot free throws when tired.

8. Simulate game conditions in practice so players are accustomed to these conditions. Use the game and shot clock to simulate various game situations.

9. Practice what you stress and believe in. Work on those things you will use in games.

10.Build conditioning into your drills to avoid excessive running after practice. Don't make players dread the end of practice.

11.Limit drills to 5-6 minutes. Half and full court team situations will take longer.

12.Explain the purpose of drills. Let them in on the "why" of what you're doing.

13.Organize drills so that players aren't standing around. Keep them constantly involved.

14.Stretching and warm-up drills should get players ready to practice and help avoid injury.

15. Meet with certain players before practice for needed individual or small group work.

16.Meet with your coaches before practice so that all teaching points and practice goals are understood.

17. Meet as a staff following practice to discuss how the practice went and things that need to be worked on the next day.

18.Construct a master plan of everything that needs to be covered throughout the course of the season. Break the master plan down into weekly and daily practice plans.

19.Consider number of players, balls, and baskets in order to utilize your facility to its fullest.

20.Use managers or student assistants as "helpers" in practice. Managers make great passers in practice.

21.Incorporate jump ropes, toss-backs and blocking dummies into your practice.

22.Managers should sweep the floor before practice and have towels and water at courtside.

23.Use videotape equipment to tape practice so coaches and players can evaluate the previous day's practice or scrimmage.

24.Include a saying or emphasis of the day on each daily practice plan.

25.Try to end each practice on a positive "up" note. Team oriented drills give them a feeling of togetherness as they leave the floor.

Organize your practice to the minute and try to stay with your original time allotments. Use the back of your practice plan to jot down ideas, changes, or observations about that particular practice that day. You can then refer to those notes as you prepare the following day's practice plan.

(PLEASE WRITE OR CALL IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING THIS MATERIAL.
 RICK WALROND, ASSISTANT BASKETBALL COACH, BETHUNE COOKMAN COLLEGE, DAYTONA BEACH, FL. 32114-3099.  Phone:  386-255-1401, Ext. 687.)