PROPER PRACTICE PLANNING
By
 George Raveling
(Former Washington State, Iowa, and USC Head Coach)

COACHES ARE BASICALLY TEACHERS (Court is the classroom, coach is the teacher, subject is basketball, players are the students)

· THE BEST TEACHERS:
1- Make learning exciting and fun
2- Maintain the students interest
3- Involve the student by asking for feedback
4- Bring out the BEST in each student
5- Truly CARE about the student

· AS TEACHERS WE MUST RECOGNIZE THAT LEARNING
IS A CONTINUING PROCESS
· MORE GAMES ARE WON DURING PRACTICE THAN 
DURING  THE GAME
      “You prepare for war during times of peace”
 
· A COACH’S BASIC RESPONSIBILITIES ARE:
1- To Teach
2- To Motivate
3- To Discipline
4- To Evaluate
· AS COACHES, WE TEACH IN PRACTICE AND LEAD 
DURING THE GAME
· IN MY OPINION, THERE IS A TEACHING PROGRESSION:
1-  Talk   2-  Walk   3-  Run   4-  Participate
· STAFF RETREAT (1- Review  2- Plan  3-  Assign

· TYPES OF PRACTICE (TEAM – INDIVIDUAL)
1- Combination       5- Shooting
2- Defense               6-  Video
3- Offense               7-   Conditioning
4- Position               8-   Pre-game Practice

· PRACTICE PROVIDES A COACH THE OPPORTUNITY TO:
1- Teach                  4-    Motivate
2- Evaluate             5-    Discipline
3- Learn                  6-    Prepare to win (Prepare to lose)

· THE GOALS OF A PRACTICE (As Coaches):
1- Get Players to Concentrate
2- Get Players to Play Hard
3- Get Players to Have Fun
4- Get Players to Communicate (Talk)

· TAKE MORE TIME TO PLAN PRACTICE THAN TO 
CONDUCT PRACTICE
· PRACTICE PLANS MUST BE (1) WELL ORGANIZED AND
(2) TIMELY
· TYPES OF PRACTICE PLANS:
(On the court, Off the court (video), Scouting Report)
1- Monthly    2- Weekly   3- Daily

· NORMAL PRACTICE SHOULD BE BALANCED
1- Defense              6- Fast Break
2- Offense              7-  Footwork
3- Shooting        8- Ball-Handling
4- Rebounding       9- Conditioning
5- Special Situations

· PRACTICE SESSIONS MUST INCLUDE:
1- Half-court activity   2- Full-court activity

· PRACTICE SHOULD VARY IN:
1- Time   2- Type   3- Length

· I BELIEVE THAT 30% OF THE PRACTICE SESSION 
SHOULD BE ON “5 ON 5”
· WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE, EVERY COACH MUST
ASK HIMSELF THIS FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION: “ARE
THE PLAYERS GETTING BETTER?” ASK THIS ABOUT
EACH INDIVIDUAL PLAYER
· PRACTICE RULES
1- Always Stand if not Participating
2- Run from One Drill to the Next
3- Never Criticize a Teammate (Encourage)
4- Neat Appearance

· USE PRACTICE NOTEBOOK
· USE OF ASSISTANT COACHES:
1- Must understand role in practice
2- Must be consistent w/teaching philosophy & technique
3- Enthusiasm
4- Review practice plans with them
5- Listen to them – No YES men
6- Take Notes
7- Be Who They Are (Don’t need to mirror Head Coach’s Style)
8- Be Certain They Understand Each Drill

· BASKETBALL SKILLS ARE LEARNED BY REPETITION. A
PLAYER NEEDS “DAILY DOSES” OF REPETITIVE DRILLS 
IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE A HIGH SKILL LEVEL
· THE MOST DIFFICULT THING TO ACHIEVE IN A 
PRACTICE SESSION IS CONSISTENT CONCENTRATION
1- Call Out Player’s Name
2- Ask Questions
3- Competition
4- Search for Methods to Increase Concentration

· THE MOST IMPORTANT MINUTES OF A PRACTICE ARE
THE FIRST FIVE MINUTES AND THE LAST FIVE
MINUTES
· DON’T USE A WHISTLE – PLAYERS SHOULD GET USED 
TO YOUR VOICE – YOU CANNOT USE A WHISTLE DURING A GAME
· COACHES SPEND MORE TIME ON THE “HOW” OF 
THINGS AND NOT ENOUGH TIME ON THE “WHY” OF
THINGS – PLAYERS MUST KNOW THE PURPOSE FOR
WHAT THE COACH IS DOING
· DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK YOUR PLAYERS FOR THEIR 
OPINION – IF YOU LISTEN TO THEM THEY WILL LISTEN
TO YOU
· DRILLS:
1- Purpose
2- Goal
3- Logical Progression (Individual to Team)
4- Name
5- Multiple (Combine as Many Fundamentals as Possible)
6- Timed
7- Fun (Fun Drills)
8- Intense
9- Competitive
10- Protect Against Monotony
11- Teaching Stations

· FOUR THINGS THAT MAKE DRILLS COMPETITIVE:
1- The Use of a Clock
2- An Opponent
3- Compete Against Self
4- Goal

· INJURED PLAYER PHILOSOPHY
· I BELIEVE – AFTER 31 YEARS OF COACHING – THAT IF YOU CAN’T GET IT DONE IN 2 ½ HOURS OF PRACTICE, YOU ARE NOT ORGANIZED ENOUGH
· HAVE SOMEONE OBSERVE YOUR PRACTICE AND WRITE UP A CRITIQUE OF THE PRACTICE (ASK THEM TO BE HONEST)

                 This article is an outline of a clinic talk made by Raveling at the 
                  2001 BILOXI BASKETBALL COACHING CLINIC. Raveling
                  is currently Director of Nike Worldwide Camps. He may be
                  contacted at:   George.Raveling@Nike.com