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10 Golden Rules You Should Apply to Your
- By Jeff Haefner
These are things that almost all coaches should be doing. Do you follow all these rules?
No standing in lines. Players should spend VERY little time standing in lines. I can't tell you how many practices I see where players are standing around waiting to do something. That's a tremendous waste of time and de-motivating for players.
Use a practice plan. You must have a practice plan to keep your basketball drills moving efficiently and effectively. The last thing you want is players waiting around. If you prepare ahead of time and document a practice plan, your practice and drills will be much more efficient and effective.
Vary your drills. A major enemy of skill development is boredom. The large number of repetitions necessary to improve or learn a skill could lead to routine, mundane sessions. Having multiple drills that work on the same skill and rotating them by workout will go a long way to maintaining interest and enthusiasm. It also exposes players to multiple situations in which he can use the skills he is working on. This creates greater motivation and better workouts.
If possible, every player should have a ball. The more touches players get with the ball, the better they will get with it. Such a simple concept, yet how much time do you spend practicing 5 on 5 scrimmages? How many touches do you think players get during scrimmage? Not many. Do you even have enough basketballs for all your players? Bottom line, use drills and small sided games (like 3 on 3) so players get more touches with the ball.
Use multifaceted drills. This allows you to get more done in less time. Use drills that work on multiple aspects of the game. For example, you could use drills that improve footwork, ballhandling, and shooting all at the same time.
Incorporate your offense into your skill development drills. Take a piece of your offense and turn it into a skill development drill. This allows you to make twice as much progress in your practice. As an example, you could take a common screen or cut from your offense. Have players run that cut and shoot or make a move at the end of the cut. You can use chairs to simulate defenders. This allows them to practice a piece of your offense and skill at the same time (shooting, ballhandling, passing, footwork, and so on).
Remove competition when teaching NEW skills. The greatest motivation in any activity is success and success comes slowly with new skills. It is important, while teaching, to reduce stress and fear of failure. Getting a player to buy in and work through the knowledge and adjustments necessary to develop new skills is difficult. When you factor in the emotional toll of unsuccessful repetitions that will certainly occur while learning, you realize that having players compete with undeveloped skills will erode any confidence he may have and might actually affect other skills as well. Your aim is to program for success, not failure.
Go in short bursts. To keep players attention and focus, you need to limit the time of each drill. If you stick on something for 10 minutes or more, you're almost always wasting your time. Not to mention, players like to keep things fast paced and moving. It makes for a more enjoyable practice.
Simulate game situations. As players get comfortable with a skill, it's important to simulate what they will see in games. That means players must perform at game speed and be put in competitive situations they will see in games.
Provide lots of positive reinforcement. This is one of the best skill development and motivation tools that you have. When correcting, use the sandwich technique. Also, consider letting the player work things out on their own. The point is that you need to be positive for them to reach their potential.
What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...