How to justify time spent on skills
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Author:  jimbiggs [ 20 Jun 2010, 16:52 ]
Post subject:  How to justify time spent on skills

One of the things I've noticed with all of the coaches I've worked with over the past year is that they want to spend just about every minute of practice scrimmaging. I'm not talking about one coach. I'm talking about all the coaches I've worked with in different sports. To me it just doesn't make sense to scrimmage kids with limited skills. Why have a competition when the kids don't have the skills necessary to be competitive? That's why I spent most of my practice time teaching skills. Last season I spent at least two thirds of our practice time on skill development. I think I've read somewhere that it is recommended that 80% of practice time be spent on skill development. The kids need so much work. How can I justify to the other coaches that we need to spend most of our time working on skills and not scrimmaging? Is there an article about that here?

Author:  Coach Sar [ 20 Jun 2010, 18:21 ]
Post subject:  Re: How to justify time spent on skills

I'll do a search.... but those guys are only interested in winning and not developing the kids as players along with having some fun. I wonder how they would do in a classroom..... lets see, we are having the final exam today ( its the first day of class ) But teacher, you haven't taught us anything yet.

Author:  Coach Sar [ 20 Jun 2010, 18:46 ]
Post subject:  Re: How to justify time spent on skills

This is pretty much how we planned our practices -

1- 25-30 minutes of shooting to include free throws & post moves and reading screens

2- 10 - 15 minutes of press offense every day

3- 20 minutes of defensive fundamentals
4- 15 minutes of team defense

5- 25 minutes of team offense

6- 10 minutes of situations
7- 10 minutes of special sets

This varied somewhat from day to day..... the day before a game we spent more time learning how we were going to defend their offenses.... and our defensive drills that week were designed to defend what they do ... ie; back screens, pick and rolls, multiple screens etc.
Our offensive drills of the week were designed around what defenses they ran - how we were going to execute our offense and our sets. Remember, these were high school varsity boys.

Author:  nhayden [ 21 Jun 2010, 16:31 ]
Post subject:  Re: How to justify time spent on skills

I agree with Coach Sar. You must break down your skills into drills. Scrimmaging too much just creates or allows more bad habits. You must break down your points of emphasis and have your players do the skills each day. Repition, Repition, Repition.

Author:  JoeHaefner [ 21 Jun 2010, 16:42 ]
Post subject:  Re: How to justify time spent on skills

I feel you pain, coach. More games. More games. More games seems to be the mantra for some coaches. I agree that games are important, but there needs to be a middle ground.

Here is a great audio snippet from Don Kelbick that explains for the importance of working on skills:

With youth kids, I like to work on 1 or 2 skill drllls, then play a fun game or a game-like drill to break up the monotomy of practice.

For example, I may take a group of 10 year olds and have them do some change of direction dribbles through some chairs. Then, I may have them crab dribble forwards and backwards (visualize Magic Johnson backing down the smaller guards). After that, I may play dribble tag, 1v1 half court, 1v1 full court, or 1v2 full court.

Author:  Coach Sar [ 21 Jun 2010, 17:26 ]
Post subject:  Re: How to justify time spent on skills

Great audio Joe....

This part is interesting to say the least! If you looked at my typical practice plan, we worked on fundamentals every day.... without fail. In the summer and pre season we covered everything that we felt was important. When the season started our drill work was game specific...... AND anything that I or my assistant felt we didn't do well in the last game, handling screens, defending the post of hi low game etc. I didn't have to rag the kids after a game, they knew what we were doing wrong by what we practiced that week.

IF you don't work on fundamentals, YES, they will deteriorate, just like any other part of the game. Don does a good job of explaining this.

Why Skills Deteriorate With Too Many Games

Don: I think this is one of the reasons why the U.S. has come under criticism, because their level of play and fundamentals and their - and the skill level of players in the United States is starting to lag behind the rest of the world because the rest of the world, they practice two or three times as much as they play.

Here we hardly ever practice. We just always play, play, play, play, play, play, play. And players never get a chance to practice and improve on the things they need to improve on.

Joe: I know I've seen on other websites and articles where they actually say that fundamentals can actually deteriorate during the season.

Don: Absolutely, they certainly do because fundamentals - just like anything else. Just like any other skill; you get better the more you use it, and the less you use it the worse you get. It's one of the seven fundamentals of learning called disuse. In addition to which if you're playing in a game, and you might play for two hours, the entire two hours you may touch the ball for four or five minutes in two hours, and in half that time you’re just gonna pass it to somebody else. Probably of the other half probably 60 to 70 percent of that is gonna be doing stuff you shouldn't be doing anyway, and it doesn't leave you with a whole lot of time leftover.

Author:  jimbiggs [ 21 Jun 2010, 22:40 ]
Post subject:  Re: How to justify time spent on skills

That was great Joe. Thank you.

Author:  Coach A [ 22 Jun 2010, 13:15 ]
Post subject:  Re: How to justify time spent on skills

I agree. Especially with youth basketball, 60 to 75% of practice time should be dedicated to skill development (ballhandling, proper shooting form, passing skills, rebounding, etc.) The other 25% should be used for scrimmaging. I also try to have conditioning apart of my skills drills so the kids get a good work-out while improving their basketball fundamentals.

Coach A

Author:  Coach Sar [ 22 Jun 2010, 16:40 ]
Post subject:  Re: How to justify time spent on skills

That's true.... the younger the kids the more skill work you need.

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