Do your players tend to take circus shots and mess around before practice?
Typically, I find that 80% of our players talk and mess around…. while one or two players are doing something productive like practicing their form shooting.
To solve the problem, I gave our team a routine to go through if they get to practice early. It has worked wonderfully.
Here’s the routine for our youth players:
- 20 pound dribbles with right hand
- 20 pound dribbles with left hand
- 20 baby cross overs
- 20 form shots with right hand
- 20 form shot with left hand
- 20 lay ups (from different spots on perimeter)
By sticking with the “20 reps” theme, it’s easy for players to remember. I only had to show our 4th graders the routine once. And they got it.
I am happy to report that when players get to practice early, they all start the routine on their own. Now the beginning of our practices are more organized, less chaotic, and players are getting better. While I’m setting up the first drill, our players are practicing skills on their own.
I have also found players are more “locked in” and less rambunctious at the beginning of practice. Sometimes when they are messing around with their friends before practice, they have trouble changing gears into practice mode. This routine has helped with that.
Since they all start the routine at different times, I usually stop a few players in the middle of their routine to officially start practice.
Try it out. Give your players a “pre-practice routine” and see if it helps.