Top 25 Reasons to Attend a Top Coach's Practice

Last month I recommended...

That you take advantage of the opportunity to observe another team's practice.

Ideally, you'll choose a team that runs a system similar to yours... or even just a coach you respect.

If you haven't done so...

I just want to remind you that NAIA practices will begin September 18th and Junior College practices will be starting at the beginning of October.

With that in mind...

Here's 25 Reasons to Attend a Top Coach's Practice (in no particular order)...

  1. You'll gain Insight into their coaching culture and coaching style
  2. You'll observe their subtle interactions with players
  3. It's a great way to complement coaching clinics and understand how concepts are implemented... not just what their concepts are.
  4. You'll gain insight into how they structure their practice.
  5. You'll learn what kind of drills they use - is there anything you can take away?
  6. Do they run variations of drills that you already use (these are great to give players a new look during a long season)
  7. How do they split up their players for drills and 5v5 action?
  8. You'll gain insight into their Special Situations - what do they do for these, and how do they teach them?
  9. How long are their practices? (I recently heard of a high-level coach running 1 hour practices!)
  10. What specific skills are they teaching, and how are they teaching them?
  11. How do they teach new concepts, and when do they introduce new or technical concepts?
  12. You'll have a chance to listen to (and learn from) different teaching cues.
  13. You'll get tips on how to utilize assistant coaches during practice.
  14. Learn tactics to use to keep intensity and motivation high.
  15. What are their emphases on defense / offense?
  16. What is the atmosphere like at practice - how was this created?
  17. How long do they spend on each drill?
  18. What do they do during the time transitioning between drills?
  19. How do they begin practice, and how do they get players "in the swing" of practice after sitting in a classroom?
  20. What roles are given to the managers?
  21. What stats are charted in practice?
  22. You'll get insight into when and how to correct players... and when to let players correct themselves.
  23. How much time do they spend on exposing players to the schemes of future opponents?
  24. How do their drill progressions complement their system-specific concepts?
  25. Post-practice Q&A sessions (if allowed) are an invaluable opportunity to pick the coach's brain.
  26. Bonus) Stay on the cutting edge of new techniques and strategies by learning from the best minds in the sport.

    Bonus #2) It's impossible not to take at least 1 thing away... even if it's one simple drill!


I hope that's enough reasons to take my advice...

And reach out to a JUCO or NAIA coach and get permission for you and your staff to attend one of their upcoming practices!

Let me know your thoughts below.

Have you attended a college practice before?

What did you get out of it?

Anything I left out of the list above?


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