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I’m a massive believer in including competitive elements in your pre-game warm up. Layup lines and anything on air isn’t going to prepare them for the mental & physical pressures of the game. 

We have very limited warm up time on court so my guys get basic muscular warm up and stretching done in whatever space we can grab elsewhere. 

Not ideal, but it means once we hit the court we are right into SSGs, finishing with a half ct 5v5 (starters vs bench). We’ll include a run through various plays & basic strategy that they need to be aware of for that particular game. Rarely is the other team scouting us during warm up so I’m not too concerned about that but it’s something to be aware of if you have better opposition coaches than I do! But even limiting the final 5v5 to your basic offense is better than no competitive play. 

I started this a few tears ago with a very slow starting team. What a huge difference it made: they are excited, in a competitive mindset and in a game mentality from tip off. That change in one be team sold me and no matter what any team has been like since, it has only made them better starters – even those substituted in later in the game. 

The players absolutely love it as well, which helps! And they play hard in warm up. I also find that it helps settle nerves, as well as bleed off excess adrenaline. 

Hope this is useful.