Practice Question for Discussion
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June 21, 2020 at 6:21 pm #175723Inactive
Hello Awesome Coaches,
I am debating to run my practices with a 90 minute timer on the clock and just let it run for the next few practices to see how it goes. I typically have just planned out each section and had a manager or assistant have a copy of the practice plan to allow them to put the appropriate time up, ex) 10 minutes for dailies, 5 for shooting, 20 for offensive transition, etc.
I plan to just stay on a task until I feel we have done it well enough in my opinion or gotten out of some section what I planned.
Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
How do you all time your practices/keep yourself on task and on pace?
Keep being awesome.
Jared GillilandJune 24, 2020 at 9:48 pm #176304Inactive
Oooooo, can’t trust myself to do that, J . I’d spend 90mn on dynamic stretching….PROPERLY.?
I go in the other direction. I plan everything to the minute, but leave room for a couple of things to flow over or get dropped. I also try to keep TJ’s advice tattooed on my inner eyelid: the thing is the thing.June 26, 2020 at 7:34 pm #176314Inactive
This is how I started running my practices a few years ago to stay on track and since I do not always have a manager or someone to run the clock. Captains are responsible for stretching and any announcements they have before practice starts. It has helped us start on time and make the most of our 90 minutes. I put 99 minutes on the clock if we are the early practice and the players are always ready to go when the clock hits 90 and more often than not even earlier. The first year it really challenged me more than the players because I had to be more aware of time and trying to be efficient . I’ve noticed as it became part of our culture that players have learned to keep an eye on the clock and there is more urgency from them as we change from one thing to another. I build in some time so that a drill/ skill/ scrimmage/ or concept ends at say 45 (45 minutes left in practice) and the next thing will begin at 44. This usually helps keep things pretty close to on time. Things get smoother as the season goes because they are familiar with what we are doing and all I have to say is the name of the drill and they jump right into it. Sometimes things take longer than planned and you just adjust for the next time you do it in practice. Most competitive parts of practice that have a time limit just go off of the running clock. Occasionally I will wipe the clock and put a specific amount of time for situational concepts like late game situations. I just also have to build in that time. If I had a consistent manager or other staff members I might look at other options. This has worked well for me. If you try it let me know how it goes.July 14, 2020 at 3:29 pm #176336Inactive
I use my practice plan and accountability from assistants to try to stay on schedule as much as possible. Sometimes coaches will meet to discuss if we need to move on or stay with “this” activity and instead drop something else from the plan for that day. We use the clock only for certain competitions or situations. Maybe partly because we don’t always have managers there to run it and I hate having assistants run it when I need them on the floor with me.July 14, 2020 at 10:23 pm #176337Inactive
I love this discussion. I can have a hard time staying on time also so I have gone to a Non-negotialble/emphasis/if there is time model. The non-negotiables we do no matter what and we do them first to make sure they get done. The emphasis is what we want them to get out of practice so we teach and drill that as best we can. The if there is time is the add on’s to that day. Most of the if there is time stuff will be an ephasis down the road but not on that day. I learned from a coach a long time time ago if you want to spend an hour on shell do it four days in a row for 15 minutes. Dont do it for an hour on monday. That has paid off for us.July 15, 2020 at 5:21 pm #176338Inactive
@Jared GillilandThis is a really good discussion. I think practice is like the game of basketball, a lot of ways to go about it and they can all be successful. Time management for me would be a challenge without at least a time guideline. I am like @Nelson Handel I could get hung up on a particular area and spend too much time on it trying to get it perfected. I make out a timed practice plan to try and stay on track. I like @Gregg Feddes I prioritize segments of practice.
Listening to Chris Oliver’s podcast really got my wheels turning about practice and the disconnect that occurs. He was talking about the carry over value from drills and skills work to the game. My team definitely experienced a big disconnect when carrying over practice to the game. I would like to hear your thoughts about this type of format for practice. I have always did my build up drills and fundamentals and breakdown drills early in practice and built them up to playing basketball. After listening to Chris Oliver, I am thinking about after about 2-3 weeks of practice to get fundamentals polished and team strategies installed. Then coming into practice 20 minutes of stretching non negotiable drills (shooting, fundamentals, BDT etc..) then a 20 min segment of 5 on 5 LIVE. Then drills and skills based on performance that day, then back to another 5 on 5 segment to try and improve carry over. Then move to emphasis for practice etc…I would like to hear thoughts on this, or if someone has or does lay their practices out this way.July 19, 2020 at 9:15 pm #176340Inactive
@Dennis Wright Chris told me that by two weeks into his season, he ran his entire practice 5v5 live, breaking that occasionally for small sided games to polish skills needing work. At the HS level, that would be chaos for me.
However, I am far more games-based then i used to be, with the simple philosophy of inverting the traditional skill acquisition model you mention. Rather than skills-to-games, I try to start with a constrained game first and let them flop about for a bit. Then I step in and teach the skill needed to “unlock” the game, using breakdowns as needed. Then, we return to the game. By tightly integrating the acquisition with the game play, I found dramatically improved retention and live game transfer of the concepts I wanted to see.
In storytelling (I’m a writer), we say “Boredom is getting the answers to questions you never asked.” Sucking at a constrained game creates the need for the untaught skill. When the teaching comes, it fulfills that need, increasing interest and learning focus. Having immediate success with that skill then better cements it into the player’s game.
Play around with it and see if it works for you.July 20, 2020 at 1:35 pm #176341Inactive
@Nelson Handel thanks for the insight. I have done most of my skills work, breakdown and SSG before we went to 5 on 5. I have always had my few core drills that I believe are daily needs, then I would go from their to breakdown or SSG depending working against man or zone. I have always used more drills early in the year and moved to a SSG as we progressed, but I have not jumped into 5 on 5. Unless we were pressed for time or it was late in the season when we start cutting reps down for the top group and giving more reps to the lower team members. Chris makes a great point about why work on something if your team is already proficient at the skill.
I am definitely going to play around with this concept this coming year.July 22, 2020 at 7:23 pm #176345Inactive
Great discussion…I am following…will jump in later to share.
Thanks for starting some important and fun conversation @Jared GillilandJuly 23, 2020 at 3:53 am #176347Inactive
@Jared Gilliland thanks for the thoughts regarding practice planning. In the program that I am transitioning from we would build our practice plan and have set times for each segment. For example, 20 minutes of transition and then would have 3-4 drills in the segment and plan for time that we would like to spend on each. However we would just put the 20 minutes on the clock for the entire transition segment. This allowed us some flexibility to stay on something longer if we needed to or move on quicker if we needed to. If a drill happens to go past the time on the clock we automatically had our manager put the time of the next segment on the clock and have it start to run.
Then we would move into the next segment, for example half court defense and have a set amount of time there as well for multiple drills. We found that this format gave us a lot of flexibility within a segment, but also kept us on task and hitting each segment that we valued as important (shooting, transition, half court defense, half court offense, situations, and some form of a controlled scrimmage). This past season we experimented with the order that we put the segments in practice and our players seemed to enjoy this as a nice change-up. Late in the year we were struggling to get stops to close quarters so we experimented with moving our defensive segment to the end of practice when our players were the most fatigued, but still had to find a way to grind out stops. It seemed to really benefit us.
We also had someone recommend that we post the practice plan so that the players could see it ahead of time and be more prepared. The thought that was given to us behind this concept was that today’s generation of athletes like to know what they can expect and that it alleviates a lot of the anxiety and tension that they feel about the unknown. We were torn on this as a staff as it is almost impossible to predict and know everything that will happen in a game and we felt like were taking away some of that preparation by allowing them to know exactly what to expect every day in practice. Curious if any of you have thoughts on this concept or have experimented with it?August 13, 2020 at 7:19 pm #176355InactiveOn 7/22/2020 at 8:53 PM, Kristen Rogers said:
We also had someone recommend that we post the practice plan so that the players could see it ahead of time and be more prepared. The thought that was given to us behind this concept was that today’s generation of athletes like to know what they can expect and that it alleviates a lot of the anxiety and tension that they feel about the unknown. We were torn on this as a staff as it is almost impossible to predict and know everything that will happen in a game and we felt like were taking away some of that preparation by allowing them to know exactly what to expect every day in practice. Curious if any of you have thoughts on this concept or have experimented with it?
Sorry it took so long to respond, K. This year, I started by sending my practice plan to entire team, but at HS level, kids just don’t pay attention. So I sent it to my team captain every day. Enfranchising him empowered his leadership. I’m going to keep doing it.
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