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Thoughts about Planning Basketball Practice Sessions

How long should a practice session last? This is a question every basketball coach must answer. Your answer will directly effect failure or success of the coming basketball season. Other than your ability to lead, no other stage of basketball coaching is as important as well planned and conducted practice session.

The ideal practice is short and most successful basketball coaches lean in that direction. Some circumstances determine the length of practice:

  1. The time available.
  2. The coach's disposition.
  3. Type of material available
  4. The following reasons call for short practice sessions:
    1. Basketball is a energetic sport.
    2. The season is long and played at a time when the body is subject to all types of colds and viral ailments and resistance is lowered..
    3. Long practices do not achieve the physical and mental edge required of basketball players..
    4. Physical and mental powers must reach their peak at tourney time.
    5. Enthusiasm and response to drills are greater in short practices.
    6. Lessens the chance of injuries.

Few teams suffer from lack of instruction when subjected to a well planned one-hour practice; however, most teams benefit from a two-hour practice sessions during the first half of a normal basketball season. Still, less time should be devoted to practice as the season progresses.

Some coaches excuse their starting players twice a week after mid-season to keep them fresh and eager to play. Some of you may be surprised at the results this little trick achieves. This provides the coach more time to develop the reserve players. On these two days, the reserves come in for intense work on their fundamentals. On the other days, they come for about as much work as the starting five; however, Tuesdays and Wednesdays should be hard days for the Varsity.

The coach should know the length of the daily practice before the season starts. The next step is to apportion so much time to offensive fundamentals, defensive fundamentals, offensive team organization, and defensive team organization.

Plan early-season fundamentals a week in advance; however, once the season opens revert to daily planning. This is needed to teach the type of fundamental most needed. Every player is not weak in the same fundamental. Become a good systems administrator, recognize the problems, divide the squad, and work on the deficient fundamentals of each member.

Here is an idea concerning the amount of time spent on daily practices:

  • Monday - 105 minutes
  • Tuesday - 100 minutes
  • Wednesday - 105 minutes
  • Thursday - 105 minutes
  • Friday - 105 minutes
  • Saturday - 90 minutes

Go to Part 2>>>>

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