Winning Hoops

September/October 2013

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September/October 2013 Coaching Advice to Help You Build a Winning Program Vol. 28, No. 1 Creating a Two-Week Preseason Practice Plan By Jason Greer, Millsaps College, Jackson, Miss. FOR MOST OF MY coaching career, I have had to double as an assistant football coach during the fall in addition to basketball. I never really minded doing this because I love football, and it gives me a chance to get to know my players on a different level. The only downside is that it usually only leaves about two weeks for preseason basketball practice once football is over. If we make the playoffs, it could be less time than that. With that in mind, I suggest several key concepts that all coaches need to keep in mind when conducting preseason practice in a condensed time frame. Master Plan & Daily Practice Schedule Even if you only have two weeks, sit down and make a master plan on how you are going to use your time. Know exactly what you are going to teach, how you want to teach it and how much time you want to spend teaching it. Then, use that master schedule to help you decide what you want to work on and teach daily. Creating a Master Schedule See the forest and the trees. Although you are focused on getting ready for the beginning of the season, do so with the entire season in mind. Make sure you aren't just putting things in to get by those first few games. Be flexible with the master practice schedule. After the first two or three days, re-evaluate your master schedule and see if there are any changes you need to make. It's like cramming for a test: you may learn enough to pass now, but not enough to be successful for the long haul. After making out the master schedule, use it to make out your daily practice schedule. Constantly make notes on your practice schedule, so at the end of practice, you can look back and see what worked and what didn't. Making the Daily Schedule Stick to your practice schedule. Most importantly, stick to the times on your practice schedule. You can adjust them for tomorrow's practice. Do not obsess on perfection in each drill or teaching segment. Remember, you are laying the foundation for the rest of the season. You don't want to spend 30 minutes trying to perfect the Figure 8. Keep your segments short and concise. Do not get bogged down in one segment of practice. Keep things moving at a quick pace, so your players' minds and bodies are both adjusting to the speed of the game. If they aren't getting it, you can always put in a second session during the next practice. Continued on page 4 Check out our website at PLAY OF THE DAY! Need an extra edge on the court this season? Check out page 9 for winning concepts you can use today! —KEVIN HOFFMAN, Managing Editor

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