We have all heard that we practice the way we play. This is not just a saying, but a proven fact.
7 Ways Players Can Maximize Practice Time:
1. Eat right, get plenty to drink, get plenty of rest, and above all, take care of your body so you are ready to go when practice starts.
2. Strive to be the first one to practice. You don’t need to wait for practice to officially begin. Warm-up and get ready for practice as you would get ready for a game. Shooting an extra 100 shots or more before every practice will pay major dividends over an entire season.
3. If we practice the way we play, then practice should be done with a game-like intensity. If you focus in on every little detail in practice, you will do the same during games. Practice with passion and you will play games with passion.
4. Play with an intensity that makes your teammates raise their intensity level. Do not let up and those around you won’t let up either. Make sure your teammates hear and see your intensity.
5. Hold your team together. Every team needs at least one player to keep the team focused and on the same page. Be that player.
6. Use your eyes to see and hear everything. Coaches say this all the time for a reason. Make eye contact when interacting with your team. Take in everything that your teammates and coaches have to say.
7. Cherish every possession and every drill you run. Eliminate careless passes and poorly-run plays. Don’t waste shots and make smart decisions with the ball. Push yourself until you have nothing left when practice is over.
7 Ways Coaches Can Maximize Practice Time:
1. Plan your practice in advance. Coaches always have a game plan, and planning for practice is no less important. Of course there will always be things that you see in practice that will cause you to adjust parts of your plan, but keeping the overall focus on the things that you planned on working on will greatly enhance the effectiveness of practice time.
2. Keep practices focused and efficient. It’s better to have a great practice that lasts a little over an hour rather than a pretty good practice that takes two hours. If your players know that the focus is how hard they work instead of how long they work, they will work harder for however long practice lasts.
3. Avoid paragraphs or lectures. Make fast and forceful points to keep practice moving.
4. Attitude may not be everything, but it might me the most important thing. Never allow poor attitudes or body language to be welcome during your practices. When it does happen, have a plan in place to deal with it.
5. Use a rapid pace in practice. Have players run hard and take a lot of shots. The object of the game is to get the ball in the hoop, so make sure your players have as much practice time devoted to this as possible.
6. Have a theme for your team that carries over to practices. If you want your team to be known for tenacious man-to-man defense and bruising low-post offense, devote practices to emphasizing these skills.
7. Make sure practice is fun. Fun does not mean easy, but it does mean creating practices where players look forward to learning and working hard. The more enjoyment that they get from it, the more energy they will put into it.