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Establishing a Practice Schedule for Basketball

Aug 17, 2007
As far as the time of practice is concerned, I feel the best time to practice is right after school. I begin our practice at 3:20 and continue until 5:15 or 5:30, depending on the work planned for the day. I feel it is desirable to have several practice sessions at night before we begin the regular season's schedule so that we might accustom the players to game conditions. I conduct several game type scrimmages at night before the opening game.

It is my sincere belief that proper practice equipment is one of the most important elements in a successful basketball program. I have uniform practice equipment which is not expensive but very adequate. The squad is issued white practice pants and reversible T-Shirts, so they can merely turn their shirts inside out if they change teams during practice. Our school provides sweat socks, athletic supporter, and white shoes. I feel the boys are much better disciplined if they are all outfitted in the same practice equipment. From the standpoint of the player, this gives him a feeling that he is part of a team and not a member of a disorganized group.

I feel it is equally important for the coach to have some type of uniform that he wears to practice. It is my belief that the coach must set the example if he is to insist upon uniform practice equipment for the team.

If you are fortunate as we are, and have a trainer, take advantage of the situation and make the best use of him. It will give the boy more confidence to be told by the trainer that he is all right than to just have the coach do it. I let our trainer make the decisions on all of our minor injury problems. If he says the boy needs to be taped, that's it. If he says the boy should miss practice for any reason, I respect his judgment. He also recommends boys to the doctor when he feels it is necessary. On the nights of a game, I make out the lineup, but the trainer advises me on the physical condition of each player. If he decides the boy is not fit, he doesn't play.

If you do not have a trainer, it would be advisable for you to attend a clinic and work carefully with the trainer there. I am sure the help that you receive from the trainers will provide you with great assistance in getting your boys ready to play.

If you are ever in doubt about an injury suffered by a player, you should consult a doctor immediately. Never take a chance on jeopardizing the health of one of your players by minimizing what appears to be a slight injury. A doctor can erase all doubt about a boy's physical condition very quickly with an examination.

It is imperative that the coach be in complete control of the team at all times. You should attempt to treat all of the players alike. Give no special favors to the "star," but rather tell him, he is expected to conduct himself as a "star" off the court as well as on the court. He should set the perfect example for the younger boys. I have found it to be true more often than not, that such was the natural case. The "star" was the "star" both in the classroom, on the street, and on the basketball court.

I have definite training rules that I expect the boys to follow. There was once a time that I felt like many other coaches feel today; to set up training rules for the boys to follow was too dictatorial. I wanted to follow the modern theme of education and let the boys set up their own rules to follow. I found, after a time, that although this is commendable, many of the boys did not actually know what was best for them and thus used poor training techniques I set up a definite time for the boys to be in bed, and in a couple of weeks they felt stronger and could run with the best of them.
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