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basketball practice

Basketball Practice and Intensity

We coach, we constantly talk to our team about basketball practice and how our team’s practice. We say repeatedly the mythical phrase “we play as we train”, but many times the athletes listen, but do not fully understand what we mean by that sentence because practice for them is different from playing, and they are right.

However, we know that without practice how we should play we will not be at our best. All coaches were upset because of our team in that practice trained at a very low intensity when we want to play at a very high intensity. We left practice and wondered why it was so when they know we want to play at a high intensity.

Several reasons go through our heads to justify why practice with low intensity, we blame the exercises, the attitude of the players and there are rare times that we blame ourselves.

So today, I bring a short process to quickly improve the intensity of our practices.

Understand the context of basketball practice

To improve the intensity of our basketball training, we need to understand the context around us.

  • Know the way of practice athletes

Understand the behavior of athletes, are focused on improving their skills, or just go to training to have fun and be with friends. Come to training vs. Come to train

  • Club Culture

Understand if the club’s culture is to focus on improving athletes and compete or just be a social club where athletes have fun playing basketball with friends

  • Team Culture

The culture of the team will be the result of the way of training athletes, however, athletes are focused on improving their skills, and even so, the intensity is low, we must realize whether we have the goals defined with the team or not.

Act on the context

After we understand what the context in which we are inserted we have to act on it, however, this action may seem easy, but it often takes a whole season or a few seasons to feel results.

Correct the way of training athletes

  • Changing athletes’ behavior in practice

This topic is one of those that would give several hours of coffee to debate or write a book about it. However, if we know the reasons why the athlete is practicing we can quickly change his behavior, a simple change is to define with each athlete a goal for him. In this way, the athlete will feel more motivated to come to train. This will also facilitate our corrective action towards the athlete if his behavior is not what is desired.

Shaping club culture by correcting team culture

Set goals for the season

Setting goals with the team for the season is important, as they will always have in mind an end to work and not work just for working. It is common for coaches to set goals and not share them with the team. It is extremely important that they are shared or even defined together (it would be ideal). If it is not a competition team you should set fundamentals goals (increase dribble, passing, shooting, defense, …)

Improve team communication in practice

The increased communication between the team in training will make players trust each other, it will also energize the team during training (better workouts are the loudest). Will, it not only energize the team as well as intimidate the opponent’s attack in the game and greatly facilitate the team’s defensive actions. To effectively improve team communication in training, it is important to define a specific vocabulary.

Vary the drills

Varying practice exercises will prevent players from feeling bored in training, often we do not even need to change the entire exercise or create a new one just by making a small change in the exercise. For example, set a goal for the exercise.

Promote internal competition

If we want our players to compete against other teams, we need to promote healthy internal competition. Almost every exercise should have a winner and a loser, including a consequence for those who lose.

Have an intense drill “in your pocket”

Often we coach always have that special play when we need to score two or three points. For practice, we should always have that drill that we know will bring fantastic intensity and energy to training when things are not going very well.

Coach intensity

Finally, the point that makes the difference in many teams. There is no use for us coaches to demand from our players or we are demanding of ourselves. Knowing how to be in practice on our part has to be equal to the way of being in practice that we demand of our athletes.

In addition to being consistent, athletes will work twice as hard if they feel someone is working for them. It is important not to confuse the intensity of the coach with the fact that he is always “shouting” at the athletes when I talk about the intensity of the coach. I talk about correcting when they are doing something wrong and correcting by giving or questioning the athlete with a possible solution or praising when they are doing something right. In conclusion, always giving feedback to the athlete.

Ready to improve the intensity of your practice?

I hope you have understood what we coaches can do to increase practice intensity, for that we first need to understand the context and then act on it.

If you have already used points, define other points. Or have any more ideas to add to those presented, leave your comment, and share it with all coaches.

Good practices!

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