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Coaching basketball for beginners

Updated on March 2, 2013
a great coach makes learning fun, and interactive
a great coach makes learning fun, and interactive

The Practice Plan: Blueprint for Success

Practices are very important to a team that wants to be successful throughout the season. Every minute of a practice should be used and not wasted, and an organized practice plan will help a coach achieve his goals for the practice. A coach must stick to his practice plan so that he will not lose sight of the time. It is best to allow time segments for each drill so that every drill will be fit into the practice. In order to stay on the time schedule, a coach could use the scoreboard timer, give the manager a copy of the practice plan and a whistle to signal the end of a drill, or give the assistant the responsibility of telling him when the time is up. Coaches should keep a copy of the practice plan on hand in a clipboard or on a note card to be kept with him throughout the practice. It is best to teach new skills at the beginning of practice when the players are mentally and physically fresh. In order to keep the players from getting tired quickly, a coach should alternate the physically demanding drills with the easier ones. A coach should also allow time for water breaks during the practice because one does not want his players to become dehydrated or have a heat stroke. It has already been stated that the practice should be organized, but it should also be very detailed in order to minimize questions and confusion. After the practice, a team meeting should be called. This meeting should be brief and should be a time for reminders, practice discussions, and so on.

By planning out a practice schedule, a coach will be able to see more successful practices and a better team.

benching a player doesn't have to be a negative experience
benching a player doesn't have to be a negative experience

Bench Time: A Positive Experience

Only five players can be on a court at a time. That means there will have to be members of a team sitting on the bench. While “riding the pine,” as some say, one should use his time wisely and evaluate the game. One should concentrate on the game so when he goes in, he will know what he will have to do. He should closely watch the game to fmd out what defense his team is playing, what plays are working, and the weaknesses of the opponent’s defense and offense. One should also observe individual qualities to see if they have a good jump shot, if he can drive to the basket, or if he can go eithr right or left. That goes the other way also. The player sitting on the bench needs to know if he can play against his defender once he goes into the game; therefore, he should know whether he will be able to drive against him, or if he can get offensive rebounds easily due to being poorly boxed out.

Be sure to keep up with which defenses, offenses, and plays that are being called so when the time comes for him to play he will know exactly what is being run. When the bench player is in the game, he should be sure to give the team a lift by hustling and doing his best. By doing one’s best, one may gain the coach’s confidence which may lead to more playing time.

While sitting on the bench, be sure to cheer on the team by rooting for each teammate. Even though one may sit on the bench, he is still an important part of the team. He is to work hard in practice and be prepared to play whenever he is called upon.

no matter the skill level, challenge your team every day at practice
no matter the skill level, challenge your team every day at practice

Make practice worthwhile

The most important aspect of coaching is maintaining the players' attention. Don't show up to practice unprepared and expect them to take you seriously. Have a plan, execute the plan. Every day you should be introducing a new element to practice. Don't allow them to know a routine for practice. Change it up regularly. As soon as they seem to master something, add another element. This is how growth takes place on a player by player basis, as well as to the entire team.


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