Nitty-Gritty Basketball
Little Practice Time

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What To Do If You Have Little Practice Time
By Sidney Goldstein © 2001

1. Regardless of your coaching level, if you teach basketball, you will be short on time.
2. Physical ability improves play, so get players in shape. Run high school and above players for at least 40 continuous minutes a day. Also use continuous motion drills where players practice basic skills while running.
3. Spend most of your time on individual skills, where second for second you get the most improvement.
4. Squeeze in team skills before scrimmages and games, especially the center jump and foul line setup.
5. Give homework. Do drills and exercises in practice that players can repeat at home. Don't do drills that they can't repeat.
6. Get a basketball for each player even it it's lopsided.
7. Don't talk your players to death. Get them going and doing.
8. Plan practice and then time each drill with a stopwatch.
9. Get assistants, adults or other children, to help out.
10. Use the time before a game or scrimmage to actually practice. Use half time as well.
11. You don't always need a gym, a court, or basket to practice.
(DVD 4 gives 40 ways to get more out of practice and each player.

Counterproductive Beliefs
1.Being concerned with the opponent will help us defeat them. No. It's not the other team's abilities that beat you, it is your player's lack of ability. It only takes 5 minutes to figure out and adjust to another team if players have skills from which to draw.
2. To win games I've got to spend a lot of time on offensive plays. This is the opposite of what you must to do!! Running plays without offensive skills is worthless, even detrimental. Offensive skills include timing, looking, communication, passing, cutting, catching, and faking. Executing each one of these skills makes for an effective offense.
3. Playing games and scrimmages in practice is the best way to spend my time, because players will learn everything they need for a real game. No, players will make the same mistakes in practice games as they will make in real games. Without individual skills, players can not be effective team players.

Your comments are welcome.
Sidney Goldstein, author of The Basketball Coach's Bible and The Basketball Player's Bible, has successfully coached both men's and women's teams over a period of 15 years.

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