If you want to master the many basketball skills, you have to practice to get used to them. Practice becomes the center of focus in learning new skills, but you have to remember, it does not always make you perfect. It can either make or break you. There are well conducted practices while there are also practices that are not as good. How can this be?

Have you ever been in a dance group wherein you have to prepare for a certain dance competition? Or, have you ever been a member of a cheerleading group that you have to arrange, plan, and practice movements of a certain cheer dance program. What have you noticed? The group spends so much time in organizing everything, starting from the group members up to the completion of the entire dance program. Practice is more about organizing your team, your plans, your drills, and the synchronization of movements among the players. This is the same, and should be applied, in the sport of Basketball.

Now, the question is how do you pull yourself up, as well as your team, to an organized practice? This is what this topic is all about. I am going to give you some tips on how to organize your basketball practice.

1. Gather all the members of the team
All of the members of the team, coaching staff and players, should gather together as one. As head of the team, the coach must ensure that all of his members are present during practice. Like in a dance group, you cannot possibly perform and complete a dance with lacking members; or you may still push your team to perform, but it may not be as good as having the complete members of the group. In basketball, it is impossible to practice with an absent center, point guard, or power forward. Just imagine how your team will look like in practice without them. It is almost impossible to get yourself in a battle without necessary weapons. It is like getting yourself killed in the middle of the battle field.

2. Set up time limits
Members should not come in practice that is already in the middle of doing team plays. They should come early before the warm – ups begin. Late members can affect the whole team. It can cut some time that should have been used in practice instead. Time is running, and basketball competitions are coming. Time should not be wasted in foolish things. Practice should also have time limits. When it is time to begin, the practice should be begin. When it is time to end it, it should be ended as well. Do not spend too much time in practice to the point of so much exhaustion. There are still other times to practice. Conserve your energy for the coming practices and, most importantly, for the coming games to come.

3. Organize the respective roles of each player
Group your players and reinforce their task according to their respective roles. For example, remind your point guard what he has to do, where he has to position, and etc. Reinforce his specific role in the team. This should also be done to other positions like power forward, center shooting guard, and etc. This will provide synchronization in the execution of plays, and prevents overlapping of duties.

4. Create a step–by–step practice activities
Step–by–step
means you go through one activity at a time. When you hear this word, it reflects a continuous, and orderly, activity having step 1, step 2, step 3, and so on. In practice, the coach should set up the first activity; for example, warm – up exercises such as stretching, running, and jogging. From those activities, move up to the next one. Probably, basketball drills like in jump shooting, lay-ups, dribbling, and others. And then move to the next activity. This is very helpful in organizing a practice session. Things should be done one at time to avoid confusion.

5. Discipline your players
Practice is the time wherein players have the tendency to relax and, at times, some may fool around. There is a time for everything; a time to play, and a time to fool around. Reinforce an effective way of discipline to manage your players. Discipline will get your players off the bench, and will keep them moving and doing offensive and defensive drills.

6. Make practice enjoyable
Basketball is a social sport. It should be taken seriously. But that does not mean that you do not have to enjoy doing it. It is, actually, a game. When you are in a game, you do not just play to win, but also to enjoy it. Players will love to go on practice which is filled with enjoyment. Otherwise, it will be very boring. Bored players do not have the energy to play the game. Coaches do not want that to happen.

7. Take time to rest
During practice, take time to relax a bit. Do not do all basketball drills, and plays, all at one time. You are not a robot. You are a human being with certain limitations. Taking the time to rest in between practice times can conserve your energy needed to keep on going. Perhaps, you can sit on the bench and drink your energy juice drinks, or water. You can drop on the floor and straighten up your legs, or drop on your front body and flex your legs in the knees, to stretch your muscles. With this, while resting, you also do muscle stretching. Isn’t it great? You conserve energy while strengthening a certain muscle group.

8. Improve your weak points; maintain, and enhance your strong points
Try to make up for the team’s weaknesses. It is a major plus to convert your weakness into strength. This will enable every member to be a complete player. Take time to focus on these points during practice. It may be very difficult to make it up during the actual game. The next thing is to enhance and maintain the strength of your team. More than focusing on your weak points, your strong points should continually be developed. Your strong points are your strength. They are the ones that make you good in your basketball game. They are the major weapons in winning championships. The players should never cease to enhance their strength as a team. Even if you have reached and attained the championship so many times, a real champion does not stop learning. Continuous learning gets you updated about new things to improve your skills in basketball. So, it is wise to keep on improving.

An organize practice sets up the tone of the entire team. You can conserve your time and energy; you can master your basketball skills; you can move in a way that relates the other members of the team; you get to develop self-discipline; and you get to enjoy the sport itself, along with your teammates. Organize your practice to get proficient results in basketball matches.

Picture credit: SD DirkCreative Commons Attribution

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