It is almost impossible to compete against other basketball teams with little time of preparation. However, this can happen. Sooner or later, you might have the chance to experience it. Let me try to show you some scenarios with little time to practice.

If you are a working student and, at the same time, you are also a member of the school’s basketball team, it is possible that you can have little time to practice, right? How about professional players? They travel from one place to another. Look at the NBA: Teams travel by bus or by plane just to play in the home court of their rivals. And then after that, they travel again, either back home or to any other place, to play another basketball game. There is more about travelling and stuffs like that.

How can you maximize your time in order to practice basketball drills or plays, and get yourselves ready for basketball games? Stop for a while and think about it. Well, you may stop thinking by now. I am going to show you ways how you can practice with very limited time in the clock. These are for both players and coaching staff.


1. Come on time during practice
Punctuality is one way to discipline yourself as an athlete. You do not consider playing the game just for the sake of enjoying it. You play because you chose to embrace it as your way of living. And so, you should act professionally just like your coaching staff. If all players come in early, the practice can begin early, and time can be maximized for practice. Players who come in late can waste the time you should have used for basketball warm –ups, drills, and plays.

2. Focus your attention on the practice
Keep your attention to the game. Listen to what your coaches tell you. Do not fool around the court and do crazy stuffs. It is not the best time to do such things, especially at this point wherein you have little time to practice. Maintaining your attention on the practice can limit distractions, as well as sermons from your coaches. Otherwise, you can have significant minutes, or hours, lost and spent on sermons instead of shooting the basket.

3. Follow instructions
By keeping your head in the game, be sure to follow instructions. Your coach may introduce a new offensive or defensive play. The only way to utilize time is for you to follow on what your coaches teach you to do. Players who cannot follow instructions do not pay attention in the practice itself. Again, it is a waste of time to teach on certain things repetitively. As much as possible, be quick to study and analyze your plays.

4. Participate in every drills, or plays
When your coach tells you to do defense, execute right away. Do not wait until your coach grabs you off the bench and pulls you into the court. Or else, it would be a waste of time. Expect that you play and execute basketball during practice. Condition and motivate yourself in order to participate on practice plays.

5. Do regular exercises every day
Make exercise as your daily hobby. If you have enough time, perhaps every morning, you can jog around the neighborhood, or run on a treadmill at home; you can do push – ups in your room, or anywhere in your house; or, if available, you can carry some dumbbells or barbells to strengthen some muscles like triceps, biceps, trapezius, deltoid, and pectorals. This will help you maintain an optimum physical condition. You may not spend much time doing warm – up exercises; instead, focus on basketball skills and plays.

Aside from the above, coaches should also implement the following:

1. Ensure an organized practice schedule
Set up a schedule for practice. A good way of doing this is to make a time table that reflects all the schedule of the team’s activities. Ensure that everyone gets to know the schedule time. Players should be early and complete to start off an organized practice. It is impossible to have an organized practice with lacking members. The coaching staff should also serve as good examples of punctuality so that their players would follow.

2. Create your plans for practice ahead of time
Plan should be made ahead of time before practice schedules, and not during practice. This can take the time to focus on plays if done on practice times. Once you are in the court, carryout those plans directly.

3. List down necessary skills, or plays, to work on your players
Have a constant assessment of your players to be updated on their skills. You can list down the necessary skills that are needed to be improved. Once in practice, you do not spend time thinking about it, instead, you go directly to assisting the players to such needed improvements.

4. Have all your assistant coaches focused on their respective roles
Ensure that your assistant coaches are doing their respective jobs. They are in the team for a more efficient coaching, and so, let them function as one. With their help, they can speed up the learning process of the players. They can have one – on – one with players, and do an actual observation of each of them. And then they can directly assist them with necessary modifications on skills the players struggle upon.

5. Place your practice in an orderly manner
The practice should be in an orderly manner. Take things one at a time. Perhaps, you can start with warm – ups, follow the drills, and then plays. This can avoid confusions and can save time on practicing basketball skills and plays.

Once time is on our way, there is nothing we can do but to adapt to it. Treasure every moment to exercise, train, study, and practice different basketball skills. Do not waste your time to things unworthy of attention.

Picture credit: ltdanCreative Commons Attribution