How to Create a Successful Practice Plan

Game day success depends heavily on what your team does in practice, so a solid practice plan is crucial. But, with so little practice time, how can you possibly improve every weakness on your team?
That's where the plan comes in. Carefully choosing what you'll devote time to is the best way to ensure you and your team will see improvements during the next game.
Read on for the steps you need to follow to create a practice plan that'll take your team's performance up a notch.
Steps to Create a Successful Practice Plan
How to Make a Successful Practice Plan infographic
1. Set a goal
You can't do everything in one practice, so you need to carefully pick one main focus for it. Previous game performance can help you make the right choice.
Did your team struggle to take advantage of rebounds? Was passing as crisp as it needs to be? Was the other team dominating possession? Analyzing the game can help you pick the right aspect to focus on.
If it's early in the season and you haven't played a game yet, you may want to focus on skills your past teams struggled with or areas where other teams tend to excel.
2. Pick drills that will achieve your goal
Now that you have a goal, it's time to plan how you'll reach it. That means picking drills that will work on the skill(s) you identified and are appropriate for your team's age and skill level.
If you're not sure what drills to do, social media, other coaches, and search engines will offer up an abundance of resources for skill-specific drills.
3. Allocate time to each drill
If you've picked too many drills, you'll know once you reach this step. You need to include the length of time you'll spend on each drill and ensure it all fits within your practice time.
You need to be strategic about time allocations. Drills that are new to your team or require more time to get the hang of should be given more time than the drills your team is already familiar with.
Be sure to include time for warmup, cool down, and water breaks.
4. Plan how you'll transition into each drill
It's also important to add how you'll transition between drills and how long you anticipate these transitions will take. That way, the contents of your plan will follow the most logical path possible.
For instance, you probably don't want to do your most complex drill right after the warm-up. You'll probably want to choose a drill that acts as an extension of the warmup to better ease your players into the swing of things.
Following these steps will allow you to build a goal-driven practice plan that focuses on what your team needs the most. It'll also ensure you allocate appropriate time to drills, transitions, and breaks so you aren't rushed during practice.
Consistently using well-designed practice plans will put your team in a position to succeed on game day and in tournaments.
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