Thursday, October 23, 2008

Are Your Practices Organized And Productive? (Part I)

There is nothing more frustrating than finishing up a practice where you feel you’ve accomplished little or next to nothing with your players.

Okay, okay. I get it. I remember that in most cases, if you’re reading this blog, you’re getting paid as much as I have for volunteering to coach – zero, zip, nada! That doesn’t mean you won’t be frustrated about having a less than productive practice. Furthermore, despite the fact that you’re volunteering your valuable time, most players and parents are expecting you to conduct a practice that is at the least “organized”.

A wise football coach with whom I have had the pleasure of serving, Tait Hines, taught me the value of scheduling out each and every activity of a practice. While that exercise may sound daunting, it’s actually very easy – and rewarding!

In preparing for practice, first hold a brief conversation among the coaches following each game and each practice to identify areas that require attention. Further discuss with your coaches activities and drills that will be conducted to address the identified areas of priority. A five-minute conversation should easily help you come up with the major components of your next practice. Add in your warm-ups, the time allotted for each activity, some time for “team talk” and there’s your practice.

In my next couple of entries, I’ll provide a sample practice schedule and review the methodology behind each practice activity.

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