Updated: May 29
Develop a one-page Drill Library and Practice Plan that you and your Assistant Coaches can easily draw from each night.
One project I worked on last summer was to create a single-page Practice Plan that included my entire Drill Library for the season. On the right-hand side of the paper I would include our entire Drill Library and then on the left-hand side I included a general daily schedule and room to handwrite our Practice Plan. In the name of simplicity, I wanted to be able to put everything on a single page.
One driving force behind this project is the chaotic nature of the workweek as the season kicks into high gear. As a High School history teacher and father of four kids, there is a ton of work that adds up outside of the basketball world. Then when you mix in four practices and two game nights a week you begin to get stretched thin. Now - being able to collapse time frames and maximize your time in the gym is a legitimate coaching skill. So with that being said, I wanted the Drill Library project to be something that I prepared in the offseason in order to save me time during the season.
Check Out one of my Favorite Offseason Posts:
Narrowing Down the Library -
Where I started this project was first attempting to narrow down my Drill Library to only the essential drills we would use. Over the course of our careers, most coaches accumulate a mountain of practice drills, concepts & games that they use with their teams. Similar to classroom teaching - I think you want to try and strike a balance between daily routines and diverse instruction. In Basketball terms, we need to establish some core practice concepts and then find ways to diversify our practice plans slightly so players don't fall into mindless routines.
I went through my Fast Draw account and old practice plans and put together what I thought were the essential drills for our practices. Having done this for two years now I can say that there will be tough cuts with certain drills not making the list.
I Prioritized Including Core Drills in these areas:
Skill Development - Shooting
Skill Development - Finishing
Small-Sided Games - Offense
Small-Sided Games - Defense
I did not have a specific number of drills in mind when creating a library but simply made sure to include drills that would help reinforce our core principles in each phase of the game. Next to each drill, I put a reminder about which aspect of the game it would focus on - this was something I thought might be helpful if you have lower-level coaches using your same document.
Choosing Drills -
When it comes to choosing which drills to choose I generally follow the timeframe format that is on the practice plan. This is not something I follow rigidly - but more of a general guideline for organization.
If I followed a typical timeframe for a 2:00 practice I would probably be thinking about this:
Skill Dev - 20 Mins
Transition Off - 20 Mins
Structure Type Drill
Advantage / Flow Type Drill
Offense - 30 Mins
SSG - Offensive Concept
5/5 - Live Session
5/5 - Situational (SLOB, BLOB, etc)
Trans Def - 15-20 Mins
Off Reb Technique
Crash & Get Back Drill
Defense - 30 Mins
On Ball Drill
SSG - Defense Concept
5/5 - Live Session
By putting the effort into creating the Drill Library and having it embedded into your practice plan ahead of time - you can save yourself a lot of time in endless planning. I think players enjoy knowing what to expect from our practice concepts and depending on where we are in the season we can choose to add layers or wrinkles to certain practice concepts.
Concluding Thoughts -