Practice, Talkin’ ’bout Practice

stretching before basketball practice

      A Coach can establish his Basketball Culture by sharing the most important Standards right from the beginning.  Sometimes administrators demand it, but a coach is just wise to do it on his own.  How and which standards you choose to present can get your program off to a good or bad start.  One of the sets I always chose to print and hand out early was my Practice Standards.  

      Practice time was my team’s classroom time.  We only had just so many minutes to accomplish all I wanted to do in any one practice session.  I spent a lot of time organizing a time-conscious practice plan to keep things moving and to cover my daily goals.  I wanted the players to know that I spent a lot of time organizing for them and I expected them to help me reach our goals with attention, effort and cooperation.  If the players believed that our practice standards would help us become a much better team, then we were on our way to establishing a great learning environment.

      I would meet with the Seniors at the beginning of the season to see what adjustments they thought we should make in are standards.  They never really wanted to change much at all because they usually liked our culture just as it was. As Head Coach, you may want to meet with your team and get their input on a set of Standards for your practices before you even write any.  Players may feel more ownership in the program when they have some input.

       Below are the Standards I used in our practices with several of my later teams. Adjustments and updates were made throughout my career, but things pretty much looked the same from year one till the last season I coached.



For Cougar Basketball

    In order to have a time conscious and productive practice, the following guidelines and standards are used by all team members.

1. We are on the floor, properly dressed, on or before time, and never late.

2. We call or text if we will be missing or late to practice.

3. We report injuries or illness to the coaches before practice starts so they will watch out for our health needs.

4. We keep a neat appearance on the practice floor with shirt tails tucked in.

5.  We only practice shoots we will shoot in the games.

6.  We never leave the practice floor without checking with a coach first.

7. We move quickly from one drill to another, setting the tone for our style of play.

8. When a coach signals a stop in the action, we immediately stop and give our undivided attention and/or respond to directions given.

9. We are spirited in practice and encourage one another during drills.

10.We take excellent care of our equipment and keep or team room neat and clean.

11.We don’t criticize or get down on teammates.  We stay positive and face a challenge head on with confidence.


Practices are closed.  Parents, friends, visiting coaches are not allowed at practice sessions without first getting permission from the Head Coach.  The gym is our classroom and we do not want distractions.  Everyone will have plenty of opportunities to see us play in games during the season.



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