Coaching Beginners in Basketball

notebookThank goodness for my handy notebook. Players that attend my trainings or played on my teams are familiar with my handy notebooks. I have a tendency to write everything down. I have a collection of notebooks of ideas, speeches, quotes, basketball plays, basketball drills, and whatever I was thinking that day.

For basketball, it’s where I write out the quote of the day and the training or practice plan. It’s were I write down the lineup of players I want on a specific team during practice. This is something I got from my college coaches at the University of Memphis. At every practice, the coaches came in with the practice plan and the quote of the day. Before practice started all the players and coaches huddled up around the center of the court and went over the quote of the day. When practice was over, we went back to the center of the court and received the announcements. So it was a routine I decided to employ when I became a coach.

Start with a Plan

My first coaching job at a school was as a 6th grade coach. My players weren’t exactly total beginners. However, they weren’t really basketball players. I actually only had 1 player out of 12 that was a basketball player. Majority of the others were soccer players. I had to figure out how to turn my team of soccer players into a basketball team. So I decided that my goals for this team was Fundamental Development. I did not care about wins or loses. I wanted to focus on teaching the players basketball fundamentals. Amazingly, focusing on fundamentals had a profound effect on our record. We finished the season with 11 wins and 5 loses.

Keep them Busy

If you came into one of our practices, you would think you were attendinnotebookpageg a basketball camp or clinic. I would break the players up into groups of 2-4 players and they would be broken up into stations working on different skills. Another reason to break the players up into stations was because I was dealing with 6 grade girls that loved to talk and giggle about things unrelated to basketball. So, I needed to keep them busy.

At our first practice, I gave the players the quote of the day. I love this quote. “Successful people are willing to do, what unsuccessful people are not.” Before each practice, I gave the players a quote of the day. It got to the point where the players expected a quote of the day.

Here is my Practice Plan for that first practice:

Warm Up: Lite Skips, Lite jog, High Knees, Butt Kicks

Shooting: Po Po 25 (B.E.E.F)
Agility: Ladder
Shooting: Off Hand
Dribbling: 1 ball dribbling left hand/ right hand Knee Level 10x, Waist Level 10x, Shoulder Level 10x (rest for a count of 15)
Passing: Chest Pass
Conditioning: Sprints – Half Court – Back Pedal
Competition: Corner Sprints, @Elbow Back Pedal, @BaselineSlide, Spring to Half Court
Team Sprints

When I create my trainings or team practice plan, I use pretty much the same template. I have a Quote of the Day, a Warm Up, Agility, Ball Handling, Shooting, etc. I’ve created a template for you to use when you create your practice plan. Click here

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