How to avoid time thieves in our basketball training sessions

How to avoid time thieves in our basketball training sessions

Organizing a basketball training session is not as easy as it seems. As basketball coaches, we always say that we want to use all time available. The problem is that between what we say and what we do, there is a HUGE gap.

We have to be aware of our impact on the useful time that player gets. For this reason we have to track all things that can be losing us our precious basketball training time.

Let’s put an example. Let’s say that a typical youth basketball team has around 3h a week of practice. I would bet that half of that basketball training time is lost. Yes, HALF OF OUR PRECIOUS TRAINING TIME. This represents 1.5h a week for 40 season weeks… which is about 60 hours that every and each one of our young basketball players are losing.

What is losing us all that basketball practice time?

There are several things that lose our time while we are training:

  • Players that get distracted between exercises:  When an exercise ends, all of your basketball players should come to you. Do not allow player to go for an extra shot or extra dunk. No chatting with anyone outside the team. Get quickly their attention.
  • Rotations: when one of the players is waiting his turn to do some specific exercise, he is loosing time. Players should wait as least as possible.
  • Water breaks: how many times some of our basketball players have gone to a water source far from the court? water breaks are needed, 5 min of waiting not.
  • Small injuries: Sometimes one of our players gets injured. We can not avoid that (well, maybe we can reduce the risk, but is another topic). Talking about small injuries, they should not stop our practice.
  • Discussions between the basketball coach and the players: sometimes our players are also basketball coaches. Other times they can think that they have the TRUTH. Avoid discussions as much as possible during practice. If someone have a suggestion, an idea, or a disagreement referencing an specific situation, it can wait until the end of the practice most of the time.

But there is another big factor that is stealing time… OURSELVES.

Basketball coaching is not easy and we fall into some typical mistakes too often:

  • Obradovic syndrome: we usually think about ourselves pretty much as the best basketball coach ever, and we tend to convert our basketball practices into basketball coaching clinics. We end up doing long and detailed explanations. We usually do not have enough focus on the main goal of the exercise and we explain every single detail of it. All this information ends up being too much for our players which costs us more time later on.
  • Overcomplicate exercises: changing exercises is fine. Also introducing new ones. Adding 1001 subtasks to an exercise or creating weird and unintuitive rotations only will get us more time lost. We should not forget about our main goal of the practice. If something does not add value, just change or remove it.
  • Repeat explanations for the same exercises: try to minimize repeated explanation time. Giving a name to an exercise (for example “Braids 3 Courts“) will help players to remember what to do without further explanations.

In conclusion, we have to be aware of the time while we are training, specially if we are training a youth basketball team. The improving of our basketball players only comes when they are DOING. We should try to avoid all this things that separates them from having the ball on their hands as much as possible.

What do you think about time? How do you fight against all this little thieves?

I will try to publish soon some tips on how to avoid losing time while we are training, so keep it up!

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