How do I organize a typical basketball training week

How do I organize a typical basketball training week
Talking with different basketball coaches I have seen that every one has its own basketball training style. Some of them focuses a lot on individual technique, others like to train a lot of tactical situations, other prefer to do simpler practices and play a lot of 5 on 5…
I have not the truth by any means. What I can say after neraly 15 years of basketball coaching is that I have found some routines that work for me. I will try to share with you how I organize my typical basketball training week.

The team

Before going further, let’s talk a little about the team I am coaching. All this planning will be focused on this particular one, so adjust it if you are training youth basketball teams for example.
I’m coaching an under-18 team, with guys between 16 and 17 years. It is not one of the top teams of the region. To put it into perspective, top teams like FCBarcelona or Joventut Badalona, with their first team in the ACB (the spanish basketball competition) are one division higher.
Until this year, some of the boys hadn’t played a single pick and roll for example, but I have to say that they are learning so fast. We are improving a lot on the tactical side of things, but we are not there yet.
As a team, we have two goals:
  • Compete as best as possible on our competition
  • Develop this young players to be able to play the top team of the club in the following years.


Basketball training week planing

Other things that we have to consider is the equipment, or the facilities at our disposal. In our case, we have 3 practice sessions of just on hour on court.
Having 60 minutes is not what I would wish, but most of the time is what we have as basketball coaches. For me, the key is to use the maximum amount of time possible without losing it for things we can avoid. To go in depth with this things, look at “How to avoid time thieves in our basketball training sessions“.
With that limitations on mind, I do not want to spend my on time court with too much physical training. I prefer to do some conditioning before practice and keep working on this while doing dynamic exercises like this.
At least we are doing a warm up and some stretching every day for 20 minutes or so. I think this is not enough for my players to be fit enough. Because of this, during the regular season I add some extra work on the first day of the week. On preseason I am used to do some additional conditioning sessions.
This session before practice lasts between 45 minutes and 1 hour, and we change the type of work. Some days we go for some running series, others for fartleks, strength circuits, balance exercises.. We will go deeper in this sessions on another post, as this could be a long discussion.
Wrapping up, in one regular week we have as a team:
  • DAY ONE: conditioning (1 hour) + practice (1 hour) + after practice stretching and short talk (10 min)
  • DAY TWO: warm up (20min) + practice (1 hour) + stretching and talk (10 min)
  • DAY THREE: warm up (20min) + practice (1 hour) + stretching and talk (10 min)

For some specific players, there could be another practice with some of the older teams, but during the season it should not affect that much my planing.


Day ONE (Conditioning + practice)

As said before, I will not go in depth with the conditioning session, so let’s focus on the practice itself.
In general, day one of the week will be focused on ourselves. We will train our rules without doing any adjustment depending on the team that we will be facing. It does not mean that I will not have in mind how we want to play next weekend.
Let’s use an example here: we know that the opposite team will switch in all screens. Then, during the first day, we may train our offense general rules against switching.
This  will be one of the days where we will be focused more on individual techinque and fundamentals, using both offensive and defensive drills.
Most of the days we are ready to get to the court without any warm up exercise, so I tend to avoid them. For example, I will only use an exercise like “BRAIDS 3 COURTS” if we have had a really static strength session.
On day one, I usually use:


I try to start with some kind offensive individual technique drill. Sometimes all the team do the same thing, many times not. I try to use my assistant coach to be able to separate bigs and perimetrals and work specific things with them. Some players may train as a big one week an other as a perimetral. This is becasuse I think it is better for some of them to do both. Most of the times, this basketball exercises are 1vs0 or 1vs1 with some handicap for the defense.


Pretty much always I go for a one on one drill here. It could be full court or half court, starting from a static position or in transition, using passing players or not, focusing on just stopping the player on in the passing line… I try to do many variations here. I know these are probably the exercises that most players don’t want to do, so I try to at least not make it repetitive.


Shooting drill comes pretty much always after a high intensity exercise. I have several different drills that I use depending  on the day. I always try to give a name to them to make it easier for players to know what we are doing without a long explanation. At the end of the exercise we are used to have a quick water break.


I am grouping this two exercises because I usually train reduced game situations a lot. I like to do a ton of training with between 2 on 2 and 4 on 4 situations. During this exercises we will focus on team defense (how to defend pick and rolls, the importance of the weak side player, defensive rotations). I try to do one of this exercises in a continuous mode, while I like to do the other one in 3 courts mode. This way, I can also do some transition training. I prefer to stay away of the 4 on 4 except in the case I want to work with defensive rotations or double teaming in the low post (which also include those rotations).


I like to do end pretty much all practices with at least 8-10 minutes of 5 vs 5. Players are willing to play real game situations, and I have found that is a good way to keep it motivated. This way, despite I try to be focused in the defensive team, we are training a lot our offensive plays.
Are you doing a similar routine? What are you training conditions?
Coming soon I will publish another article related with how I organize a typical basketball training week on days 2 and 3 of the week. Stay tuned!


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