30 second time outs

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Running is rarely the answer!!!

Coaching players is like raising kids. Raising my children, I did not only want them to do the right thing because "Dad said so" or for fear of being punished, but rather because it was the right thing to do. Their comes a time when "Dad"(or Mom or COACH) is not going to be there, and yet a correct decision must be made. In order for this to occur, they had to learn "why" it was the right thing, and "how" it was going to benefit them. I believe that a similiar approach must be taken in coaching. At Basketball-tips and Basketball4ALL we call it "Parenting the Program."
You want players to practice hard and focused because it is he right thing to do and, due to your well planned practice, is impossible NOT to do. You don't want them to practice hard for fear of running. You can't stop play in the middle of a game and tell them to "Get on the line!" They better be able to gain focus on their own - because it is a habit learned so that they know no other way.

A simple reminder or "attitude adjustment" time (sprint up and back, a lap, etc) is one thing to get their attention and recommit to the task. However, "punitive" running on a regular basis loses it's effectiveness and is counter productive over the long haul. They may straighten up for the next drill, but in reality down the line they are actually losing focus. Now when they practice, they may be thinking about "not running" as opposed to the real objective - to play the right way. Similiar to the "Pre-Game Speech" that everyone looks for. It's only good for about the time it takes to run down the hall from the locker room to the court - then you better have a pretty good warm up, some focused players, and a solid game plan.

Running at the very end of practice can also cause players to try to “save” themselves by not practicing as hard as they can. This can create a negative effect, and players may develop bad habits. Finally, if the last thing that players do at practice before they hit the locker room and go home is something that they do not enjoy (or even dislike!), that is what they will be talking about until the next practice comes around. A negative atmosphere may be brewing, without even knowing it. A much better method is to end practice on a positive note, and have everyone looking forward to getting back to work at the next practice.

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