Basketball Practice Plan: 3 Tips to Maximize Practice Time

basketball practice plan.jpgWe know. Planning practice can be a full-time job in itself. It is not uncommon for high school and college basketball coaches to put in many hours a week planning practice.

For such a monumental commitment, it is only natural that coaches and athletes alike want to get the most out of their time to be as prepared as possible for game time.

By consulting carefully with all coaches, developing a basketball practice plan that incorporates goals, and staying aware of performance and development, coaches can maximize efficiency in practice.

Incorporate All Coaches

Performing the fundamentals of basketball repeatedly is part of the process in developing a comfort with the game, but coaches are there to hone in on specific improvements and offer specialized strategy and advice. As you know, coaches are employed because of their familiarity with the game and their ability to work with players in a personalized and professional way that allows for maximum improvement.

Having all coaches actively engaged is a valuable resource, one that players should use to their full advantage in order to make the most out of practices. Players should listen carefully to their coaches, feel free to ask questions, and take the advice of their coaches seriously. For their part, coaches need to make sure that players are engaged and offer them constructive advice.

By empowering each coach throughout practice, it adds an element of purpose and ownership for them. For example, one of your assistants can be the unofficial or official "defensive coordinator." While a head coach can always provide advice and feedback, the "defensive coordinator" can focus specifically on defensive concepts. This will enhance not only the coach's engagement but the players' as well.

Together, coaches and players must emphasize strategies that will be of value when game day roles around. Coaches should also give visual aid in showing players proper shooting form, rebounding positioning, and offensive and defensive formations. In offering guidance, coaches help players develop and fully utilize their own unique style that accommodates their body type and position on the team. All players stand to benefit from each coach’s advice and example, and coaches should make working closely with each player a priority in order to maximize practice time.

Have Specific Goals Every Practice

Practices yield the best results when coaches add structure and purpose to their time by having goals in mind each practice. By having 2-3 specific points of emphasis each practice, it will be easier for players to fully buy-in. These specific areas of emphasis can change each day but there needs to be a focus and metric in order to fully train with purpose. 

For example, if your team has been struggling with defensive rebounding, make it a point of emphasis during practice and have actual goals/metrics to hold your team accountable. Keep score during basketball drills and make sure to teach your points of emphasis so your players can focus on improving. 

Practice yields the best results when players have a plan set up from the start of the session. Coaches can help add structure by carefully formatting practices, but players also have to recognize what facets of their game require the most improvement, and what they need to do to meet the demands of the game. Players should not expect for their plans to culminate in perfection, rather they should strive for ongoing improvement with the recognition that they will always have goals to work towards.

Keep Track of Performance and Development Throughout the Season

Practice requires self-awareness, so that players know when they are improving, what facets of their game still need work, and how changes in their focus and strategy impact their results.

Fortunately, when it comes to shooting practice, Dr. Dish Basketball is here to help! Our state of the art shooting machines track shooting percentage by location, overall accuracy, heart rate, and overall practice time and attempts. The machine also allows players to set a variety of shooting goals that can be specified by shooting percentage, location, and time spent practicing. All this information can go straight to a mobile app that allows players to access their practice statistics quickly and easily. While shooting isn’t the only focus of practice, getting in the habit of assessing one’s improvement and goals is a fantastic pattern to get into.

While it is important to have different basketball shooting drills throughout the year to keep things fresh, there should be at least a couple of drills you do consistently throughout the year. By keeping track of statistics throughout the season, your team and players will be able to track their progress throughout the year and ensure their improvement. 

It's important to track information to maximize practice time by recognizing each player’s specific focuses and improvement, and using that information to connect with the larger goals of the team. With the help of all coaches, cutting edge technology, and self-awareness, practice time will be maximized for each player as well as the team.


Practice is time-consuming, and it’s hard work, but the results boost players’ skill sets and team performance. When coaches work cohesively with players in practice, players come in with a plan and goals in mind, and players utilize their technology, team, and self-assessment skills to track their performance, practice results are maximized.

After BYU Men's Basketball received their Dr. Dish machines, the Women's program immediately jumped on board as well! Click and see why:

Why BYU Programs Chose Dr. Dish


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