On Tuesday, February 11th join us from 7-8pm for a special 1-hour webinar about. Practice Planning: Deep Dive.
How well do you really plan? This webinar will get you
thinking about your individual practice plans, goals, feedback, and coaches’
roles. Planning is often a deciding factor to how well you or your team
progresses. Join Master Coach Developer Kathy Brook as she unpacks the practice
This is a free webinar and participants will receive 1 PD Point on their Locker transcript.
Kathy Brook is a Master Coach Developer with the NCCP who has a Master’s of Physical Education. She has been delivering NCCP workshops and coaching for 20 years, and has supported the development of over 3000 coaches. Kathy is a Certified Professional Coach and is a mentor in the Change the Game program.
See what Coach-2-Coach is all about!
What are three practice planning tips you would share with a new coach?
Share your tips and best practices!
Darren – Soccer –
Surrey – 9 Years
“…Don’t do the same drills for every practice. I have
coached soccer for 9 years. Two years ago my son did baseball. I volunteered to
be the third coach. The head coach did the same thing every practice, and
wondered why the boys were getting bored and horsing around. He couldn’t handle
it, quit, which gave me the opportunity to be the head coach. A spring season
of head coach of baseball, ball hockey, and soccer. 8 sessions a week. I think
it is mandatory to come to practice with a plan. However, even using TeamSnap
where you think you know how many players are coming, sometimes things come up
and you have less players than you think.
You just have to adjust on the fly. And when a drill is not
working, change it up. Lastly, I see a lot of coaches spend a lot of time
talking. I’ve been listening to a soccer coaching podcast where they talk about
ball rolling time. Let’s minimize the long chats, minimize lines of players,
let’s get them playing mini games.”
Al Samsa – Basketball
– Mississauga – 35 Years
“…1. Have a water station. Somewhere away from parents if
they attend practices like ours.
2. Have a plan including warm up, skills, X’s and O’s, and
3. Have fun. Competitions help spice it up.”
Barbara Cooper –
Squash – Toronto – 50+ Years
“…Be flexible. Change the plan if it is not working.
Have more activities than you think you need.
Coach your athletes, don’t just execute your plan. Your plan
is only the vehicle to more effectively coach your athletes.”
Malcolm Sutherland –
Ice Hockey – Thunder Bay – 35 Years
“…Number one, do it!! Plan, re-plan, over-plan! Build and
use library of resources as a go to reference including plans. “Each of us
stands on the shoulders of the giants before us.”
Anchor to standards like your yearly plan, phased
development model and long term and athlete development needs.
Adapt your objectives based on “constraints” and challenges
considering the holistic needs of team and individuals.
Create a realistic practice plan using stretch type goals.
Implement “comfort rituals” and fun activities including random, variable/open
ended rehearsal into 25% of practice. Place cues and specific feedback and
deliberately organize equipment, assistants and data capture including
psycho-social/motivational increments. Evaluate, seek feedback and
Glenn Gabriel – Curling – Toronto – 14 Years
“…1. It’s always better to “over plan” a little than not
have enough drills/activities in your practice plan. Sometimes your athletes
will run through your activities more quickly than you expect and will be
standing around looking for something different or more challenging to do! Have
something in your back pocket.
2. Think about ONE goal that you want to achieve at that
particular practice. While a practice might be a combination of different types
of activities (warm up/cool down, game play/scrimmage, skill development,
mental training, etc.), try to focus on one overall goal for that practice.
More than one goal will be confusing. And having no practice goal at all
reflects the lack of an overall training plan.
3. Never forget to have FUN, no matter what age level you
coach, but especially for the youngest kids in your sport! Some will argue that
you can’t plan for fun, but if you don’t at least consider it in a practice
plan (and think about what kind of activities are fun for the athletes), you’ll
be missing out on a major motivating force for athletes AND coaches.
A fourth tip would be to always consider the safety and
well-being of the athletes you coach.”
Jonathan – Swimming –
London – 20+ Years
“…1) Always understand what the main purpose of each workout
is, and how it contributes to your overall goals for the group.
2) Understand how long each part of your workout will take
3) Do skills near beginning of workout, and reinforce them
by having kids apply them in their main set or part of workout”
Gord Staunton – 5 Pin
Bowling – Midland – 30 Years
“…Have a meeting with your athletes and go over what you are
doing during your practice. First I would run some warm up drills with the
bowlers. This is very important to loosen up their muscles. Second, split up
the group using 2 lanes and have one of the lanes do one task while the other
group is practicing another task. Keep going back in and forth to keep both
sides going and give them proper instructions . Thirdly, after completing the
tasks you have set up to do during practice. Wind down and have a fun game and
make it a friendly game to end your practice. I find it more constructive doing
it this way so they can learn and have fun all at the same time during the
Joe Benedetti – Softball
– Hamilton – 30+ Years
“…Plan more activities/drills than you think you need for
the practice. Stop drills when your athletes STILL want to do them (so you can use it later and they will be
motivated to perform). Make the practice like the real thing so the real thing
will be like the practice (simulations).
Paul McNamara –
Athletics/Basketball – Guelph – 30+ Years
“…Have a measurable outcome that the athlete can articulate.
Be flexible with the practice schedule/items to accommodate contingencies. Get feedback from the athletes as to how they
Louie Gialedakis –
Hockey – Woodbridge – 23 Years
“…#1-Send/give the practice plan to my athletes before the
practice. #2-Measure the Goal. #3-Make sure the the entire staff be on the same
“We use the Training Peaks online for athlete training schedules which is a great communication tool however, three important elements need to agreed upon.
1) Athletes agree to share motivation level and stress level for each training week.2) A trust and open dialogue is part of the system3) The bare minimum face to face contact per month is 1x/month which is fundamental to see how athletes are feeling, looking and communicating their training to coach.”
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