Starting Basketball Practices the Right Way

Getting your team mentally and physically prepared for practice can be the difference between a successful practice and a nightmare of one. In order to do so, you need to have a solid practice plan thought of in advance to help things go smoothly.

It’s normal to allow your team to do light shootarounds before you arrive and practice officially starts. You might want to make it known that this should be a light shootaround and nothing else. Setting ramifications for goofing around and playing pickup games before practice can help save your team from unwanted injuries.

Huddle Up

When you first arrive to practice, you’ll want to huddle your team up so you can give them a brief overview of how practice will go. This is a great time to bring up any recent games and what needs to be improved on moving forward.

Team announcements can be made and you can also open the floor up to the players in case they have anything they want to add. Making your team feel included will help build chemistry, trust, and unity with your team.


Once you’re finished rounding the troops and breaking everything down, you’ll want to start with stretches to help prevent injury. Have your team do so together in a uniform circle. This will give you time to start setting things up for practice, including the drills you will be running later on.

As a coach, you’ll want to keep an eye on your players during stretch time. Due to this being important for many reasons, you’ll want to prevent them from slacking off or doing these stretches improperly. Be strict, their season could depend on it.


Once they’re stretched, it could be beneficial to open it up for a shootaround so they can continue to get loose. Don’t let this shootaround exceed 5 minutes because you have work to do, but you want to make sure your players are comfortable before beginning any drills.

The shootaround will also give you any extra time needed to set up the drills you have planned. If you are all set up, you can walk around and talk individually to certain players that might need more direction. Outside of that, just get your team hyped for a productive practice.

Dive Into Drills

Now that your team is all warmed up and ready to go, it’s time to get into the fun stuff. This is where your practice plan will be crucial to the rest of practice. Many coaches like to run their practices differently and they all have their own style, so finding yours is essential to being a great coach.

Practice is where players improve. It’s where they become better shooters, better rebounders, better passers. It’s your opportunity to set the standards and demand it on gameday. Coaches that don’t take practices seriously or allow their players to slack off during practice are not only hurting their basketball season, but the young player’s future career.

Setting the bar at the beginning of practice will ensure your team gets the message