Topic 4 – Plan


Planning for a training session has many important aspects to consider.  It is important to keep a balance and teach skills both related and unrelated to the team tactic.  Planning a training session will make it more effective due to less improvisation during the practice time.

Keeping a balance of the intensity level of practice, as well as how often practices are is important.  Intensity levels should be varied from practice to practice and therefore be considered on a micro level.  Intensity levels should be adjusted based on both past and future games and practices.  For example, if players have just had practice the last two nights, but more practice is needed in preparation for an upcoming game, it would be beneficial to have a low intensity practice in order to not burn players out.  Another idea would be to raise the intensity of a practice if there will not be any games or practices in the near future, meaning the next couple days.  Intensity can also be varied between mental and physical.  For example, if the players recently had a physically strenuous practice, then it would be beneficial to have a film session, or a stretching session, to allow players to both work on the mental side of the game, and rest their bodies.  How often practices are held should also be considered.  If practice is held too often, or not often enough, players could view it as unbeneficial and unimportant.  Without players valuing practice time, the intensity will not matter.  When coaching youth players, roughly two times a week is the recommended amount.

When at practice, it is important to coach both skills related and unrelated to the team tactic.  While coaching only skills beneficial to the team tactic may bring success in the short term, it can hurt the long term development of both the team and players.  Coaching skills outside of the team tactic will foster growth of players’ individual skills, allowing a larger variety of team tactics to be a viable option in the future.  For example if a team is generally bad at shooting, but they work on shooting at practice, eventually the team could have a more offensively focused team tactic.

For planning a practice session to effectively meet the aspects mentioned above, refer to lesson three, topic two: Elements of a Session.

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