As a coach one of the constant points up for discussion is how you can make your Training Sessions better. Every moment, every drill and every action can be broken down and analysed. This makes for great conversation points amongst coaches as they try to always extend their own results and performance just that little bit more.
Looking at a wide range of training sessions there are many things that when examined in isolation can be done to increase the chances of a successful training. By successful we mean any session a coach can walk away from and feel they could not have done any better and gave it their best possible effort. Even though no two training sessions are ever the same it is not unusual for coaches to lament the missed opportunities they had within training times to maybe reach that millimetre further and improve their teams performance past the status quo.
One of the fastest ways to improve the quality and challenge within your training sessions is to increase the pace at which your players perform all the activities at. Increasing the pace at which breakdowns and drills are completed within your training session is one of the obvious ways to improve your team’s competence in games. So if it so easy, why does everybody not train at a game pace? Well the answer is actually very simple; it takes an extraordinary amount of focus and determination to be at a game pace level for a whole training session.
It takes effort from the players, but more importantly it takes effort from the coach. The coach ideally should be aware of the standards of competition. When training a coach should always be doing a comparison between what is happening in front of them and the demands of a game. This process of comparison and constant analysis does not come easy, and is a skill and habit that must be developed over time until it does become automatic.
The next aspects that will dramatically improve your training sessions are to have every drill, breakdown, situation or scenario competitive. Building competition into your training sessions will help determine that what technical and tactical skills your players are utilising are being executed correctly.
Do not agree? Try a little exercise: next time you are at a training session ask your players to perform one dribble and two dribble breakdowns leading to a jump-shot. When you think everything looks fine bring in some staged defence. Again most players will be semi-comfortable with this, but you will see a reduction in shot accuracy. Now bring in live defence and see what happens. In most cases players will get worse before they improve. Taking the time to add a competitive situation to every drill you use to finish will eventually pay significant rewards and success.
The third and final point for how to improve your training session is to coach on the run. This is a bread and butter characteristic of every good coach. Being able to deliver a clear and concise message to your players while they are putting your instructions into practice on the court saves time and increases repetitions. Two aspects of which are always of the highest priority. Coaching on the run can be done on each and every session and for this reason it has the potential to have great effect.
Three simple points, but these are often overlooked in the technical jargon that can be found on many websites. As a coach your investment in the aspects of pace, competition and coaching on the run will make you a better coach, your sessions more productive and provide greater opportunities for your players to succeed. Not bad for three simple steps that we all have probably have heard of and overlooked many times over…