3 Easy Ways To Create A Positive Practice Environment
Creating a positive practice environment is important to foster a good team culture that carries over to games. When your team has a positive practice environment you can feel the energy, camaraderie, and enthusiasm from the players and throughout the gym. Vince Lombardi believed practices were so important that he said, "We win our games in practice. We learn and follow the fundamentals of our game better than anyone in our league. All of our games are won in practice." Creating this environment will help you build a better relationship with players and teammates and have more productive practices.
Here are 3 Easy Ways To Create A Positive Practice Environment
1. Spot Check Meetings
These do not have to be super long, or super in-depth, they don't even held in private. Spot Check Meetings are a great way to build strong relationships with players, stop issues before they become a problem and have a better feel for your team. Spot Check Meetings are typically done before practice officially begins. A coach can typically meet with 2-3 players before practice an the players can rotate daily.
The meetings are typically casual and done on the court just checking in with the player about anything that comes up. It could be about basketball, home, school, work, video games, etc. If something comes up that needs more time to discuss then it can be taken care of at a different time.
2. Touches and Positive Praise
The power of the high five, fist bump, chest bump or pat on the back is truly astonishing. A player who understood this was Steve Nash who was constantly giving teammates high fives. A study was done and showed that Steve Nash gave his teammates 239 touches per game. Whether a player makes a mistake, a good play or anything in between, touches create a positive environment. After a mistake, a high five can tell a player to move onto the next play and after a good play helps recognize the player for their effort and teammates for their part in the play. Another study from ESPN, it was discussed how touches correlated to winning games and good players. When I played in college, I told my teammates, "Nice pass", "Nice screen", "Great effort", "Thanks for that step, I was beat and your step kept him out of the paint", whether your teammates know it or not, those little singing of praise go a long way for team building and camaraderie. Today, I still provide touches and give positive praise whether it was a mistake or great player. "Nice feet, that was great defense, we'll give some help next play - shake it off."
Music adds energy to practice and puts players into a better mood. For a long time people have used music in the weight room or in small workouts, but more and more coaches have been including music into practices. How music is incorporated into practice is up to the coach. I have seen it played throughout the entire practice or only during certain parts of the practice. Not only can music help pick up player energy, but it can help with players learning how to play and communicate in loud environments.
Whatever your approach may be for practice, the more positive the environment, the more likely to learn, the more likely to provide energy and effort.
Implement these three easy wrinkles into your team practice and see how it makes an impact on your team's positivity.
Rising Stars Basketball