The best coaches in the world are always able to offer practical advice to any struggling player or team. Part of the reason why is that they have a library of drills to draw upon, meaning that they’re equipped for any situation. When you’re constantly learning about the game, as all great coaches do, then you won’t be able to keep that library in your head. Today I teach you how to effectively organize your drills so that you can make the most of them in practice.
1. Figure out a way to categorize your drills
Here are several ways that I’ve tried to organize my drills in the past:
a. Alphabetically. Whilst this makes it easy to find drills, unless you can remember exactly what each drill works on, in practice you’ll just end up searching through a list of meaningless names.
b. By category. Organizing drills by category, e.g by shooting, dribbling, rebounding etc is great when you’re trying to find a drill that caters to a specific need. However, as the number of drills in each category increase, it becomes harder to differentiate between choosing a better drill.
c. By age. I find this to be the best way to organize drills. As I, like many other coaches, coach several teams across a few age groups, sorting drills by age means that I know my players will be able to do the drill I pick, that drill is working on age appropriate skills, and, if I need something more challenging I can easily find it from the age above. And, provided I label the drill correctly, e.g Ray Allen Drill, it’s easy for the players and me to remember what skill the drill works on.
2. Pick a tool to organize your drills
There’s many tools out there that you can use to sort your drills out. Here are a few I’ve consider with the criteria of accessibility, ease of use, and usefulness in mind.
a. Folders. If you’re an old school kind of coach. writing your drills down on paper and storing them in a labeled file is a good idea. However there are a few problems with this method. It can be difficult to access your drill library when you’re on the go, sharing these drills with other players and coaches isn’t easy, and plus, no matter how organized you are, no one has time to sort through hundreds of pieces of paper to find the exact drill they’re looking for
b. Google doc spreadsheets. What’s great about this method is that it combines the easy sharing function of google docs with the organization of a spreadsheet. You’ll be able to make lists to separate drills and find them quickly with the search function. The only problem is that spreadsheets aren’t great visual tools- it can be a hassle to upload images and to set everything up from scratch is very time consuming.
c. Use a note-taking tool- like Evernote. Note taking tools like Evernote are especially easy to use and very accessible. You can make notes out of anything, including videos and photos, and add your own annotations, then access these notes anywhere on an app. But again, because these apps aren’t designed for basketball, you’ll have to do a lot of work to set up all your tags and categories.
d. Try the Practice Planner! It’s free, accessible anywhere you can carry your iPhone to and there’s already over 700 drills catering to all ages. Each is illustrated with an easy to understand animated diagram, with videos. Best of all, these drills are now organized by category and by age group! Plus, if there’s a drill that you can’t find, you can always easily add it to the right category and age group with our custom drills feature. Download it here.
Until next time, see you at the courts!
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