Planning any program’s basketball practice remains one of the most important aspects of coaching. No matter if it’s a preseason workout, in-season session, or postseason shoot around, a well-organized practice produces meaningful results.

Coach Collins sat down recently with veteran basketball coach Sean Doherty to discuss his approach practice planning. Coach Doherty currently serves as the head boys coach at Hamden Hall Country Day. Doherty sports more than 20 years experience coaching basketball, including stops as a former Division-1 assistant at Holy Cross, Western Kentucky and Quinnipiac. In addition to those duties, Doherty also served as a top assistant at Division II powerhouse Assumption College, as well as being the former head coach at Salem State.

Basketball Practice Planning

basketball practiceCoach Doherty urges all other basketball coaches to be organized. He suggests meeting with staff to discuss daily and weekly practice plans. If coaching without a staff, he still recommends detailed planning, including a written plan for players to see such as a “Daily Improvement Sheet.”

He calls it integral that coaches have a firm understanding of plays/drills need to be cover during season heading into their first practice.

Doherty also recommends a weekly plan for the team, which includes off the court events. He likens this to lessons plans for classroom teachers.

Doherty says: “Practice is where we create our winning culture.” He calls for accountability should be in all segments. He also recommends tracking Effort Stats. Part of the culture development includes teaching “great teammate” elements, such as: run to guys who fall/take charge, make a huge hustle play, bench up and down, high fives, emotion at right time, etc.

To handle winning and losing correctly, Doherty recommends competitive practice games. This also aids in accountability.”Enthusiasm and Energy is a huge part of all our winning habits,” Doherty says.

Check out the full interview with Coach Doherty from the Teach Hoops YouTube Channel below.

Related: Practice Planning and Building Culture with Coach Thompson



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