“Train like you play” – a token phrase used timelessly amongst coaches of all sports. However, practice should not be at game speed… instead, training should be FASTER! Why is this the case? Training at a pace where players aren’t comfortable, forces them to adapt (via a lot of mistakes). Once game day arrives, they’re able to beat their player, finish with pressure and game day decisions are easier, the game seeming slow and simple in the players mind.
Training should not look perfect or be perfect. In a game, the perfect pass, perfect screen, perfect jump shot is a one in a million opportunity, so why should training be that way? We need to teach players how to play and move away from coaching “Practice Players”.
A certain amount of technique focused drills is important, however, spending a whole hour on them doesn’t do you or your players justice. To fix this, simply add small-sided games/competitive drills to practice.
Make your players compete against each other
The following link is a document by Coach Mac, consisting of 22 small sided games.