Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Practice Plans

Practice plans are the second most important thing in developing talent for your team (behind recruiting of course and, in my opinion, followed by getting your young guys a little playing time). Each player has 130 minutes of practice time. Each player has an Individual Practice Time of 130 – Team practice Minutes.

Team Practice:

For team practice you decide how much you want to improve your players IQs. The normal is 20 minutes in each Offense and Defense. It is highly recommended to only have one of each (although combo D’s are available at the lower levels players have to much individual improvement that its advised to only run one). Although it is your team so if you want to try having 2 different O’s go for it.

Some coaches change Team practice minutes based on how young/old their team is. With very large (possibly superclass size) freshmen and sophomore classes I advice to bump up the O/D at least a couple points. I usually run my D (I play mostly press where IQ is more important to cut back on excessive fouling) practice at 25 minutes and my O practice at 20. If you have a very big Junior/Senior class you could even possibly choose to cut out team practice altogether. IQ levels do not go down even if they are not being practiced.

Individual Practice:

Here is what each practice category increases:

Practice Category


Conditioning (C)

Stamina, Athleticism, Speed, Shot Blocking, Durability

Footwork (FW)

Defense, Shot Blocking, Low Post

Passing (P)


Low Post (LP)

Low Post

Perimeter (PE)

Perimeter Shots (both mid-range and 3-pointers)

Dribbling (BH)

Ball Handling

Free Throw Shooting (FT)

Free Throw Grade

Rebounding (REB)


Study Hall (SH)


Note: The point of diminishing returns is around 25 practice minutes in a single category. So anything over 25 will give you less then 1 minutes practice. It is ok to put more then 25 into a category, and is sometimes even the best thing to do.

Note: Players ratings are considered “Un-improvable” if less than 20 and over 90. The rate of improvement is very slow so it is usually advised to put nothing into categories under 20 and at least 7 (7 is used to maintain a rating where it is at with no decrease) into anything 90 and above, assuming you have other improvable ratings where the minutes can be used more effectively.

Free Throw Practice:

Once upon a time in HD you could get any player to an A in FT shooting, about a year ago WIS decided to take that strategy away from us coaches. Now a player will improve only 4% (On average, although that is pretty much the norm) over their ENTIRE career. (They did this because apparently the average improvement they did in a study of 1000 D1 players was 4%, I disagree and even found different results) In other words, maybe 2/3 of a letter grade is all your going to be able to get. (Depending on WE a little). So now i practice FTs at 12 minutes (12 is used to keep players from decreasing, I wouldn't go any lower then 12 as FT% decreases MUCH faster then it improves) for all of my players regardless of how good or bad they are. FTs is also now something I recruit for. (With the introduction of FSS players are once again able to increase FT% based on their potential not only 4%)

Also very important, You don’t want your players getting bad grades or they won’t be able to play and you’ll take a rep hit!

This is usually what I use when setting players SH minutes at the start of a season:

Freshmen: 7-10 depending on HS GPA
Sophomore: I usually start them at what they ended with Fr. Year.
Junior: 3-7 depending on Cum. GPA
Senior: 1-5 depending on Cum. GPA.

Note: Treat a Redshirted Freshmen as a regular Fr.

Note: There are 2 mid-terms and 2 final-grades. This gives you an opportunity to change your SH minutes if your players are in trouble of failing. Once you get your 2nd set of Final Grades. You can take all SH minutes away from players and put them into other categories.

Note: If a player becomes ineligible during the season he will still practice with your team, he is just not allowed to play. So Do NOT move all his minutes over to Study Hall, just enough to get him eligible (Which could be anywhere from 10 to anything depending on his year and his gpa).

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