Diane Flick-Williams of Western Washington University walks through seven steps of developing a practice plan that keeps players engaged and moving, yet focused and intentional with their goals.
Williams acknowledges that progress does not always happen immediately but in baby steps. She delves into the importance of having an active relationship with the players, understanding the mood of the team depending on the time of the season, and focusing on quality of reps over the quantity of reps. Some of her pointers include:
- Centering the practice on one or two skills or things you want to work on, and telling the players what they are so they can prepare.
- The 3% Better Rule: Try to get 3% better every practice. It will add up over time.
- Quality of reps over quantity of reps: Exhaustion doesn’t mean progress.
- Incorporate the mental aspect of the game
- Opportunities for feedback: Get away from the logistics of coaching and get feedback from players.
- What’s the current mental state of the team? Cater to whatever the team mood is, whether it is the excitement of pre-season or the blues of midterms.
- Flexibility: Have a backup plan for when things might go awry during practice.
Following her talk, Williams demonstrates several drills that are meant to boost the morale of a team environment.