Coach Speasl’s December Coaching Tip

Posted by Volley Cart on

Practice Plans:

Something I started doing years ago is to write out my practice plan on a 5×9 spiral notebook. I get a new one for the start of each season. I start the season with plans for our first team meeting and end the season with notes of individual meetings with the team members.

I’ve felt for a long time that we as coaches need to do a great deal of preparation for practices. Using the spiral notebook helped me incredibly with organization. Each page of the notebook is dated, practice is planned by the 5, 10, 15 minute segments. Early in practice I would always make announcements of upcoming events or team commitments and then I would revisit the announcements at the end of practice.

This little book would stay in my hand or close by every practice. If one drill happened to go long and we didn’t have time for the next drill or portion of practice, I would circle it, that way I could spot it easily and move it to a future date. I would keep track of who was ill and why, if someone had an injury and had to leave practice for the day, I would put a star by segments that went well and that the team responded well to. I would always double space my practice session so I would have room for notes and comments to myself on the page under the drill. Sometimes I would use a second page to diagram drills for future reference.

This becomes a team diary as well as a practice planning tool and a great reference for the coach as many times throughout the season you must be able to recall specific events that took place in practice.

I firmly believe that a coach owes it to his/her team to be very organized and address the needs of the team during the practice sessions. Too often coaches come to practice with a single sheet practice plan that gets lost or never seen again, or even worse, shoots from the hip and runs practice off the top of their head.

Before you know it you will have a dozen or more spiral notebooks on your book shelf that will represent years of high quality practice and very efficient team organization. 

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