What Should a Daily Practice Plan Look Like?
Every coach knows the struggle of figuring out how to get everything done in the limited amount of time they have with their players. The NCAA sets mandates in amount of off days a week, let alone the total hours a team can spend together in practice each week. Highschool athletes have class from 8:30 - 3:30, and you can only do so much after that each night. With limited time, how do we accomplish everything we need to in the limited time available? Considering we need to get in skill development, team practice, lifts.
We think programming is the key. And every experienced coach agrees that having a well organized plan makes all the difference. In this week's blog, we're going to share some potential practice plans that incorporate all the important aspects of individual and team development. From almost a dozen years of combined collegiate and D1 experience, with years more experience in the athlete development industry, here's what we've got, from what we've seen, and what we've done.
We're going to share three different practice plans: Onfield Offensive Focus, Onfield Defensive Focus, and Indoor Offensive Focus. All three plans can be accomplished in either 2.5 or 3 hours, as long as the players (and coaches, too) are organized, bought in, and are ready to get after from the get go.
*Note - we believe "2.5 hours" should really mean 2.5 hours. There's nothing players hate more than to be told they'll be done at 5, and they end up leaving at 6.
Four of these practice days (11 hours), one intersquad (4 hours), and four lifts (4 hours) all equate to 19 hours in a week and two off days, leaving 1 hour of extra room to fit into NCAA guidelines. That time could be used however you, as a coach sees fit. Maybe team yoga? Anyways, let's get into it.
* Last week's blog was about an efficient, complete warm-up. To review one ready to fit right into this practice, click here. To understand WHY it's important, click here and here.
* Gold highlights indicates that this work is individualized
Onfield Offensive Focus
Extra mobility work will always be work tailored to each individual athlete's needs
Med Ball work is designed to be individualized to each athlete. Here they work patterning, kinematics, and sequencing. Also used as a potentiation and a speed & power development.
*** On Field BP - Rotate Four Groups: (A) Feels / Constraints, (B) Tees and Fips, © On Field BP, (D) Baserunning
Hitting feels and constraints consist of feels with implements such as PVC pipes, bands, and other implements, in order to work patterning, kinematics, and sequencing, bat path. Also very individualized.
Tee and flip drills will be individualized to work athletes' specific needs.
On field BP should hold some sort of challenge and objective. Whether that's velocity/ offspeed from a machine, offset BP, machine and overhand toss BP, or a homerun derby.
Individual D is a time where the team is split up into groups based on their position and work position specific skills.
Team D is a time for the whole team to come together in order to work bunt coverages, 1st and 3rd plays, cuts and relays, pop up communication, and more.
Recovery Time can be used for mobility work, along with hitter specific cool down corrective exercises.
On-field Defensive Focus
Cage Work time can consist of tee work and flips to hammer out movement and path for each athlete.
Pitcher's Pen work can vary. See chart below for options.
Competitive Hitting work can include: machine velo/offspeed, two machine, live at bats, short boxes, and more.
There you have it! Practice plans that cover all the best work done by the best programs in the country, all in a time efficient manner. Make a plan, execute it, assess, adjust the plan, repeat.
We enjoyed sharing this information with you so much, we're going to extend this thread another week. Stay tuned, because next week we're going the next step, and sharing a detailed example of an entire week's practice plan. Check back next week for this awesome material!