Competition Days

Mark Rohrer, Southridge High School, Huntingburg, IN

At some point in time, we have all preached to our players to make practices harder than games.  But, putting together a practice plan to allow for that falls on the coach’s shoulders!  Probably 5–6 years ago we started having “Competition Days” in practices.  Below are some of the details and a sample practice plan from a “Competition Day.”

  • Every single drill has a winning and losing team.  Players receive points to their individual score if their team wins the drill.
  • Players get switched to different teams each drill.  This can be time consuming to create all the different teams, but it is very beneficial so kids are playing with different players each drill.
  • At the end of the practice while players are doing a free throw drill, a coach will count up
    individual points.  We will then announce 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place players.  
  • In preseason practices, we try to do this once a week.  Once games start in December, we will do this probably once every two weeks.  When we get to January and through the rest of the year, we will throw in some of our favorite competitive drills during practices but we don’t necessarily have entire practice long competition days at that point.

    Benefits:  
    • The entire practice from start to finish is played at an extremely high level as everyone wants to win!
    • Player leadership is heightened.  Many times we see the better players empowering some of the younger guys and JV players as every person is important to win these drills. 
    • When we have our 3 point games and 4 minute games, assistant coaches are assigned a team which gives them a bigger voice in practice.

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