Should You Practice On Game day?
A common question that most coaches, parents, and even players will sometimes wonder, is Should You Practice On Gameday? I think this question is mostly asked by coaches who are curious to how much should we push our youth basketball players and what they can handle and at what age.
Now while there are going to be many factors that will dictate the answer to this question, I think there are certain circumstances that help guide us to when, how, where, and what we should do on game day.
We here at Legacy Basketball Academy, have broken down different types of games and how you should approach each practice for your players and if You Should Practice on Gameday!
So for Scrimmage games, I don’t think You Should Have Practice on Game Day! I think this is more of a fun approach and getting kids introduced to basketball. Most scrimmage games won’t have a referee and is more for learning to play 3v3, 4v4, or 5v5.
Maybe spend around 5-10 mins on warm ups with Layups, passing, rebounding, and shooting so you are ready for the game.
So for Recreational Games, these are usually games that are played once a week during the weekends or maybe a weekday night. Most of these games are for learning and practicing your skills and drills that you are learning throughout the week or with your weekly lessons.
Now with Recreational games, we suggest arriving about 30 minutes before each game. We usually meet outside before we enter the gymnasium, and go over and discuss game plan. For the Younger Kids, we keep our chat to a minimum, let them know that this is how we operate, what we are going to focus on today, and a somewhat small game plan. For the older kids, we go into a little more detail about our game plan and execution.
Within about 15-20 minutes before the game, we like to start warming up. 2 lanes on each side for layups and rebounding, shooting and passing.
This is our normal routine for recreational games throughout the weekend.
Playoff Games (Rec League)
Now if your Rec League has a playoff series or format, which most Rec Leagues do, then usually we will schedule a “Walk Through” the morning of the games.
Our Walk Throughs will be a light work out / Warm up and discuss more in detail how we are going to approach our competition.
With Rec Leagues, chances are we have played this opponent before, and will understand how to approach the game. We feel that even kids, should start to know that Basketball has a mental component that needs to be addressed. We will discuss inbound plays, transition plays, pressing, formations, and more.
So with our Elite Travel Teams, we absolutely recommend practicing on game day the morning of the game or having a more aggresive walk though.
When you are traveling with your team, especially if you are staying in hotels, your team will be tired, sleepy, and groggy. We just came back from our Las Vegas Trip and seeing our team so tired in the morning, we scheduled a practice on game day and let me tell you, those games are kids were wide awake, more aggressive, and more attentive to the game. Their handles were better and seemed to be more in sync with each other.
In Conclusion, I think practicing on Game Day is key to teaching our youth players and young adults that basketball is more than just a skilled sport. It is about teamwork, knowledge, and the intelectual part of the game of basketball which we love so much!