Friday, April 19, 2013

Planning Practice

I think that maybe I have gone through enough touchy feely stuff this week.  
Lets get back to some actual material...

You may have heard the phrase “Championships are won at practice, competition is just where you pick up the trophy.” 

There is a lot to be said about a well-run practice.  Organization, time management, goals and commitment are all key to a successful practice.  Many times cheerleaders have far more on their plate than time allowed at practice.  There are many ways to accomplish what you need during practice time. Evaluate your upcoming events and incorporate those things into your weekly goals.  Prioritize and work on the things that are most important and will take the longest to accomplish first. 

I have found that creating a practice plan helps keep me on track.
I have a binder that I have copies of the practice outline in.  Each day I fill in the goals for each day.

The outline looks like this:

At the end of each practice, I use the back of the practice plan to make notes about things that happened at Practice.  Record any praise or problems, goal achievement, etc.  If we did not accomplish something on the list that needs done I will make a note to remind myself to get back to it.

Fill in the blanks for the items that need attention the next day.  If you take something out to work on a special project, make a note.  If you notice that you are not getting through certain tasks, evaluate the time, determine if you need more time or if you need to keep the team on track, and focused.

One idea for staying within your time is to get a countdown timer.  I found a nice one at the dollar store that will count down to the second.  At the start of each task set the timer, when it goes off they have 1 minute to get a drink of water and move to the next task. 

Some coaches find that writing out the plan on a large piece of paper to display at practice is helpful.  The whole team can see it and know what they are working on next.

You could also use the poster idea as a reward tool.  If you want to get out of practice early or if they want time at the end of practice, make a list of all the things that they need to accomplish before the end of practice.  If they get through the list early, they may get out early or they can have the left over time to work on something special.

Most importantly – Make Notes. 
If I don’t write something down, it doesn't happen.  Make a list, make a chart, or write goals on a calendar… What ever works for you will help you and your team successful.


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