Why Prepare a Practice Plan? (Step 2)
The Hitting Practice Plan Series
Baseball and Fastpitch Softball
This Why Prepare a Practice Plan? article has been excerpted from The Ultimate Hitting Training Guide (click the link to learn more about our new drills book).
After a couple of seasons or less, new coaches soon understand “winging it,” with no prepared plan, rarely leads to a confident and prepared team. Here are Building Rome Series top ten reasons to prepare a practice plan. Most of these will be a review, but we hope the reader can pick up a few tips to further improve their planning process.
Why Prepare a Practice Plan Reason #1 – Promote the Identification of Team and Individual Goals
The process of designing the stations included in each practice plan, and selecting appropriate drills for each station requires the coaching staff to set goals. A great practice plan reflects long-term team goals and short-term individual goals.
Reason #2 – Efficient Accomplishment of Goals
A step-by-step, structured, and organized practice promotes quick improvement.
Intelligent training is critical to the rate of improvement.
Reason #3 – Generates Pride and Confidence
A smoothly run practice, where players leave feeling they have accomplished a lot, creates pride in themselves and their team.
Why Prepare a Practice Plan Reason #4 – Teaches Youth About the Important of Process
All athletes are more successful when they believe in and “trust the process.” Learning to goal set, identify objectives necessary to meet the goal, and then follow through are valuable life skills.
Reason #5 – Sets the Tone
We have often heard that teams take on the coach’s character in how they train and play the game. A well thought out practice plan, published the day before practice to all participants, creates a professional impression with players, parents, assistants, and athletic directors. They understand that the coach is serious about player development and is doing their best to make the experience as rewarding as possible for all involved.
Reason #6 – Gear Preparation
When the practice plan is published ahead of the practice date, coaches, players, and parents can set aside the necessary gear.
Why Prepare a Practice Plan Reason #7 – Mental Preparation
When the practice plan is published ahead of the practice date, players can prepare mentally for the challenges ahead.
Reason #8 – Field Preparation
Preparing the practice plan identifies what type of field maintenance and setup is needed and the time required. A smoother running practice is ensured when coaches, helpers, and a select (and rotating) group of players have the field ready before the official practice start time.
Reason #9 – Identify Coaches and Helpers Needed
The practice plan should designate stations and the coach in charge of each station. Having appropriate personnel identified, contacted, and station responsibilities discussed before practice starts helps “win the day.”
Why Prepare a Practice Plan Reason #10 – Identify Drills Dependent on Specific Players
To avoid a time-wasting “reset” during practice, the practice plan can include a backup drill for when a player in key position(s), that is required for a particular drill, miss practice.
The Hitting Practice Plan Series
Using a top-down approach, the coach formulates their training plan step-by-step. The outcome is individual hitting practice plans which fit the team’s priorities. Click each of the links below to systematically build your practice plans for the upcoming year.
Building Rome Series Books: Building the High-Level Swing Series
See Building the High-Level Swing for a detailed and comprehensive description of 100 hitting fundamentals and 140 step-by-step drills that efficiently construct the batting swing from the ground up.
In the Building Rome Series of books, the construction of skills are in functional order, providing a “roadmap” to becoming a great hitter.
All baseball and fastpitch softball players can “climb the Roman Coliseum steps” to become a powerful and productive hitter.
Enjoy the quest!