The philosophy Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski, one of the world's best coaches, wrote some key points of his philosophy on making a practice plan and preparing the team and himself for the games. Read about some very interesting thoughts of "Coach-K", those which made his program one of the most successful in the sport's history.

Mike Krzyzewski's practice plan philosophy:

Goals and Philosophy

Work Hard




3 Systems when Planning a Practice




*HEAR-You Forget

*SEE-You Remember

*DO-You Understand

Don't Talk Too Much

*What you know is important, but the most important thing is...... "How do your players respond under game conditions?"

Practice Planning Process

Have a practice plan...Ask yourself these questions yearly and most importantly, daily:

*Who am I coaching?

*How old are they?

*How much experience do they have?

-Not just playing, but in your system

*How many players do I have?

*What do I coach?

*How do I coach my system?

*How do I teach it?

-Develop physical habits that fit your system

-You need intelligent, intensive, persistent work

-Drills should be intelligent

-Drills should make sense

-"I am going to teach this...we are going to get it done" (Persistent)

*How much time do I have?

-Daily, weekly, monthly, yearly

*What resources do I have to help me teach? Facilities?

-How many baskets

-How many coaches

-Use of managers is the key to the program

-Some of the smartest kids who can help your program are right in your school and they do not play basketball

*When do we practice?

-Use time effectively

-Make weekly practice schedule and adapt beginning and ending times accordingly based on events-personal or school

-Do a weekly practice plan, but make a daily practice plan each day!!

-Keep yourself current based on your teams needs on a daily basis

-Be flexible within the practice sessions

-Be organized, but..."Do Not Be A Slave to Your Practice Plan"

Pre-Practice and Post Practice Work

*Pre-Practice Meeting with Coaching Staff

-Practice plan is already written; Discuss who will do what

*Pre & Post practice Work

-Have organized pre-practice work

-Ex. Practice might be at 3:00, but you have the facility from 2:30 to 5:00; You would have from 2:30 to 3:00 for pre-practice work

-Pre & Post Practice work on individual or small group work that individuals might need to work on

-Can get lots of shooting in

-Can review a drill a player didn't understand

-Have an organized stretching routine


*Should be no longer than 2hrs (Not counting Pre & Post Practice)

*Eliminate as much standing time as possible

-Allocate all of your resources to get players as many reps as possible (Especially on individual drills Ex. 1 on 1 Denial Drill)

-Good physical habits are not developed without reps

*Match-up players for drills so they don't end up going with the same person every time

*Throughout practice, let players sub for each other...If you want a definite group...then call for them

*Make drills and practice situations...Game-Like (including instructions)

-Don't walk and talk players through drill instructions (Not Gamelike)

*Have a 10 minute period where you have a "Sprint Practice"

-Change things a bunch

-Continually alter what you are doing on the run (Like in a game)

*Practice Game Situations

-End of quarter, End of Game, All Game Situations

*Simulate Halftime

*Vary the places and times you talk to your team (limited attention span)

*Videotape everything that is 4 on 4 and 5 on 5

-You might focus on an individual player or specific drill


*Free Throws

-Do Pressure Free Throw Drills

Post Practice Meeting with Staff

*Critique Practice

-"We did a good job with this"

-"I think we need more work with this"

-"Lets come back tomorrow with this"

-I was going to come back tomorrow with this, but I think it is better
that we do this"


Game Preparation

*Preparation for the next game starts directly at the end of your last

*First, watch the tape of your last game

-Make sure of what you think you saw during the game

*Scouting report of your upcoming opponent with stats

*First part of next practice is a team meeting

-Have to have closure from previous game

-Then, leave that location "Shutting the Door"

-Switch to a different area and start talking about next game...

"Opening the Door"

-Give a real quick summary of the next opponent, then start practice

-Offense and Defense can revolve around a few things the next
opponent will do

-You can also work on areas in which you struggled in previous game

-It is not all getting ready for the next team. It is getting us ready

-"I want to take care of us before getting into elaborate game plans"

-"Your kids don't know your plays...How the hell are they gonna know
their plays?????" They should know tendencies

-Respect your opponent; Whether it is the lowest team in your
conference or the #1 team in your conference

-"We PLAY in every game" ...intelligent web software