PCA Resource zone

Tips for Designing & Running a Practice

The following tips can RAISE your practices to another level!


Prepare for practice ahead of time, write out your practice plan; set-up your equipment; and greet your team when they arrive. Preparation allows you to be intentional about the life and sports skills you’ll address in your session.


Create a comfortable, empathetic environment where differences are embraced by incorporating ‘get to know you’ activities and encouraging teammates to cheer each other on. Model empathy with your players by taking time to listen to their perspectives and thanking them for sharing.


Be clear and concise; clarify by checking that the team understands; give 1-2 instructions at a time and have players repeat back key instructions; demonstrate or ask a player to demonstrate the activity or skill; use attention getters to get your players’ attention.

Specific and Encouraging Feedback

Support and instruct players; follow up ‘good job’ or ‘nice try’ with skill specific feedback so players can continue to improve.


The number one reason kids drop out of youth sports is because they aren’t having fun. Be creative and use fun games and a little bit of competition to get players excited about participating. Remember, fun also needs to be age and skill level appropriate and not solely focused on winning and losing.