The first day of practice, as I recall, was always extremely difficult. Most of my coaches sent a message about how tough the coming season was going to be.
I always wanted to send a message of how fun and easy the game could be if you just focused on doing the things that lead to success well and consistently.
I don’t have any problem with a first easy practice or with a whole week of easy practices, as long as you are building in your players the things needed to be successful as a team.
You don’t want your players getting the feeling you always manage to come up with something new that they did wrong. You want them thinking they can “win…”
In other words I don’t think you can demand that they do 46 things well…
I think it is wise to begin with one or two things on offense and one or two things on defense, just a few things they can keep in mind and concentrate on executing perfectly — and just a few things you can keep in mind to see and correct every time.
On offense, you can expect that they will take only good shots. You can expect that they will take no unnecessary dribbles. You can expect that they will throw no errant passes. You can expect to show only positive emotions on the court during play.
On defense you can expect them to get a hand in every shooter’s face. You can expect them to block out and move toward the ball for rebounds. And you can expect them to move their feet on defense and avoid stupid reaching fouls.
In the early stages, it may be best for you to do only one at a time. Scrimmage and pay full attention only to shot selection on offense and seeing the ball on defense. When you are able as a coach to see those things every time — and to whistle and correct every failure — you are ready to add a point or two at each end.
Your consistency is crucial.
If you notice a bad shot one time but then let bad shots fly unnoticed the next two times, your players will quickly recognize your inconsistency…
But if you’re able to consistently correct what you consider most important, your players will quickly learn to do those things you consider most important, consistently.