There are many reasons that players go to practice.
They go because their parents want them to.
They go because their friends are going.
They go because they are contractually obligated.
They go because they feel a personal commitment to the team.
They go because they want to.
This last one is the key. If players want to go to practice they will be more engaged, they will learn more, they will perform better. It doesn’t matter the level. If the coach wants to get the most out of his players, then he has to create an environment that makes the players want to come to practice.
This covers many areas. The environment should be fun, but serious. There should be discipline, but not rules for the sake of rules. There should be clear structure, but freedom to experiment. The team should be the focus, but not at the expense of the individual. Winning must be important, alongside learning.
Make the players want to come to practice and your job is 98% done.
Read about the great new Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.