The stereotypical image of the coach at practice, from movies at least, is the gruff, unsmiling, tracksuit clad man with a whistle around his neck and clipboard under his arm, barking orders and feedback and criticism. Stereotypes should almost always be ignored, however in this case the stereotype has one admirable quality. He is present.
The coach should always be close to the practice. Perhaps unsmilingly barking orders is not the best way. But constantly providing direction and feedback, guiding players, ensuring the drill works smoothly and that the players concentration and attention is high all require that the coach is close at hand. Proximity to the court allows feedback and guidance to be timely.
Just as watching the correct thing is important for players, so too for the coach. Watch the players rather than the ball during play. Watch how players interact with each other between actions. If they are discussing solutions to the game, give them time to finish their talk before moving on to the next action.
Avoid distractions from off the court. Staff members can mostly be consulted during breaks, instead of during action, on all but the most urgent issues.
The effectiveness of practice, ultimately comes down to one thing: the attention and concentration of the coach. Above all things, be present.
A collection of more Coaching Tips can be found here.
For more great coaching tips, check out the Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.