Due to my position as Netball Coach at the Illawarra Sports High School I was fortunate enough to receive an invite to attend the Netball Australia Ambassador Coaching course on May 3rd at Allphones Arena, Sydney Olympic Park. Not only were we treated to two and half hours of coaching advice from Diane Brown AND Rob Wright, coach of the NSW Swifts in a corporate box (with lunch and drinks provided), we got to watch the NSW Swifts play the Melbourne Vixens - a great and long standing rivalry.
So apart from watching a great great game - and seeing the Swifts win - I got a lot out of the time spent with some amazing coaches. Usually coaches keep their trade secrets close to their chest, but Diane Brown is very open to sharing her knowledge and tips and tricks.
Our main focus was game day preparation, which included the setting of individual, zone/unit and team goals. We also looked the Seven Steps of Skill Progression, dynamic warm-ups and court strategies.
While I've got loads to share, and will do so in future posts, these are the important things for coaches to remember:
- Ensure that all training sessions are organised - equipment, courts, players, drills etc.
- Explain why a particular drill is being taught - relate it to the game.
- Make note of the individual learning styles of the players in your team and ensure that they understand the concept that is being taught.
- Prepare players for their opponents.
- Know and remind players of the time and court number they are playing on the weekend.
- Make your expectations of where the team will meet up, the time and warm-up.
- Have a smiling face - if your players see and feel your positivity then that will rub off.
- Have a game plan organised for the game that allows each child equal time (for Netta's and Juniors) and strategic plans for older children and players.
- Encourage players to drink water throughout the game - have a water caddy with players water bottles together so that at quarter and half time breaks they come straight to you as a collective.
Before the Game:
- Instruct a quality warm-up and hand out positional tags.
- Talk to individual players about their positions and responsibilities of that position.
During the Game:
- Encourage players, emphasising well-executed plays and discuss improvements that could be made.
- Watch for injured layers and rotate where necessary.
After the Game:
- Congratulate players on a well-played game (don't focus on the score).
- Collect tags, balls and hand back drink bottles.