NOELINE TAURUA: BUILD THE WEAVE

Summary
Having developed her “FIGURE-8 LINE DRIVING” drill into “THE WEAVE”, Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua now shows you how to take both sets of skills/drills and build them from a two-player exercise into a full team transition drill with defence, focusing on clearing wide, cutting hard, linking through the court and always ensuring there’s a clear, safe option.

Level
Intermediate-advanced

Players
8+

Equipment
1 ball
Set of bibs

Coaching points
– Before taking on this drill, ensure your players have mastered the basic movements and skills from the “FIGURE-8 LINE DRIVING” and “WEAVE” drills, as both contain key skills that are important to enable them to perform this drill well.
– Starting in groups of two, players will work the ball down the court using the “Figure-8 line drive” movement. Ensure players are clearing wide in the court before cutting across to receive the ball on the imaginary ‘line’ in front of their teammate with the ball.
– Avoid stepping on. It’s preferable for players to be stable and balanced before passing the ball, and pausing for a moment also allows their teammate to clear wider and cut harder.
– At the other end of the court, the two players pick up a third teammate, and the three work together to bring the ball down the court using the same weave pattern.
– Once they reach the other end, they pick up a fourth player, and the pattern repeats. Remember, players must clear quickly to the outside after delivering the pass, and be ready to cut in when it’s their turn.
– From there (once everyone has had multiple runs up and down the court), start again with two players and add defence in stages. Depending on the level of your players, you may choose to limit the number of defenders you add, in order to keep the drill flowing and effective for your players.
– Once the players are moving the ball freely against defence using those movements, create a long court situation by adding a midcourter and a goaler further up the court. The two workers must now bring the ball out of the defensive third, where the third player (midcourter) will join them, creating a three-player weave. Once they reach the goal third, the fourth player joins them, creating a four-player weave, and working the ball to the post.
– Finally (again only if the players are ready to progress) add defence on the midcourter and goaler.
– Look for the midcourter and goaler to try to read the play and pick the best moment to drive, and find the best space to drive into. Too early, and they’ll land on top of their teammates bringing the ball downcourt.
– Remember, once defence is added the drill won’t always run smoothly, and that’s OK! Players are allowed to adapt, and may cut back to towards the ball if their initial drive is shut down, to ensure the passer always has a free option. The next phase of the drill can then resume.