New year, new team, new players. As 2019 kicks off, most netball coaches will be starting afresh with a new group of eager players, all keen to learn and improve their skills under your guidance.
And many of you will be new to the role of ‘coach’, having been recruited to lead a team for the first time. Welcome! You’ve got a lot of wonderful and fulfilling experiences ahead of you.
So where do you start as you begin your year of training? We’ve pulled together some of our most popular tips and advice articles, covering everything you’ll need to get your coaching year started on the right foot and have your players flying in no time.
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PLANNING YOUR SESSIONS
Preparing your weekly training session can sometimes be challenging and/or daunting, particularly early on when you may feel like you’ve got way too much to cover in order to get your team ready.
These two blog articles are a great starting point, giving you a simple structure that you can follow for those initial sessions (and for the rest of the year, if you like!).
DON’T BE AFRAID TO REPEAT SESSIONS
Feeling the pressure to come up with a completely new training session each and every week is something that every coach feels from time to time.
But how often does a team master a new skill or strategy perfectly after one session? Check out our article on why you should really consider running some sessions multiple times across multiple weeks.
Not every team and coach has a captain and/or vice-captain, but for those that do it can be a real help as you try to get the most out of your team.
But how do you choose the right player for the job? Here’s a handy guide with a number of great options for how you can make your choice.
FOCUS ON PRELIMINARY MOVES
With limited space on court in every position, teaching your players how to make effective preliminary moves to lose their opponent is arguably the most important skill you’ll cover all year.
Really, you can never spend too much time practising preliminary moves, so working a session or two on that specific skill into your early season trainings is a surefire winner.
In the article below we’ve put together both basic and advanced sessions on prelim moves to cater for players and coaches of all levels.
NAIL THAT ONE-ON-ONE DEFENCE
If you’re coaching your players on preliminary moves, they also need to know how to defend those same moves, and one-on-one defence is the cornerstone of any netball defensive strategy.
Again, you’d be well advised to repeat some of these skills many times throughout the season, and here’s a good, simple session that covers all the basics and is appropriate for players at any level.
USING FUN TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
Getting your team to gel and connect quickly could be the difference between starting the season on struggle street or beginning with a bang.
And few things get a team bonded quicker than a bit of fun at training. But how do you strike the right balance between too much fun and not enough, and how can you use it to get the most out of your team?
Former Adelaide Thunderbirds coach Dan Ryan has some great ideas to get you started.
YOUR GAME PLAN
If your team is a little more experienced, they’re probably ready for a game plan that goes beyond simply executing basic skills every week.
Specialist coach and former Australian men’s team captain Heath Brown has you covered with this piece on how to put together your team’s strategy.
Now get out there and have an enjoyable, productive and successful season! Best of luck!