Most teams will be down to the business end of the season. For those teams restricted to have all players play 20 quarters before players are eligible to play the finals series will be choosing their games wisely to play everyone.
Other teams that are nowhere near finals contention will be giving everyone a run.
Decisions will have to be made and made on behalf of all ten players in the side. For those coaches with players that have parents still involved these decisions won’t be liked by all. Below are some ideas to assist you in making the top seven for finals. Remembering not all teams will have a top seven as you might have 10 strong and be able to utilise all your players. Other coaches won’t have the luxury of this and will be looking for a strong line up heading towards finals.
Below are some ideas for finals:
- Playing the girls that have proved to be reliable and consistent all season
- Playing the shooters that not only have court sense but also get the ball through the ring under pressure
- Playing the girls that do what they are told
- Playing the girls that have worked hard to improve their game away from trainings
- Playing the girls that play the ‘team’ game
- Playing the girls that have improved all season and look stronger and more confident
- Playing the girls that have that desire and will to win
And the list goes on
For those players who will be sitting on the bench below is a piece on how important they are to the team. This has not been written by me but I have modified it for Netball.
THE PLAYERS ON THE BENCH
It takes more than seven players to make a winning team. The starting seven may win a game, but it takes the whole team to win the championship – to go all the way.
The team is really like an iceberg. You see the starting seven, but underneath it all is that big, wide, strong base – the rest of the team. This is the part of the team that builds the character of a lasting winner. The more dedicated the player on the bench, the harder she works, the more she pushes and strengthens the starting player – the higher she pushes this iceberg out of the water – the bigger it gets – the better the team. If she quits, doesn’t give her all, or becomes complacent in her position, she erodes that strong base and erodes the character of the team. She contributes to the error in a tense, one point game, she is partly to blame for that mental lapse with four minutes to play in the big rivalry, she undermines the total effort necessary for the team to come back from a ten goal deficit in a championship game.
And yet this player on the bench must be there – watching, waiting and hoping – sometimes agonisingly – for that chance to use her special skill to better the team effort – to make the base of that iceberg stronger – to help build the character of the team. Yes, agonisingly because she knows there is a chance she might play because she may be the player waiting to shut down a tall shooter or she may be the strong player called in an instant to shut down the unusually fast centre, who is hurting the team inside. She may even be one of the starting line up that’s hurt, but working twice as hard to be physically fit in time to play in the semis and finals. She may be the player on the bench who demonstrates to the fans that this team really has character from the bench to the successful shot. But even more important it may be the whole bench that the player looks to late in the game when she is hurting, out of breath, and burning inside for that spirit, that push, and that enthusiasm, and that love necessary to make the big play and win the game for the whole team.
When the game is over, when the season ends and all the fans and sports critics are talking about the top of the iceberg, the stars and heroes, the players will know that the real winner of the team, the whole iceberg, especially the base – are the players on the bench who build the character to make the team a lasting winner. The end
A test of a good coach is the knowledge that your players will continue to play next season. That their experience under you, win or lose, is a lasting one and that you have made a positive impact on their lives, on and off the court. There aren’t many pats on the back during the season for coaches so pat yourself on the back if you have a happy and determined side.
Written By Melissa O’Brien