Mentors

| Posted inWeekly Blog

Coaching senior or open teams has its challenges. 
Many players have been around for a while and have had a few coaches in their time.  Some players will claim to know everything and struggle with new ideas, some are like sponges and then there are some that challenge the coach every training session and every game which can be quite exhausting.  Many older players don’t like sitting on the bench over younger players and that can be an issue that needs to be addressed.
Having the luxury to choose a balanced team is rare and in many small associations and country regions getting a team of ten is not an easy task.
Those in the more populated areas will have a choice and can identify players that will blend to make a balanced team.
Many years ago, watching the seniors play on a Saturday afternoon was a must.  I had favourite players that I would try to imitate when I hit the court.  I suppose being tied up to the wire netting fence by my reins with drink and snacks in hand when I was very small, forced to watch my Mum play mid week Netball was the beginning for my love of Netball.  I remember wanting to play with those players so much and when I finally had the chance to mix with my heroes it was all I had dreamed it to be.
There is a special bond amongst players when you have a blend of young and more senior players.  My senior players are the mentors to the younger girls.  Their behaviour, ethics, dedication, manner and ability are what drive the young ones to be the best they can be.  The older players assist me in guiding the young ones on and off the court. We work as a team and everyone is equal.  This is a balance I strive for and over the years I have had seniors that have displayed average behaviour and the young ones pick up on this and struggle to respect them.
It might take a few years before you find the magic on and off the court you are looking for but it can happen and as a coach it is a great feeling.  The greatest reward is following the young players as they continue to reach their personal goals and we know that behind their confidence is a group of team mates that have influenced them on their journey.
Written by Melissa O’Brien.