About five years ago, I was asked to Coach a little Rep Team at Shailer Park, to compete in the first ever Under 12’s Queensland State Championships.
Well, like any other small Association, nine players turned up to trial so nine got in. Definitely blank canvas stuff.
I mapped out a plan so off we went. First carnival we were in Div 4 and at the end, was on the right side of the scoreboard for all of those games. Next carnival moved up to Div 3 and also on the right side, then next Div 2 for the next and still going strong. Hadn’t dropped a game and then the test……Div 1 (two carnivals) and also on the right side of the scoreboard, yay.
Now, Queensland State Championships with my little team and we strapped ourselves in.
Last game day 3 and they played like they did day 1. Not one game dropped all three days. Yay for us!
My secret was ‘The Diamond’. I designed this little activity to get their feet moving and also learning to receive a ball in all directions. Looking at the change of direction and keeping the feet moving even when a ball was coming. Stopped all stepping.
The girls got out their four cones or dots every training, working in pairs and with a ball.
One player stands in the middle of ‘The Diamond’ while the other player rests. No ball at first.
On the Coaches call the players are given directions:
(change it up so there’s no pattern)
Players run to the cone called. You can use a back-peddle or look one way and run the other to the back cone.
As a Coach, you can change it up even by adding a hands over on the first cone.
Work the player for about 30 seconds then change.
After the players are confident with the activity, add a ball. When adding a ball, players receive the pass on the way to the cone. Eg a lob for back cone and push them out to the right and the left. On the front cone, only pass if they’re on the way to the cone, not if they’re already there.
Layer the player with footwork and ballwork. I do have this video on my website at energynetball.com.au
Balanced footwork is the fundamental movement behind so many other skills performed on a Netball court. Efficiency with footwork has a flow through effect in every part of game.
My players were 11 turning 12 and ‘The Diamond’ was their Game Changer. I never mentioned the word win once. Process driven. Love it!