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Courtside Tactical Play

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Updated November 2015

“Is Your Netball Game Play Sometimes Off? Are You Having Difficulty In Improving Your Overall Tactical Ability As A Player?”

Game improvement and natural player talent is just around the corner and not a distant dream.

National and state team players aren’t any more naturally talented than you are. They are just privileged to solid, sound tactical coaching!

The purpose of this site is to demonstrate to you, as a player or coach, netball game philosophy and the tactics behind a winning netball team.

To Realize Your Ambitions And Dreams It Is Only
A Matter Of Tweaking What You Already Know!

Netball is NOT like a game of drafts where one player has her move then the next player takes her turn. Netball is like chess, where players must think about their positions and passing. The game changes every one to two seconds and each player must be prepared and alert to make immediate game changes.

By applying sound netball principles reaching the grand final will be a reality not just a dream.

I have been playing and umpiring netball for over 50 years from coast to coast in Australia. Everything I have learnt about player and team tactics and overall game strategy has developed from years of playing and umpiring this wonderful game.

Coaching Developed From Umpiring:
Rae Druce, Netball Victoria umpireThe success I have enjoyed with coaching I put down solely to the “observation” of having umpired hundreds and hundreds of games. Coaching has just flowed on from this foundation.

Many ex-players become coaches or they have come from another sporting background already trained in sport’s psychology.

But sport’s science is not really my forte as I prefer to look at sport from a tactical point of view where I can find a solution through practical experience and common sense rather than from scientific analyst.

The article series are a hands on account of how to play strong and competitive netball leaving the theory of coaching science to others.

Players need to develop a netball brain, which is not a talent but an understanding of how to play tactical netball. However, media hype and bad traditions especially regarding fitness can spoil any chance of a player performing optimally.

There are not many netball players who cannot play extremely well if given the right coaching.

Netball rep team trainingTo endure fast and strenuous games of netball proper fitness is essential otherwise players become lazy albeit involuntarily. But rarely do you find a team training correctly for netball fitness, even at elite level. Tried and proven methods have been abandoned in favour of high level endurance training.

This type of training is not suitable for netball and can exhaust a player before the season begins. Netballers are not racing cyclists or marathon runners, so it is time wasted to train like them!

Road Race Coaching:
I have been fortunate to have spent twenty or so years talking to road and track cycling coaches and trainers when travelling with my husband during his road-racing career.

I failed to understand why world class athletes were dropped (no legs, out of energy) from their bunch during a short or long road race after months and years in training. There were too many unanswered questions.

Tour de France riders through to entry level club athletes all performing well one day and then looking ordinary in another race. Yet others never seemed to tire from one year to the next. What was their secret?

It is leg speed! Netballers like endurance athletes need leg speed too.

After years of listening to coaches, trainers and riders in the Race Commissaire wagon, coupled with my husband’s own racing tenacity, true fitness methods of training correctly came to light fitting together like a jigsaw puzzle.

You Must Be Coached To Succeed:
Every athlete be it for an endurance or team sport cannot succeed without a coach. Certainly a reasonable standard can be reached but self taught athletes risk developing bad habits, which can be very hard to break. A coach can bring out a player’s ability and talent very quickly whereas on their own, natural talent can remain dormant.

Rep netball team at carnivalThe greatest risk of not being coached is a team will only enjoy marginal improvement and often end up relying on one or two players to win games.

I coach as an independent not belonging to a club or association but registered through “Netball Victoria”. In our private coaching entourage we have three team selectors, assistant coach/trainer, team manager, photographer, and team organizer. All I do is coach. I have the easy job!

Parents & players at an indoor netball carnivalPlayers must really want to learn and listen to their coach for any improvement to be seen.

The major aspect of coaching I have learnt is there are no shortcuts to winning a game. While many teams deploy what I term, bad tactics, by calling time or trying to rattle an inexperienced umpire never become victorious. A team who knows how to play positional netball will always come out as outright winners in the long term and end up becoming masters of this fabulous game.

Learn How To Win!
What is missing in both individual and team sports is athletes do not know how to win. All the skills and ability in the world won’t compensate for knowing how to win at sport. Winning is not a natural attribute of human beings it has to be taught.

I will be writing posts showing you how to win at sport. It is so easy you will kick yourself once you find out how simple a winning strategy is.