Good Evening Coaches!
We hope that you have had a super week and continue to have a thoroughly super weekend!
With so many coaches currently taking their teams to competition we wanted to speak to a coach that has had success in this process. So that we can share with you their approach to competition…
PE Teacher and Netball Coach, Olivia Barber, took her U15 squad to the School Sport Magazine National Schools Cup Final 2015/16 this week. Following a successful four rounds, quarter finals, semis and finals this week, Olivia has clearly had some success with taking her squad through competition. We spoke to her following Cheadle Hulme School’s victory in the final against James Allen’s Girls School on Thursday.
When I plan my training sessions each practice HAS to be about decision making. Any one game I use in practice is not going to enable players to win a match, but developing their ability to choose from the best options available provides them with a valuable skill.
I am also very aware of what information I put across, if they are bombarded with too much then they may not pick up on the most important messages. So my approach to training in the build up to competition has a big focus on repetition. When key coaching points or a particular focus of game play is repetitive in training it reinforces the message so that they can draw out these key messages in a match.
In training we focused on:
Two offers v Re-offer
The Double Play
The Back Pass
To begin I explain example scenarios for each of the above and set my players up in a practice, I allow them some time to understand how each option works and practice this without too much pressure. We spend time on each of these and progress from one to another, and then put them into a game based situation. At this point I hand over complete decision making to the players, this increases the pressure. When in the pressured situation they will draw on one of the three and can communicate to one another clearly and they understand straight away.
It is so important to not feed them the answers but always create these decision making scenarios in training. This prepares them to make decisions for themselves in the match, in those pivotal moments.
This is the key point to underpin the whole coaching process. When coaching the re-offer, double play and back pass I always encourage my players to read off one another and practice the moves based on the other players. They must make the decisions about which one of the three moves to use and when.
What works for you when taking your players to competition?
Congratulations to Olivia and her team. Have a fantastic weekend coaches!