We all do a similar job, but the job at hand can vary so much, and this really is reflected by WHO it is we are coaching. So the first week of each month, for each day of that week, we will bring you a look into the life of another Coach. We hope you find it interesting to see what other coaches get up to, and hopefully as they share their fab ideas or learn lessons throughout the season, you can learn along with them.

Day 3 and today we bring you, the Performance Development Coach.

SUMMER PROGRAMME – SEPTEMBER

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September is a very busy month for most individuals involved in netball, As performance Pathway Coach, I have been evaluating the summer programme and planning the performance programme for the North East. The summer programme was very effective and consisted of Strength and Conditioning sessions and lots of court sessions, completed throughout the day during August. I find the summer programme a great opportunity to teach the athletes the basics of S&C and how this impacts on their performance & progression. It also gives me an opportunity to challenge the players using other invasion games such as Basketball.

I have spent most of my time planning and delivering sessions to the Regional Performance Academy & Regional Academy in the North East.

The main focus areas for September within the North East RA:

– Attacking through court / centre pass

– Focus on accuracy and one handed release

– Ensure use of dominant and non-dominant hands

– Ensure movement in wall work

– Position Specific development

The main focus areas for September within the North East RPA:

– Passing: variety and accuracy under pressure

– To understand 4 options and use in through court attack

– Position Specific development

I have focused on including movement & skill development within the sessions to improve speed and agility to compliment the work that is being done in the S&C sessions.

Working for England Netball as a performance pathway coach is a great job and one that I feel very lucky to have, although as we all know every job has its challenges. My main challenge this month has been athlete management, the players are very committed to the programme and also have commitments to clubs/schools & colleges and sometimes other sports, and managing the athlete’s Academic schedules/ access to match play and training is the most challenging. Each week may differ depending on academic work load and training load/Match Play, therefore it is important to create good relationships with the coaches and schools/colleges the athletes are linked to. My first task was to identify any player who may struggle to commit to additional morning sessions/S&C sessions, then speak with that player and encourage them to make contact with their school/college to advise about their commitment to the performance pathway, and inform the school/college that they may need support throughout the season with training and time management, that is where I came in, once the players had independently advised that they needed support, I would then speak to the school PE teacher/S&C Coach to link with the North East coaches to provide the player with opportunities away from the Programme venue, for example, session content that can be delivered in school time & S&C programmes that can be complete without the use of equipment or observed by a host.

As a performance coach I always try and find CPD opportunities within England Netball and within my local franchise, I believe it is really important to share practice and be open to development and evaluate my own coaching. I love being creative with new skills and drills and I always aim to relate the session content to the outcome goals. Up here in the North East I have had lots of learning opportunities, working with the Team Northumbria Head Coach and the NSL Athletes on a daily basis, as an assistant coach to the NSL squad.

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