The 10th of April is here! And the end of season is well and truly in sight. As coaches what should we be thinking about at this time in the season? Aside from ensuring our players are ready for their final few matches, we need to be prepared for the final sessions and any communications with players. We spoke to 10 coaches from Children’s Coaches to High Performance Coaches in the National Coaching Team to hear their top tips.
“What is your top tip coaches with regard to one of the following…season debrief / player feedback/ the off season?”
- Olivia Murphy – High Performance Coach
Set an off season goal for your players – 3 weeks off from netball / do something different to Netball – try a different sport …
- Florrie Jones – Youth Coach
Think about entering some fun tournaments during the off season – they can be about team building and relaxed but it also gives you extra time see them play and analyse and plan for next season.
- Natalie Peperell – Performance Development Coach
If you started out the season with goals this is a good starting point for a debrief. My top tip would be empower the athletes and ask them to bring their season reflections, 1 success, 1 learning point and 1 point to improve for next season.
- Colette Thomson – High Performance Coach
Acknowledge mistakes and learn from them – as a coach, as your team. Can you do a survey? What would your players want you to stop, start, continue?
- Gemma Ashton – Performance Development Coach
As a Coach of County Academy I only have the athletes for two years and in this period it’s my job to help them transition onto the next phase of the Performance Pathway. Therefore, it is essential to create opportunities to have frank and open discussions with the athletes given our relatively short time frame to work with. Feedback is essential to highlight what athletes are doing well, alongside what they need to continue working on.
- Pauline Hardy – Children’s Coach
Don’t dwell on the past, stay positive and focus on the future.
- Anita Navin – Performance Development Coach
Understand your player’s educational demands – higher stress levels increase likelihood of injury so training load needs to be much less during busy exam periods.
- Lisa Wise – Adult Participation Coach
The off season is a perfect time for us all to stop and take some time to look back on the season and spend some time on reflection. Don’t forget YOU the COACH! By taking a look at yourself now, you can seek out extra information, courses and build any knowledge gaps.
Doing a review will also help inform your feedback to the team – and support you in selecting players to receive awards; Most Improved Player, Most Valuable Player. It is really important to let your players know your thoughts and to reward and recognise those that really gave huge effort and improved, they need to know you noticed.
End of season is a key engagement time and a chance to have a good discussion about what went well and what needs work. We have a coach feedback slot in our AGM so I find my end of season review really helps for that. (Saves me waffling too much …well minimises it anyway!)
- Denise Ellis – High Performance / Performance Development Coach
Reflect, review and plan – remember the good times.
- Yvonne Rhoden – Youth Coach & Adult Participation Coach
I’m already thinking about forthcoming trials. Players/athletes are reminded that it is their responsibility to maintain their fitness in order to be able to perform during the selection process. I encourage them to do things other than netball itself, particularly if it’s been a hard season, otherwise netball fatigue sets in. A break is really important to allow players to refresh their minds as well as their bodies in preparation for trials and the season ahead.
When they return for the start of the season it’s always great to see players/athletes raring to go, having had time to recharge their netball batteries.
And of course, make sure you don’t forget the fun stuff! Have an end of season celebration and awards evening to bring everyone together. Recognise performance but also those who contribute in terms of positivity and commitment.
What would your top tip be? Tweet us at @ENCoaching_ with your thoughts!