Spacing - How to convert your team into a smooth flowing dream


I’m sure you’ve all been to watch a sports match with younger players where the ball is just chased around the pitch/court. The players are so keen to get their hands on the ball and they haven’t a clue what the word ‘space out’ means as you are frantically shouting it from the sideline.

So how can you get your players to space out? How can you convert your team into a smooth flowing dream?

Netball has many restrictions and the areas players can move in to, is one of them. What we need to get our players to realise is that these restrictions actually help the process of spacing players across the court. We need to teach players that each position has an area which is their responsibility e.g. a quick change of speed.


Obviously players are not bound to these areas but it’s a great starting point especially from a back line pass.

When teaching this spacing, you need to get players used to where they are to receive the ball.

  • Give each player a marker – sequence spot, cone, hoop.
  • Put the marker in a position on the court which is the ideal place for that position to receive the ball.

ideal receiving positions
  • Players are to pass the ball up the court in an order.

Once comfortable with making these passes.

  • Players walk away from the markers and run towards the marker to receive the pass.
  • Concentrate on timing so player reach the marker at the same time the ball does.
  • Add a defender for each player – passive at first i.e they run with the player but do not try and intercept the ball.
  • Repeat and increase the activity of the defender to active and then full on.
  • Keep swapping the teams over so each team has the chance for the slow build up

NB When working with younger players who do not have the strength to pass the longer ball, try the above but give some players 2 markers so they have 2 balls to receive as the ball moves down the court.

By providing a visual for players to run to, the spacing is easier to see for players.

inward runs to receive
  • Players are positioned at the side of the court
  • Players sprint on a forward diagonal to receive the ball in the middle
  • Younger players will need to overlap so will receive 2 balls
outward runs to receive
  • All players to start on the central line
  • Players to sprint on a forward diagonal to outer edges of the court

Conclusion: If players have a definite place to run, they will commit themselves more. A committed player is more easily seen and more easily passed to.


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