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Any hints on how shorter defenders can defend a very tall GS.

The 163cm defender is great against regular height girls her age (ie 13) but I need some help with the tall girls (185 cm +). She jumps really well and is constantly with the player. She reads the play well but it is almost soul destroying to see the opposition lob the ball into the tall girl who stands and waits for the shot.

man they are really tall girls arent they!!! only suggestion is to keep the shooters as close to the edge of the circle by defending from behind or side.  that way lobs will be less affective.

I agree with Lee-anne. My daughter was in exactly this situation. What I had her do was to allow the GS to come out of the ring and then keep her there. If the GS didn't leave the ring, she didn't let her get behind so the lob couldn't be used. 

Generally most tall shooters aren't comfortable shooting far from the post. The defender really needs to be on their toes the whole time so that the feeders may hesitate on putting up a high one.  The defenders also need to be confident in using their body to hold firm so that the goalie can't move easily - how much they can do this really depend on the umpire.

the other thing is to really stress to the whole team that with a tall GS, it is everyone's job to put pressure on the whole way down the court. They also need to make sure that they treat every turnover as precious, they can be rare when playing a team with a player like this. 

Also give your defender the confidence that their opponent will score some goals easily and that is ok. They need to keep their head up and have a crack at the next one. 

Thanks so much Allie and Lee-anne. I guess the main thing is to keep the confidence up. We're working on the hold from behind and keeping the tall GS out of her comfort spot. It's so nice to read that others have experienced the same situation. Whilst I don't think my defender will ever make 185cm+ she is an almighty defender and still has a lot of growing to do. 

I completely agree with Allie - the whole team has to put pressure on the ball and give your circle defender as much cover as possible, before the ball even gets to the circle. I show my girls where the danger zone is around the circle and get them to focus on keeping the ball away from that zone and getting good hands over pressure once in the zone. Especially stress with your WD, C and GD the importance of hands over pressure on the feed to the circle, so there are no easy feeds. A tall GS is only as good as her feeders. Jane Woodlands Thompson has a great video on the Kiwi netball show In The Zone about the impact of super tall shooters. It shows in slow mo the importance of that hands over pressure when playing a super tall GS. Recommend showing that to your girls as they can really see then how important their job is to create pressure through the court and takes away that sense of hopelessness that they can't stop the tall GS. You can find that video on You Tube. Good luck! 

Hi MMMM, thanks for suggesting this video. We've added it for you below to save other coaches having to search for it. We did this using the embed Youtube video feature (more information about using this in the coaching points below).

Netball Zone - Analysis Tall Shooter


Thunderbirds coach Jane Woodlands-Thompson looks at the impact of the Tall shooter on the ANZ Championship in this weeks Netball Zone analysis.

Coaching Points:

If you'd like to quickly add Youtube video to your plan use the search bar at the top of the screen.

Want to use a specific Youtube video and save it your Sportplan? If so:

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  2. Choose 'Embed Youtube'
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Thanks Sportplan team, glad you liked it. Good to know re embedding links. Will do.

Thanks everyone. We practised and practised locking and blocking and 2 defending, so the tall shooter couldn't move back for the lob. It is probably the first time she has been called for contact so often in the game.The GA didn't shoot very often so it all worked well. Result - My girls won the grandfinal!!! Woohoo!!

Congratulations Hillary. That's fantastic.

That is fantastic Hillary! Sometimes coaches and players focus too much on the one person (ie: the tall shooter) and think that it is only the opposing playing that is responsible. If everyone works together to keep as much ball away from the shooters feed as possible it usually gets great results.

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  • search our library of 700+ netball drills
  • create your own professional coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested plans